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BIO-ENERGETIC PATHS

The bioenergetics paths are chemical processes aiming in energy production for the cell.

Apart from photosynthesis and respiration, which are the most known procedures used by the eukaryotic organisms (i.e. animals and plants), the prokaryotes organisms (Bacteria and Archaea) use a plurality of different paths which are based on redox iron, sulfur et al. This allows them to live in different environments such as the deep ocean, or in sediments with lack of oxygen, high levels of salts, etc.

The research of the Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. Vassiliki Koumantou and the Researcher C’, Dr. Sophia Kossida of the Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens (BRFAA) focuses on the identification of the common elements of these paths, the order in which they have been developed and the extent to which the newer paths have been based on the older.

Research on the evolutionary relationships of the main enzymes involved in bio-energetic paths of different bacteria species

THE SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH

The scope of the research of the Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. Vassiliki Koumantou and the Researcher C’, Dr. Sophia Kossida of the Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens (BRFAA) concerns the evolutionary relationships of the main enzymes involved in bio-energetic paths of different bacteria species.

In recent years, the genomes of thousand different species of bacteria have been decoded. The research is based on the analysis of these genomes, whose data are available in online databases with open access. More specifically, the researchers collected data for the genes which encode the main enzymes involved in the bio-energetic paths of different bacteria species. They studied their evolution based on phylogenetic analysis. The study of the evolution of these processes is important for the study of the principle of life on our planet but also because it may apply to synthetic biology and the development of microbiological fuel cells as alternative energy sources.

The research results are being published in reputable international scientific journals, while a database is being developed specifically for the enzymes of the bio-energetic paths. Future action plans include metagenomics analysis aiming to find new enzymes involved in bio-energetic paths that have not been studied so far.

Marie Curie Inter-European Fellowship, European Commission

Dr. Vassiliki Koumantou, Postdoctoral Researcher, received in 2013 a Marie Curie Scholarship. The Marie Curie awards are among the most competitive at a European level. After selection, 500 scholarships approximately (Inter-European Fellowships) are awarded per year out of which only 5-10 are awarded to Greek organizations during the past few years. The funding aims at the transfer of knowledge between European countries and allows to the award-winning postdoctoral researchers to develop their own research interests and to be specialised, through collaborations, in areas related to their investigation.

Further Distinctions: 15 publications in reputable international scientific journals. Elected Lecturer at the Biotechnology Department of the Agricultural University of Athens, with the field of "Genetics". Reviewer in the scientific journals Planta, Current Bioinformatics, Journal of Molecular Biochemistry and BMC Bioinformatics. Scholarships for scientific collaboration in Canada (2009) by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the Royal Society in Britain and the Biochemical Society in Britain et al.

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION ACADEMY OF ATHENS (BRFAA)

Vassiliki Koumandou, PhD Researcher / Marie Curie Fellowship (2013-2015), IIBEAA. Lecturer, Biotechnology Department, Agricultural University of Athens.

Sophia Kossida, Researcher C, Centre of Basic Research ΙΙ, Biotechnology Division, Department of Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics, ΙΙΒΕΑΑ. Professor, IMGT Director, University of Montpellier, France.

http://www.bioacademy.grhttp://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/106370_en.html