Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor Ioannis Nezis

Professor

Email: I.Nezis@warwick.ac.uk 

Phone: 024 765 50400

Office: B174

Twitter: @NezisLab

Nezis webpage


Research Clusters

Cells & Development

Microbiology & Infectious Disease

Neuroscience


Warwick Centres and GRPs

Warwick Antimicrobial Interdisciplinary Centre (WAMIC)

Tissue Image Analytics (TIA) Centre


Vacancies and Opportunities

Post Docs and PhD students.

Motivated Post Docs and PhD students that want to join the lab are very welcome throughout the year. Please contact Dr Nezis for details.

PhD studentships available through MIBTP-DTC 


Research Interests

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the degradation of cytoplasmic material through the lysosomal pathway. It is a cellular response in nutrient starvation but it is also responsible for the removal of aggregated proteins, damaged organelles and developmental remodeling. Dysfunction in autophagy has been implicated in an increasing number of diseases from bacterial and viral infections to cancer and more recently in neurodegeneration and other ageing-related diseases. Sequestration and degradation of cytoplasmic material by autophagy can be selective through receptor and adaptor proteins. We are using mammalian cells in vitro and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as a genetically modifiable model organism to investigate the mechanisms of autophagy and selective autophagy in the context of the physiology of the cell, the system and the living organism. We are particularly interested to study selective autophagy in the context of ageing, neurodegeneration, obesity, infections and tumorigenesis.

Research: Technical Summary

In my group we are interested in the role of autophagy in health and disease. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the degradation of cytoplasmic material through the lysosomal pathway. Autophagy is a cellular response in nutrient starvation but it is also responsible for the removal of aggregated proteins, damaged organelles and developmental remodeling. Recent studies have shown that dysfunction in autophagy has been implicated in an increasing number of diseases from bacterial and viral infections to cancer and more recently in neurodegeneration and other ageing-related diseases.

Interestingly, it has been shown that induction of autophagy can increase longevity in multiple animal species. Sequestration and degradation of cytoplasmic material by autophagy can be selective through receptor and adaptor proteins. It is therefore important to identify the proteins required for recognition and targeting of the various autophagic cargo for degradation and to elucidate the role of selective autophagy in normal and pathological conditions, especially at the organismal level. We are using mammalian cells in vitro and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as a genetically modifiable model organism to investigate the mechanisms of autophagy in the context of the physiology of the cell, the system and the living organism. We have developed several molecular markers for monitoring autophagy in vivo.

The major aims of our research are:

  • To identify novel selective autophagy receptors and adaptors
  • To understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autophagy during ageing
  • To elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autophagy in diseases such as neurodegeneration, obesity, bacterial and viral infections and tumorigenesis

The long term goal of our research is to develop therapeutic strategies for these diseases.

We are studying the function of autophagy genes using a combination of RNAi mediated knock down, targeted gene expression, conditional knock out and we use a wide range of approaches, including confocal microscopy, conventional electron microscopy, immuno-gold electron microscopy, biochemical methods and bioinformatics.

In the media
Pomegranates, turmeric and red grapes: the key to long life?

Article in The Guardian covering Professor Nezis' research in autophagy and links to disease and ageing.

What is intermittent fasting and how does it work?

Article in The Times covering Professor Nezis' research in autophagy with links to fasting and wellbeing.

Drosophila degenerating egg chamber expressing GFP-mCherry-DrAtg8a
Drosophila degenerating egg chamber expressing GFP-mCherry-DrAtg8a

Publications

For a full list of publications, see WRAP

Biography

  • 2020 - : Professor of Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK
  • 2018 - 2020: Reader in Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK
  • 2012 - 2017: Associate Professor of Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK
  • 2009-2012: Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Department of Biological Applications & Technology, University of Ioannina, Greece
  • 2007-2009: Post-doctoral research fellow in Department of Biochemistry, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  • 2005-2007: Post-doctoral research fellow in Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Greece
  • 2004-2005: Post-doctoral research fellow in Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, Greece
  • 2002-2004: National military service, Greece
  • 1998-2002: PhD Thesis, Cell Biology, Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Greece
  • 1993-1997: BSc, Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Greece