Department of Life Sciences

The Department of Life Sciences is a dynamic new department within the School of Sciences, established in 2014, with significant achievements and contributions in the academic, societal and research arena in Cyprus and abroad. Research activities and related initiatives are gradually starting to build up, while the department maintains a strong commitment to advance and further enrich its research portfolio. Faculty involved in research come from a wide spectrum of the Health and Life Science areas, and thus the research portfolio of the department is multidisciplinary and multidimensional. Researchers have developed strong local and international networks and have made significant peer reviewed publications. Specific areas of research activities within the department include:


Life Sciences-Biology

  • Microbiological food safety, hand hygiene, laboratory accreditation
  • Novel technologies for Fresh produce Disinfection
  • Identification and functional characterization of novel genes involved in cancer metastasis.
  • Investigating the roles of TGFβ signaling in cancer progression and regulation of drug delivery in solid tumors
  • Development of whole-body imaging mouse models for tumor growth and metastasis
  • Bone metabolism, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
  • Gene networks and applications of systems biology in cancer.
  • Discovery of therapeutic targets in cancer using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) approaches
  • Immune checkpoint modulation in colorectal cancer
  • microRNAs in epithelial-to- mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer


Nutrition - Dietetics

  • Relationship between Nutrition, Exercise and Obesity
  • Rates of Obesity and eating habits of Cypriot Adults
  • Risk factors, diagnostic tests, outcome measures and exercise treatment for patients with Type II diabetes
  • Evaluation of the nutritional status and habits of  young Cypriot university students
  • Assessment of the anthropometric indices and nutritional habits of the first entry military men


Sports Science

  • Development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of cardiac artery disease (CAD) through exercise.
  • Examine the effect of free radicals production and antioxidant supplementation on human performance and health.
  • The use of eccentric exercise as a tool to induce health-promoting effects.
  • Investigation of the mechanism underlying exercise-induced muscle damage
  • Heat stress estimation in Cyprus Football League



  • Development and validation of novel Analytical methods for Pharmaceutical Products
  • Stability studies of pharmaceutical substances and products
  • Application of cyclodextrins for the optimization of physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical substances
  • Regulatory framework of Medicinal products and the impact on Public Health
  • Studies on the use and misuse of drugs
  • In vivo pharmacology of antidepressant agents (behavioural and molecular aspects)
  • Molecular plasticity mechanisms underlying mood stabilizer drug effects
  • Impact of inositol monophosphatase blockade on lithium action in bipolar disorder (in vivo and in vitro studies)
  • Role of autophagy in parkinson's disease development and treatment



Research Laboratories

Selected Recent Peer Reviewed Faculty Publications (2013- Onwards)

1. Margaritelis NV, Theodorou AA, Paschalis V, Veskoukis AS, Dipla K, Zafeiridis A, Panayiotou G, Vrabas IS, Kyparos A, Nikolaidis MG. Experimental verification of regression to the mean in redox biology: differential responses to exercise. Free Radic Res. 2016;50(11):1237-1244.

2. Paschalis V, Theodorou AA, Kyparos A, Dipla K, Zafeiridis A, Panayiotou G, Vrabas IS, Nikolaidis MG. Low vitamin C values are linked with decreased physical performance and increased oxidative stress: reversal by vitamin C supplementation. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Feb;55(1):45-53.

3. Theodorou AA, Paschalis V, Kyparos A, Panayiotou G, Nikolaidis MG. Passive smoking reduces and vitamin C increases exercise-induced oxidative stress: does this make passive smoking an anti-oxidant and vitamin C a pro-oxidant stimulus? Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 7;454(1):131-6.

4. Margaritelis NV, Cobley JN, Paschalis V, Veskoukis AS, Theodorou AA, Kyparos A, Nikolaidis MG.Going retro: Oxidative stress biomarkers in modern redox biology. Free Radic Biol Med. 2016

5. Margaritelis NV, Cobley JN, Paschalis V, Veskoukis AS, Theodorou AA, Kyparos A, Nikolaidis MG. Principles for integrating reactive species into in vivo biological processes: Examples from exercise physiology. Cell Signal. 2016 Apr;28(4):256- 71. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.12.011. Review.

6. Margaritelis NV, Theodorou AA, Baltzopoulos V, Maganaris CN, Paschalis V, Kyparos A, Nikolaidis MG. Muscle damage and inflammation after eccentric exercise: can the repeated bout effect be removed? Physiol Rep. 2015 Dec;3(12).

7. Theodorou AA, Gerodimos V, Karatrantou K, Paschalis V, Chanou K, Jamurtas AZ, Nikolaidis MG.Acute and Chronic Whole-Body Vibration Exercise does not Induce Health-Promoting Effects on The Blood Profile. J Hum Kinet. 2015.

8. Romano R, Zaravinos A, Liadaki K, Caridha R, Lundin J, Carlsson G, et al. NEIL1 is a candidate gene associated with common variable immunodeficiency in a patient with a chromosome 15q24 deletion. Clin Immunol. 2017. pii: S1521- 6616(16)30664-7.

9. Wang Z, Monteiro CD, Jagodnik KM, Fernandez NF, Gundersen GW, Rouillard AD, et al. Extraction and Analysis of Mammalian Gene Expression Signaturesfrom GEO by the Crowd. Nat Commun. 2016;7:12846.

10. Mammas IN, Theodoridou M, Kramvis A, Thiagarajan P, Gardner S, Papaioannou G, et al. Paediatric Virology: A rapidly increasing educational challenge."Paediatric Virology: A rapidly increasing educational challenge". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2017; 13, 364-377.

11. Lambrou GI, Braoudaki M, Zaravinos A. Computational analysis of transcription factor binding motifs in co-expressed genes in urinary bladder cancer. Biomed Genet Genomics. 2016; 1(1):14-23.

12. Björkman A, Qvist P, Du L, Bartish M, Zaravinos A, Georgiou K, et al. Aberrant recombination and repair during immunoglobulin class switching in BRCA1- deficient human B cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(7):2157-62.

13. Lambrou GI and Zaravinos A. Fractal dimensions of in vitro tumor cell proliferation. J Oncol. 2015;2015:698760.

14. Zaravinos Α. The regulatory role of microRNAs in EMT and cancer. J Oncol. 2015;2015:865816.

15. de Miranda NFCC, Georgiou K, Chen L, Wu C, Gao Z, Zaravinos A, et al. Exome sequencing reveals novel mutation targets in diffuse large B cell lymphomas derived from Chinese patients. Blood. 2014; 124(16):2544-53.

16. Zaravinos A, Lambrou GI, Mourmouras N, Katafygiotis P, Papagregoriou G, Giannikou K, et al. New miRNA profiles accurately distinguish renal cell carcinomas and upper tract urothelial carcinomas from the normal kidney. PLoS One. 2014;9(3): e91646.

17. Zaravinos A, Pieri M, Mourmouras N, Anastasiadou N, Zouvani I, Delakas D, et al. Altered metabolic pathways in clear cell renal cell carcinoma: A meta-analysis and validation study focused on the deregulated genes and their associated networks. Oncoscience. 2014; 1(2):117-31. eCollection 2014 (*Selected as the cover for the second issue of Oncoscience).

18. Pieri M, Stefanou C, Zaravinos A, Erguler K, Stylianou K, Lapathitis G, et al. Evidence for activation of the unfolded protein response in collagen IV nephropathies. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014; 25(2):260-75.

19. Zaravinos A and Deltas C. ccRCC is fundamentally a metabolic disorder. Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(16): 2481-2482.

20. Nagara M, Voskarides K, Elouej S, Zaravinos A, Riahi Z, Papagregoriou G, et al. A novel splice-site mutation in ATP6V0A4 gene in two brothers with distal renal tubular acidosis from a consanguineous Tunisian family. J Genet. 2014; 93(3):859-63.

21. Ayiomamitis GD, Notas G, Zaravinos A, Drygiannakis I, Georgiadou M, Sfakianaki O, et al. Effects of octreotide and insulin on colon cancer cellular proliferation and correlation with hTERT activity. Oncoscience. 2014; 1(6):457- 467. eCollection 2014.

22. Zaravinos A. An updated overview of HPV-associated head and neck carcinomas. Oncotarget. 2014; 5(12):3956-3969.

23. Koutsaki M, Spandidos DA, Zaravinos A. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition- associated miRNAs in ovarian carcinoma, with highlight on the miR-200 family: Prognostic value and prospective role in ovarian cancer therapeutics. Cancer Lett. 2014; 351(2):173-81.

24. Ayiomamitis GD, Notas G, Zaravinos A, Zizi-Sermpetzoglou A, Georgiadou M, Sfakianaki O, et al. Differences in telomerase activity between colon and rectal cancer. Can J Surg. 2014; 57(3):199-208.

25. Ragin C, Obikoya-Malomo M, Kim S, Chen Z, Flores-Obando R, Gibbs D, et al. HPV-associated lung cancers: an international pooled analysis. Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(6):1267-75.

26. Zaravinos A, Kanellou P, Lambrou GI, Spandidos DA. Gene set enrichment analysis of the NF-κB/Snail/YY1/RKIP circuitry in multiple myeloma. Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(5):4987-5005.

27. Voudris K, Apostolakis S, Karyofillis P, Doukas K, Zaravinos A, Androutsopoulos VP, et al. Genetic diversity of the KCNE1 gene and susceptibility to postoperative atrial fibrillation. Am Heart J. 2014; 167(2):274-280.e1.

28. Ayiomamitis GD, Zaravinos A, Stathakis PC, Kouroumpas E, Georgiades P, Polymeneas G. Tacks-free transabdominal prepeitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernioplasty, using an anatomic 3-dimensional lightweight mesh with peritoneal suturing: pain and recurrence outcomes-initial experience. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2013; 23(4): e150-5.

29. Lambrou GI, Adamaki M, Delakas D, Spandidos DA, Vlahopoulos S, Zaravinos A. Gene expression is highly correlated on the chromosome level in urinary bladder cancer. Cell Cycle. 2013; 12(10):1544-59.

30. Chartoumpekis D, Ziros PG, Zaravinos A, Iskrenova RP, Psyrogianis AI, Kyriazopoulou VE, et al. Hepatic gene expression profiling in Nrf2 knock-out mice after long-term high-fat diet-induced obesity. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013; 2013:340731.

31. Vageli DP, Zaravinos A, Daniil Z, Dahabreh J, Doukas SG, Spandidos DA, et al. hMSH2 and hMLH1 gene expression patterns differ between lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma: correlation with patient survival and response to adjuvant chemotherapy treatment. Int J Biol Markers. 2013; 27(4):e400-4.

32. Voutouri C, Polydorou C, Papageorgis P., Gkretsi V, Stylianopoulos T. Hyaluronan-Derived Swelling of Solid Tumors, the Contribution of Collagen and Cancer Cells, and Implications for Cancer Therapy. Neoplasia 2016;18(12):732-41.

33. Ozturk S, Papageorgis P., Wong CK, Lambert AW, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam A, et al. SDPR functions as a metastasis suppressor in breast cancer by promoting apoptosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2016;113(3):638-43.

34. Wijeratne P. A., Vavourakis V., Hipwell J. H., Voutouri C., Papageorgis P., Stylianopoulos T., Evans A., Hawkes D. J., Multiscale modelling of solid tumour growth: the effect of collagen micromechanics, Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 2015

35. Remodelling components of the tumor microenvironment to enhance cancer therapy. Gkretsi V., Stylianou A., Papageorgis P., Polydorou C. and Stylianopoulos T. Frontiers in Oncology 2015; 5: 214.

36. Tumor Cell-Derived Periostin Regulates Cytokines That Maintain Breast Cancer Stem Cells. Lambert A.W., Wong C.K., Ozturk S., Papageorgis P., Raghunathan R., Alekseyev Y., Gower A.C., Reinhard B.M., Abdolmaleky H.M. and Thiagalingam S. Mol. Cancer Res. 2015

37. Papageorgis P.*, Ozturk S., Lambert A.W., Tzatsos A., Neophytou C.M., Wong C.K., Thiagalingam S. and Constantinou AI. Targeting IL13RA2 activates STAT6- p63 pathway to suppress breast cancer lung metastasis. Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17: 98 *corresponding author

38. Pirentis A.P., Polydorou C., Papageorgis P., Voutouri C., Mpekris F. and Stylianopoulos T. Remodelling of extracellular matrix due to solid stress accumulation during tumour growth. Connective Tissue Res. 2015; July 21:1-10

39. Papageorgis P. and Stylianopoulos T. TGFβ in the tumor microenvironment and regulation of drug delivery. Int. J. of Oncol. 2015; 46: 933-43 40. Papageorgis P.* TGFβ signalling in tumor initiation, epithelial-to- mesenchymal transition and metastasis. J. Oncol. 2015; ID:587193. *corresponding author

41. Voutouri C., Mpekris F., Papageorgis P., Odysseos A.D. and Stylianopoulos T. Effect of constitutive behaviour and interaction with the host tissue on the state of stress and growth of solid tumors. PLoS One, 2014; 9: e104717.

42. Neophytou C., Constantinou C., Papageorgis P. and Constantinou A.I. D-alpha- tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS) induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis selectively in survivin-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Biochem. Pharmacol. 2014; 89:31-42.

43. Pitta C., Papageorgis P., Charalambous C. and Constantinou A.I. Reversal of ER-β Silencing by Chromatin Modifying Agents Overrides acquired tamoxifen resistance. Cancer Letters 2013; 337:167-76.

44. G. Pyrgiotakis, J. McDevitt, Y. Gao, A. Branco, M. Eleftheriadou, B. Lemos, E. Nardell and P. Demokritou. “An emerging, chemical free nanotechnology based approach for the inactivation of Mycobacteria using Engineered Water Nanostructures (EWNS)”. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 10, 1175-1183 (2014).

45. Andreou E, Papandreou D, Hajigeorgiou PG, RAchaniotis N, Philippou CH, Kyriakou K, Avraam Th, Chappa G, Kallis P, Lazarou Ch, Christoforou C, Kokkinofta R, Dioghenous C, Zampelas A, Loizou L, Aletrari E.“Non-hdl and Triglycerides Are Independently Associated with Anthropometrical Indices in a Cypriot Population of Healthy Adults”, Experimental & Clinical Cardiology; Volume 20, Issue 6, 2014

46. Nikolaidis MG, Margaritelis NV, Paschalis V, Theodorou AA, Kyparos A, Vrabas IS. Common questions and tentative answers on how to assess oxidative stress after antioxidant supplementation and exercise. In: Antioxidants and Sports Nutrition. Ed Lamprecht M. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, pp. 215-240, 2014.

47. Margaritelis NV, Kyparos A, Paschalis V, Theodorou AA, Panayiotou G, Zafeiridis A, Dipla K, Nikolaidis MG, Vrabas IS. Reductive stress after exercise: The issue of redox individuality. Redox Biol. 2014; 2:520-8.

48. Jamurtas AZ, Garyfallopoulou A, Theodorou AA, Zalavras A, Paschalis V, Deli CK, Nikolaidis MG, Fatouros IG, Koutedakis Y. A single bout of downhill transiently increases HOMA-IR without altering adipokine response in healthy adult women. Eur J Appl Physiol, 113:2925-2932, 2013. [IF: 2.7; R: 12/84 in Sports Sciences.

49. Nikolaidis MG, Kyparos A, Spanou C, Paschalis V, Theodorou AA, Panayiotou G, Grivas GV, Zafeiridis A, Dipla K, Vrabas IS. Aging is not a barrier to muscle and redox adaptations: applying the repeated eccentric exercise model. Exp Gerontol, 48(8):734-743, 2013.

50. Theodorou AA, Panayiotou G, Paschalis V, Nikolaidis MG, Kyparos A, Grivas GV, Vrabas IS. Stair descending exercise increases muscle strength in elderly males with chronic heart failure: preliminary data on SmartEscalator device. BMC Research Notes, 6:87, 2013.

51. Paschalis V, Theodorou AA, Panayiotou G, Nikolaidis MG, Kyparos A, Grivas GV, Vrabas IS. Stair descending exercise using a novel automatic escalator: effects on muscle performance and health-related parameters. PLoS One, 8(2):e56218, 2013.

52. Georgiadou, E., Panayiotou G., Orinos, N., Konstabel, K., Thrasivoulou S., Toma, M., Michael, F., Pagdati I., Poiriazi, I., Stavrou, E., & Pitsilladis G. Physical Activity Evaluation of women in Cyprus. Journal of Physical Education and Sports. (Accepted for publication)

53. Sophocleous A., Robertson R., Ferreira N.B., McKenzie J., Fraser W.D., Ralston S.H. Heavy cannabis use is associated with low bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures (2016) Am J Med. Vol. 130 (2), 214–221.

54. Sophocleous A., Marino S., Logan J.G., Mollat P., Ralston S.H., Idris A.I. Bone cell-autonomous contribution of type 2 cannabinoid receptor to breast cancer induced osteolysis. (2015) J Biol Chem. 290 (36), 22049-22060.

55. Sophocleous A., Börjesson A.E., Salter D.M., Ralston S.H. The type 2 cannabinoid receptor regulates susceptibility to osteoarthritis in mice. (2015) Osteoarthr Cartilage. 23 (9), 1586-1594.

56. Vallet M., Soares D.C., Wani S., Sophocleous A., Warner J., Salter D.M., Ralston S.H, Albagha O.M.E. Targeted sequencing of the Paget’s disease associated 14q32 locus identifies several missense coding variants in RIN3 that predispose to Paget's disease of bone. (2015) Hum Mol Genet. 24 (11), 3286-3295.

57. Sophocleous A., Idris A.I. Rodent models of osteoporosis. (2014) Bonekey Rep.3:614. doi:10.1038/bonekey.2014.109.

58. Campbell G.M., Sophocleous A. Quantitative analysis of bone structure by micro-computed tomography. (2014) Bonekey Rep. 3:564. doi: 10.1038/bonekey.2014.59.

59. Sophocleous A., Sims A.H., Idris A.I., Ralston S.H. Modulation of strain-specificdifferences in gene expression by cannabinoid type 2 receptor deficiency. (2014)Calcified Tissue Int. 94 (4), 423-432.

60. Sophocleous A., Idris A.I., Ralston S.H. Genetic background modifies the effectsof type 2 cannabinoid receptor deficiency on bone mass and bone turnover. (2014)Calcified Tissue Int. 94 (3), 259-268.

61. Logan J.G., Sophocleous A., Marino S., Muir M., Brunton V.G., Idris A.I. Selectivetyrosine kinase inhibition of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor inhibits human andmouse breast cancer induced bone cell activity, bone remodelling and osteolysis.(2013) J Bone Miner Res. 28 (5), 1229-1242.

62. Nisha Singh, Amy C. Halliday, Justyn M. Thomas, Olga Kuznetsova, Rhiannon Baldwin, Esther C. Y. Woon, Parvinder K. Aley, Ivi Antoniadou, Trevor Sharp, Sridhar R. Vasudevan,* and Grant C. Churchill* A safe lithium mimetic for bipolar disorder (2013) Nat Commun. 4:1332 doi: 10.1038/ncomms2320