Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology


Head of the lab: Rebecca Matsas, PhD-Research Director
Τel: 210 6478843,


The Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology is involved in translational research in the fields of nervous system development and regeneration. Our interests lie in: a) understanding the genetic, cellular and molecular basis of neuronal birth, migration and differentiation b) investigating neuron-glial interactions and myelination, particularly in the peripheral nervous system and b) translating our findings into regenerative therapeutic strategies for repair of the injured or diseased nervous system.

The mechanisms which occur during development of the nervous system are recapitulated, to a considerable extent, in regeneration after injury. Thus studying the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of interactions taking place in the developing nervous system has important implications for designing innovative therapeutic strategies.

Recently we have initiated a study on the derivation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult differentiated skin cells. We investigate mechanisms of cell reprogramming and the directed differentiation of iPS cells towards neuronal populations. Our goal is to generate a repertoire of iPS-derived human neurons suitable for studying the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases with potential applications in Regenerative Medicine.

In our studies we use a combination of approaches, including:

1) Bioimagingmethods for observation and recording of living cells and organotypic brain slice cultures (time-lapse microscopy), which allow us to monitor fundamental biological processes such as proliferation, migration and differentiation. We also use confocal laser scanning microscopy for simultaneous localization of up to 3 proteins labelled with different fluorochromes.

We are in the process of up-grading the Institute’s Confocal Microscopy Facility to include multi-photon microscopy for recording deep into cells and tissues, through 1.87 M € funding by the FP7 Program REGPOT – Neurosign 2010-2013 for the Development of a Center of Excellence in Neurosignalling, achieved by the researchers of the Institute S. Tzartos, R. Matsas  and L. Probert.

2) Fluorescence activated cell sorting(FACS) for separating different cell populations.

We have developed and applied in our research:

Α. Recombinantviralvectorssuch as adenoviruses, retroviruses, lentiviruses and baculoviruses for a) exvivo and invivo gene transfer and protein expression in mammalian cells and b) for silencing of specific genes in combination with RNA interference technology (si-RNAs and shRNAs).
Β. Embryonic and adult neural stem cell isolation, cultureandexvivogeneticmodification for studying neural stem cell biology
C. Cell transplantation in experimental models of neurodegeneration (brain and spinal cord injury) and assessment of anatomical and functional recovery after injury
D. Experimental models of transgenic and knock-out micefor the study of brain function and development.
E. Generation of iPS cells from adult human fibroblasts and their directed differentiation to human neurons.

Education and Training

The Laboratory has a track record in training and educational activities. In conjunction with the Department of Biology of the University of Athens and the University of Patras as well as the Medical School of the University of Athens, a large number of graduate students have performed their thesis towards an MSc or PhD degree. The researchers of the lab are actively involved in teaching in undergraduate and post-graduate courses of the University while they receive undergraduate and post-graduate students for rotations and diploma thesis execution.

Rebecca Matsas is an elected Member of the Schools Committee ( of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and Member of the Organizing/Scientific Committees, respectively, of two major scientific events taking place in 2011:

  • 23rd Meeting of International Neurochemistry Society, Athens 28 Aug-1 Sept 2011.
  • 10th European Meeting on Glial Cell Function in Health and Disease, Prague 13-17 September 2011.

Together with Dimitra Thomaidou they have organized and run the:

  • 2001 FEBS/EMBO Advanced Course: From differentiation to death of nerve cells, Spetses.
  • 2003 FENS/IBRO Winter School: NEURAL STEM CELLS from specification and nervous system patterning to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, Kitzbuhel, Austria.

The lab co-organizes and participates in the Institute’s “Open Days”, “Open Schools Days”, “Advanced Light Microscopy Seminars” and the public events organized by the Hellenic Neuroscience Society and the Dana Alliance for Brain Research for the International “Brain Awareness Week”.

Research programs

Research programs

The main lines of investigation in the laboratory are as follows:

1. Genes inducing cell cycle exit and differentiation of neural stem cells

Proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells are opposing, but tightly linked, developmental processes which control the number of neurons produced and, ultimately, the proper wiring and function of the adult nervous system. We have identified ΒΜ88/Cend1 as a molecular determinant that participates in the complex processes leading neural stem/progenitor cells to exit from the cell cycle and differentiate to a neuronal pathway, both during development and in the adult. BM88/Cend1 forms part of the differentiation program activated by proneural genes while it is in itself sufficient to activate proneural genes, presumably via a feedback loop mechanism.

By using gain- and loss-of-function approaches in cell lines, neurosphere cultures and in vivo in the developing chick neural tube and the mammalian brain, we have demonstrated that the dual action of BM88/Cend1 on cell cycle progression/exit and differentiation is mediated by: a) interference with sonic hedgehog signal transduction, resulting in cytoplasmic translocation and proteosomal degradation of cyclin D1, a major regulator of cell cycle progression at the G0/G1 check point b) activation of the p53–p21–pRb signalling pathway that promotes cell cycle exit and c) disruption of Notch signaling, resulting in induction of neuronal differentiation.

We currently investigate the interactome in which BM88/Cend1 participates by applying an integrative systems biology approach involving genomic/metagenomic and proteomic analysis in combination with advanced bioimaging. The output of these studies should have implications for Regenerative Medicine as identification and manipulation of selected molecular targets should render stem cell therapies a safer and more efficient means of treatment for neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma.



2. Genetically modified neural stem cells and myelinating cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and nervous system injury. Cell replacement therapies represent an attractive prospect given the inability of the central nervous system (CNS) to efficiently repair damages resulting from neurodegenerative disease or injury. Towards this goal, we have been interested to develop strategies that enhance the capacity of neural stem/precursor cells to yield multipotential, proliferative, and migrating pools of cells that can efficiently differentiate into neurons.

We have generated genetically engineered neural stem cells that express either growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), or the neuronal differentiation-inducing molecule BM88/Cend1, and have obtained encouraging results after in vivo transplantation in experimental models of CNS injury.

2. 1 Lentivirus-mediated expression of IGF-I in neural stem cells: Transplantation in the diseased CNS. Neural stem cells modified to express IGF-1 differentiate to a higher extent to neurons with significantly longer neurites at the expense of astrocytes, while upon grafting in cultured cortical slices they exhibit enhanced motility and tissue penetration, as revealed by live imaging. Importantly, the IGF-1 modified cells seem to function therapeutically after transplantation in a mouse model of epilepsy (in collaboration with the Department of Basic Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of Athens).


2.2 Overexpression of BM88/Cend1 in neural stem cells: Transplantation in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury. In another paradigm involving overexpression of BM88/Cend1 in neural stem cells followed by transplantation in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury, the beneficial effects on tissue regeneration comprised an important enhancement in the fraction of graft-derived neurons, the majority of which were identified as GABAergic interneurons, and a marked reduction in astroglial scar formation. These data render BM88/Cend1 a candidate for structural repair after brain damage.


2.3 Schwann cell transplantation induces functional recovery in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. Schwann cells, the myelinating glia of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), constitute an alternative attractive source of cells for therapeutic transplantation. Their advantages include their easy isolation and culture from biopsies of accessible peripheral nerves, their prospective use for autologous transplantation and their ability to effectively support the regeneration of lesioned CNS axons. Additionally, Schwann cells do not represent an immunological target in demyelinating diseases. However, their migration and integration within the CNS is limited as a result of adverse intercellular interactions, primarily with astrocytes. To increase their integration in the CNS, we have created genetically modified Schwann cells with altered surface expression of certain cell adhesion molecules, such as the polysialylated form of NCAM (PSA-NCAM) or the cell recognition molecule L1, using ex vivo viral gene transfer. This approach has allowed us to achieve, both anatomically and functionally, improved recovery after Schwann cell grafting in a mouse model of spinal cord injury.

2.4 Bioartificial nerve conduits lined with Schwann cells for peripheral nerve regeneration. The same strategy, as above, has been used successfully in the peripheral nervous system, where bridging of a large nerve gap was achieved through the use of a bioartificial nerve, consisting of a biodegradable conduit internally populated with Schwann cells.The next step in this line of investigations is the use of human Schwann cells for CNS and PNS cell therapy approaches.




3. Generation of a repertoire of stem cell-derived human neurons for Regenerative Medicine applications. Within the frame of developing cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, we have recently introduced the study of mouse and human embryonic stem cells and their directed differentiation to specific neuronal phenotypes. Currently, we focus on the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from adult differentiated cells, such as skin fibroblasts, using lentiviral vectors for delivery of reprogramming genes. Our aim is to generate iPS cells, i.e. cells with properties resembling those of embryonic stem cells, from fibroblasts of healthy human individuals as well as from patients with neurodegenerative diseases and direct them to differentiate to a repertoire of human neurons. Disease-specific, patient-specific iPS-derived neurons represent unique cellular models for studying disease pathogenesis and drug discovery while they may also serve for autologous transplantation. In parallel, we investigate the mechanisms of de-differentiation of adult cells using alternative reprogramming methods free of viral vectors.










Rebecca Matsas, PhD-Research Director – Head of the laboratory
Email:, Tel:210-6478843

Dimitra Thomaidou , PhD, Researcher  Grade B (associate Professor level)
Email:, Tel: 210-6478833

Alexandros A. Lavdas, MSc, PhD, Researcher Grade C (assistant Professor level)
Email:, Tel: 210-6478886

Maria Gaitanou , PhD, Researcher Grade D  (Lecturer level)
Email:, Tel: 210-6478885

Staff Research Scientists

Florentia Papastefanaki, PhD, Tel: 210-6478837

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Georgia Kouroupi, MSc, PhD, Tel: 210-6478837

Paraskevi N Koutsoudaki, MRes, PhD
Email:, Tel: 210-6478837

Nelly Prodromidou, PhD
Email:, Tel: 210-6478837

PhD Students

Katerina Aravantinou, MRes, Tel: 210-6478837


Kostis Tsioras, BSc,Tel: 210-6478886

Visiting Scientists

2005: Monique Dubois Dalcq, Prof. of Neurovirology, Institut Pasteur and Honorary Professor, National Institutes of Health, USA

2010: Nelly Prodromidou, post-doctoral researcher, Pharmacology Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


Former lab members




Position in the lab

Current position

Georgia Makri

PhD student Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Maritina Sergaki

PhD student Post-doctoral researcher, Division of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of  Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm

Lida Katsimpardi

PhD student Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Yasemi Koutmani

PhD student Research scientist, Biomedical Institute of the Academy of Athens

Chrissa Kioussi

PhD student Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Oregon State University

Olga Papadodima

PhD student Staff Research Scientist, Institute of Biology and Biotechnology, National Hellenic Foundation for Research

Efrossini Merkouri

PhD student Lecturer, Medical School, University of Athens

Efrossini Boutou

PhD student Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Biology, University of Athens

Panayotis Politis

Post-doctoral researcher Researcher D (lecturer level), Biomedical Institute of the Academy of Athens

Roser Masgrau-Juanola

Post-doctoral researcher Research Group leader, Institute of Neurosciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Niki Georgopoulou

Post-doctoral researcher

Catherine Ηurel-Gouma

Staff Research Scientist

Stathis Meintanis

PhD student





Lavdas AA, Papastefanaki F, Thomaidou D and Matsas R. Cell adhesion molecules in gene and cell therapy approaches for nervous system repair Curr Gene Ther 2011 Feb 3. [Epub ahead of print]



Kaltezioti V, Kouroupi G, Oikonomaki M, Mantouvalou E, Charonis A, Rohrer H, Matsas R and Politis PK (2010) Prox1 suppresses Notch1 gene expression to regulate neurogenesis in the spinal cord, PLOS Biology, accepted for publication

Elkouris M, Balaskas N, Poulou M, Politis PK, Panayiotou E, Malas S, Thomaidou D, Remboutsika E. (2010) Sox1 Maintains the Undifferentiated State of Cortical Neural Progenitor Cells Via the Suppression of Prox1-Mediated Cell Cycle Exit and Neurogenesis. Stem Cells Oct 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Lavdas AA, Efrose R, Douris V, Gaitanou M, Papastefanaki F, Swevers L, Thomaidou D, Iatrou K and Matsas R (2010) Soluble forms of the cell adhesion molecule L1 produced by insect and baculovirus-transduced mammalian cells enhance Schwann cell motility J Neurochem 115:1137–1149. Sep 16 [Epub ahead of print].

Kouroupi G, Lavdas AA, Gaitanou M, Thomaidou D, Stylianopoulou F and Matsas R (2010) Lentivirus-mediated expression of insulin-like growth factor-I promotes neural stem/precursor cell proliferation and enhances their potential to generate neurons J Neurochem, 115:460-475. Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print].

Lavdas AA, Chen J, Papastefanaki F, Chen S, Schachner M, Matsas R and Thomaidou D (2010) Schwann cells engineered to express the cell adhesion molecule L1 accelerate myelination and motor recovery after spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol 221:206–216.

Sergaki MC, Guillemot F and Matsas R (2010) Impaired cerebellar development and deficits in motor coordination in mice lacking the neuronal protein BM88/Cend1. Mol Cell Neurosci 44(1):15-29

Katsarou Κ, Lavdas ΑΑ, Tsitoura P, Serti E, Markoulatos P, Mavromara P and Urania Georgopoulou U (2010). Endocytosis of hepatitis C virus non-enveloped capsid-like particles induces MAPK-ERK1/2 signalling events. Cell Mol Life Sci.  67(14):2491-506

Makri G, Lavdas AA, Katsimpardi L, Charneau P, Thomaidou D and Matsas R (2010) Transplantation of embryonic neural stem/ precursor cells overexpressing BM88/Cend1 enhances the generation of neuronal cells in the injured mouse cortex. Stem Cells 28(1):127-39

Thomaidou D, Politis PK and Matsas R (2010) Neurogenesis in the Central Nervous System: Cell cycle progression/exit and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. In: Cell Cycle Regulation and Differentiation in Cardivascular and Neural Systems pp. 141-175, A. Giordano, U. Galderisi (eds) Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-1-60327-153-08.



Masgrau R, Hurel C, Papastefanaki F, Georgopoulou N, Thomaidou D and Matsas R (2009) BM88/Cend1 regulates stimuli-induced calcium mobilization. Neuropharmacology  56:598-609

Lavdas, AA and Matsas, R (2009) Towards personalized cell replacement therapies for brain repair Personalized Medicine 6(3): 293-313

Lavdas A and Matsas R (2009). Schwann cell morphology In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (L.R. Squire, Editor). Oxford: Academic Press, pp 475-484.

Smirlis D, Boleti H, Gaitanou M, Soto M, Soteriadou K (2009). Leishmania donovani Ran-GTPase interacts at the nuclear rim with linker histone H1. Biochem J. Dec 10; 424 (3):367-7

Katsarou K, Serti E, Tsitoura P, Lavdas AA, Varaklioti A, Pickl-Herk AM, Blaas D, Oz-Arslan D, Zhu R, Hinterdorfer P, Mavromara P, Georgopoulou U (2009). Green fluorescent protein – Tagged HCV non-enveloped capsid like particles: development of a new tool for tracking HCV core uptake. Biochimie Jul;91(7):903-15



Katsimpardi L, M Gaitanou, CE Malnou, PM Lledo, P. Charneau, R Matsas and D Thomaidou (2008) BM88/Cend1 expression levels are critical for proliferation and differentiation of subventricular zone-derived neural precursor cells. Stem Cells 26:1796-807

Politis PK, Akrivou S, Hurel C, Papadodima O, Matsas R. (2008) BM88/Cend1 is involved in histone deacetylase inhibition-mediated growth arrest and differentiation of neuroblastoma cells. FEBS Lett 582:741-8

Politis PK, Thomaidou D, Matsas R. (2008) Coordination of cell cycle exit and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. Cell Cycle Mar 15;7(6):691-7

Sidera K, Gaitanou M, Stellas D, Matsas R, Patsavoudi E. (2008) A critical role for HSP90 in cancer cell invasion involves interaction with the extracellular domain of HER-2. J Biol Chem 283:2031-41

Lavdas AA, Papastefanaki F, Thomaidou D, Matsas R (2008) Schwann cell transplantation for CNS repair. Curr Med Chem 15:151-60



Politis PK, Makri G, Thomaidou D, Geissen M, Rohrer H, Matsas R. (2007) BM88/CEND1 coordinates cell cycle exit and differentiation of neuronal precursors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2104 (45):17861-6

Papastefanaki F, Chen J, Lavdas AA, Thomaidou D, Schachner M, Matsas R. (2007) Grafts of Schwann cells engineered to express PSA-NCAM promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Brain 130:2159-74

Politis PK, Rohrer H, Matsas R. (2007) Expression pattern of BM88 in the developing nervous system of the chick and mouse embryo. Gene Expr Patterns 7:165-77

Gravvanis AI, Lavdas AA, Papalois A, Tsoutsos DA, Matsas R. (2007) The beneficial effect of genetically engineered Schwann cells with enhanced motility in peripheral nerve regeneration Acta Neurochir Suppl.;100:51-6

Stefanidis C,  Loutradis D, Koumbi L, Anastasiadou V, Dinopoulou V, Kiapekou E, Lavdas AA, Mesogitis S,  Antsaklis A (2007). Deleted in Azoospermia-Like (DAZL) gene expressing cells in human amniotic fluid: a new source for germ cells research. Fertility and Sterility Fertil Steril. Nov 17;



Kenoutis C, Efrose RC, Swevers L, Lavdas AA, Gaitanou M, Matsas R, Iatrou K. (2006) Baculovirus-mediated gene delivery into Mammalian cells does not alter their transcriptional and differentiating potential but is accompanied by early viral gene expression. J Virol 80:4135-46

Georgopoulou N, Hurel C, Politis PK, Gaitanou M, Matsas R, Thomaidou D. (2006) BM88 is a dual function molecule inducing cell cycle exit and neuronal differentiation of neuroblastoma cells via cyclin D1 down-regulation and retinoblastoma protein hypophosphorylation. J Biol Chem 281:33606-20

Lavdas AA, Franceschini I, Dubois-Dalcq M, Matsas R. (2006) Schwann cells genetically engineered to express PSA show enhanced migratory potential without impairment of their myelinating ability in vitro. GLIA 53(8):868-78



Papadodima O, Sergaki M, Hurel C, Mamalaki A, Matsas R. (2005) Characterization of the BM88 promoter and identification of an 88 bp fragment sufficient to drive neurone-specific expression. J Neurochem. 95:146-59

Gravvanis AI, Lavdas A, Papalois AE, Franceschini I, Tsoutsos DA, Dubois-Dalcq M, Matsas R, Ioannovich JD. (2005) Effect of genetically modified Schwann cells with increased motility in end-to-side nerve grafting. Microsurgery 2005;25(5):423-32

Koutmani Y, Hurel C, Patsavoudi E, Hack M, Gotz M, Thomaidou D, Matsas R (2004) BM88 is an early marker of proliferating precursor cells that will differentiate into the neuronal lineage..  Eur J Neurosci. Nov;20(10):2509-23.

Meintanis S, Thomaidou D, Jessen KR, Mirsky R, Matsas R. (2004)  Novel method for studying myelination in vivo reveals that EDTA is a potent inhibitor of myelin protein and mRNA expression during development of the rat sciatic nerve. Glia  Nov 1;48(2):132-44.

Gravvanis A., Karvelas M., Lykoudis E., Lavdas A.A, Papalois A., Petralexis C., Matsas R., Stamatopoulos C., Ioannovich J. (2003). The use of slicone tubes in end-to-side nerve grafting: an experimental study. Eur. J. Plast. Surg. 26:111-115.

Thomaidou D, Coquillat D, Meintanis S, Noda M, Rougon G, Matsas R. (2001) Soluble forms of NCAM and F3 neuronal cell adhesion molecules promote Schwann cell migration: identification of protein tyrosine phosphatases zeta/beta as the putative F3 receptors on Schwann cells. J Neurochem. Aug;78(4):767-78.

Gaitanou M, Buanne P, Pappa C, Georgopoulou N, Mamalaki A, Tirone F, Matsas R. (2001) Cloning, expression and localization of human BM88 shows that it maps to chromosome 11p15.5, a region implicated in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and tumorigenesis.. Biochem J.  May 1;355(Pt 3):715-24.

Katsetos CD, Del Valle L, Geddes JF, Assimakopoulou M, Legido A, Boyd JC, Balin B, Parikh NA, Maraziotis T, de Chadarevian JP, Varakis JN, Matsas R, Spano A, Frankfurter A, Herman MM, Khalili K. (2001) Aberrant localization of the neuronal class III beta-tubulin in astrocytomas. Arch Pathol Lab Med.  May;125(5):613-24.

Meintanis S, Thomaidou D, Jessen KR, Mirsky R, Matsas. (2001) The neuron-glia signal beta-neuregulin promotes Schwann cell motility via the MAPK pathway. R. Glia Apr 1;34(1):39-51.

C.-H. Chan,   L.N.   Godinho, D. Thomaidou,   S.-S. Tan, M. Gulisano  and   J.G.   Parnavelas (2001) “Emx1 is expressed in pyramidal neurons of the cerebral cortex” Cerebral Cortex 11: 1191-1198.

Boutou E, Matsas R, Mamalaki A. (2001) Isolation of a mouse brain cDNA expressed in developing neuroblasts and mature neurons. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. Jan 31;86(1-2):153-67.

Boutou E, Hurel C, Matsas R. (2000) Early expression of the BM88 antigen during neuronal differentiation of P19 embryonal carcinoma cells. Int J Dev Neurosci. Apr-Jun;18(2-3):321-8.



Gomez J., Boutou E., Hurel C., Mamalaki A., Kentroti S., Vernadakis A. and Matsas R. (1998). Overexpression of the neuron-specific molecule BM88 in mouse neuroblastoma cells: altered responssiveness to growth factors. J. Neurosci. Res., 51:119-128.

Matsas R. (1997). Genes controlling neural fate and differentiation Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 429:3-17.

Gaitanou M., Mamalaki A., Merkouri E. and Matsas R. (1997) Purification and cDNA cloning of the mouse BM89 antigen shows that it is identical with the synaptic vesicle protein synaptophysin. J. Neurosci. Res., 48:507-514.

Matsas R. and Meintanis S. (1997). Endopeptidase-24.11/common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen CD10 in Schwann cells: evidence for a role in nerve development and regeneration. In: “Molecular signaling and regulation in glial cells: a key to remyelination and functional repair”, G. Jeserich, H. H. Althaus, C. Richter-Landsberg and R. Heumann, eds., Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, pp. 28-43.

D.Thomaidou, E. Yfanti and E. Patsavoudi (1996). “Expression of the 4C5 antigen in the rat sciatic nerve during development and after regeneration” J. Neurosci. Res. 40: 506-518.

Soteriadou K. P., Tzinia A. K., Panou-Pomonis E., Tsikaris V., Sakarellos-Daitsiotis M., Sakarellos C., Papapoulou Y. and Matsas R. (1996). Antigenicity and conformational analysis of the zinc-binding sites of two zinc-metalloproteases: Leishmania gp63 and mammalian endopeptidase-24.11. Biochem. J. 313:455-466.

D. Thomaidou, I. Dori and E. Patsavoudi (1995). “Developmental expression and functional characterization of the 4C5 antigen in the postanatal rat cerebellar cortex” J. Neurochem. 64: 1937-1944.

Mamalaki A., Boutou E., Hurel C., Patsavoudi E., Tzartos S. and Matsas R. (1995). The BM88 antigen, a novel neuron-specific molecule, promotes the differentiation of mouse neuroblastoma cells. J. Biol. Chem. 270:14201-14208.

Kioussi C., Mamalaki A., Jessen K. R., Mirsky R., Hersh L. B. and Matsas R. (1995). Expression of endopeptidase-24.11/ common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen CD10 in the sciatic nerve of the adult rat after lesion and during regeneration. Eur. J. Neurosci.7:951-961.

Patsavoudi E., Merkouri E., Thomaidou D., Sandillon F., Alonso G. and Matsas R. (1995). Characterization and localization of the BM88 antigen in the developing and adult rat brain. J. Neurosci. Res. 40:506-518

D. Thomaidou and E. Patsavoudi (1993). “Monoclonal antibody 4C5 recognizes a novel neuron specific antigen in the developing nervous system” Neuroscience 53: 813-827.

Kioussi C., Crine P. and Matsas R. (1992). Endopeptidase-24.11 is suppressed in myelin-forming but not in non-myelin-forming Schwann cells during development of the rat sciatic nerve. Neuroscience 50:69-83.

Merkouri E. and Matsas R. (1992). Monoclonal antibody BM89 recognizes a novel cell surface glycoprotein of the L2/HNK-1 family in the developing mammalian nervous system. Neuroscience 50: 53-68.

Kioussi C. and Matsas R. (1991). Endopeptidase-24.11 a cell surface peptidase of CNS neurons, is expressed by Schwann cells in the pig PNS. J. Neurochem. 57:431-440.

Patsavoudi E., Hurel C. and Matsas R. (1991). Purification and characterization of neuron specific surface antigen defined by monoclonal antibody BM88. J .Neurochem. 56:782-788.



Current funding

Fondation BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Greece, 2011-2013: Use of human stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord.

Fulbright Foundation Award and Bodossaki Foundation Grant, 2010: mutual exchanges and transfer of knowledge from Harvard Stem Cell Institute to the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute for the generation of disease-specific, patient-derived iPS cells for Regenerative Medicine applications.

REGPOT – Neurosign 2010-2013, 1870000 Euro: Development of a Center of Excellence in Neurosignalling (NEUROSIGN) 2010-2013: Funding 1.870.000 €. Tzartos, Matsas and Probert.


Previous funding

Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology 2005-08: Development of infrastructure in cutting-edge technologies for innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, 1.646.750 €, together with the researchers of the Institute Mamalaki, Probert and Soteriadou

Wings for Life Foundation for Spinal Cord Research 2006-2007 Therapeutic potential of Schwann cells genetically engineered to express PSA after transplantation in the lesioned mouse spinal cord, 140.000 €.

EPAN program, Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology 2004-2007. Neural Stem Cell Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Definition of a “molecular signature” of neuronal fate. YB/26, 300.000 €.

EPAN program, Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology  2004-2007. Baculovirus Artificial Chromosomes and Technologies for Gene Therapy and Continuous High Level Expression of Therapeutic Proteins in Insect Production Systems. YB11: 196 000 €.

Bilateral Cooperation Program between Greece and the UK, the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology and the British Council, 2005-2006, Elucidation of the function of the neurogenic gene BM88 in a mouse knock-out model.

Institut Pasteur Paris Grand Horizontal Program on Stem Cells 2004-2008 Control of Stem Cell Neurogenesis in the Adult Brain.

Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology: Human Networks of Scientific and Technological Training Program, 2004-2005. Applications of light microscopy in Biomedical Research and Diagnosis, together with Dr. Boleti.

Bilateral Cooperation Program between Greece and Germany IKYDA 2003-2004. The cell adhesion molecule L1 in neural development and regeneration

EU Training and Mobility Programme – Neurosciences, 2003-2005. Role of calcium mobilization in neuronal differentiation: novel aspects of single cell and organellar calcium signals. QLG2-CT-2002-51680: 113 000 €

EU Quality of Life Programme – Neurosciences, 2000-2003. Genes controlling neuronal specification and differentiation. QLG3-CT-00072, 258 500 €

EU Quality of Life Programme – Neurosciences, 2000-2003 Engineering neural precursors for myelin repair. Contract no; QLG3-CT-00911, 240 000 €

PENED program, Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology  ’99, 2000-2001. Factors influencing the survival and death of neuronal cells during brain development: effect of the deprivation of functional connections and the role of cell type-specific proteins.

Career Award Programme, 1998-2001. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms during neural development: the role of novel neuron-specific molecules in cell cycle progression, differentiation and migration.

Operational Programme for Research and Technology (EPET II), 1998-2001. New Generation Sensors: Applications in airport security and biomedicine.

E.U. Biotechnology and BIOMED Programmes, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Multiple Sclerosis Society, Welcome Trust and the private sector, 1998. Organization of 3rd European Meeting on Glial Cell Function in Health and Disease, Athens 6-10 May, 1998.

R&D Franco-hellenique bilateral collaboration PLATON, 1998-1999. Genetically Engineered Cell Adhesion Molecules: Evaluation of their Potential in Nerve Regeneration.

Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology Programme PENED, 1996-98. Structural and functional studies of BM88 antigen, a novel neuron-specific molecule that affects nervous system development

NATO Collaborative Research Grant 1995-1996. Neuron-Glial Interactions in Ageing and Neurodegenerative Disease.

E.U. Biomedicine and Health Programme 1994-1996. Basic Approaches for Restoring Neuronal Function. Contract No: BMH-CT941378.

E.U. Human Capital and Mobility Programme 1993-1994. Bioactive Peptides. Contract No: CRH-CT930286.

E.U. Biotechnology Programme 1993-1995. Cell Adhesion Molecules in Neural Development and Regeneration. Contract No: BIO2-CT930326.