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In a country like Greece, livestock farming is important for economic development. The Department of Obstetrics and Reproduction of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Thessaly contributes significantly towards this, as it is actively involved in farm animal clinic work and research activities.

An example is the GOHOMICS project, the largest research project that has ever been awarded to a Greek veterinary school, which started in 2012 and is funded by the General Secretariat of Research and Technology. In this project, a consortium has been forged, including the two veterinary schools of the country, a medical school, a polytechnic faculty and a research institute, as well as five dairy plants. Coordinator is Dr. George Fthenakis from the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Thessaly. This project refers to the analysis of the biological characteristics of indigenous breeds of sheep and goats and the development of an innovative database, in order to support understanding and diagnosis of their diseases.

Application of modern technologies in sheep and goats, the main Greek livestock industry.


Greek indigenous breeds of goats and sheep from farms in the regions of Thrace, Epirus, Thessaly, Peloponnese and Crete, which are the regions of priority in rural development, have been included. Inclusion of the various breeds was made based on a) their contribution to the livestock industry, and b) their significance in the local agricultural sectors.

The study of animal characteristics constitutes the main goal of the project, since it will lead to a thorough genetic characterisation and detailed description of their particular characteristics. The identification of the genotypes and the genes of interest will be carried out by using DNA microarrays, in order for the genome of the above breeds to be studied. The use of the comparative and differential proteomics, peptidomics, metabolomics and lipidomics technologies on blood and milk samples will contribute to the genetic characterisation of the animals and in the identification of bioactive molecules in their milk. The analysis of milk samples through established experimental models (in vitro, in vivo, ex-vivo) will assess the bioactivity of milk for: platelet aggregation, reactivity of B and T lymphocytes, oxidative action of lipoproteins and development of atherosclerotic lesions. Also, the detection of bioactive molecules in blood and milk will help to diagnose diseases.

The analysis of the results aims to identify the characteristics of indigenous breeds of goats and sheep, as well as the confirmation of possible bioactive properties of the milk.

Distinctions & Awards of Professor George Fthenakis

- Funding of € 1.790.000, through the GSRT, in 2012. This is the largest research grant ever awarded to a Greek veterinary establishment. - Recognition of the Department of Obstetrics and Reproduction of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Thessaly as the Greek Centre of Excellence in Small Ruminant Medicine and certification by the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management. - President of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management, 2008 - 2011. - Fellow of the Greek Agricultural Academy, 2010. - 'Allan Baldry' Award from the British Sheep Veterinary Society, 2006. - ‘Konstantinos Tarlatzis’ Award from the Greek Veterinary Society, 2009. - Editor of the ‘Small Ruminant Research’ journal, since 2010. - A prize acknowledging scientific achievements, by the Greek Veterinary Association, 2013.


Mastitis, an enzootic disease with great significance in the breeding of sheep and goats, and the relevant research, as described by Professor G. Fthenakis.


George Fthenakis, professor of "Veterinary Reproduction", Project Coordinator, Veterinary Faculty.

Coordinators of subgroups: Georgios Arsenos, associate professor of A.U.TH - Spyros Karkabounas, Spyros Karkabounas, assistant professor of the University of Ioannina - Athina Tzora, professor of TEI of Epirus - George Tsangaris, researcher A BRFAA.