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Dr Ioannis Nezis





Life Sciences
University of Warwick
Tel: +44(0)24761 50400
WebLink: Autophagy in health and disease

Research Interests

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

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

Lab web page:

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. Although it was initially believed that autophagy occurs randomly inside the cell, during the last years there is growing evidence that 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, live cell imaging, conventional electron microscopy, immuno-gold electron microscopy, biochemical methods and bioinformatics.

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 (


2018 - : Reader in Eukaryotic Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK

2012-2017: Associate Professor in Eukaryotic Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK

2009: Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Department of Biological Applications & Technology, University of Ioannina, Greece

2007-2012: 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

Research Projects

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  • Sudhakar, Padhmanand, Claire-Jacomin, Anne, Hautefort, Isabelle, Samavedam, Siva, Fatemian, Koorosh, Ari, Eszter, Gul, Leila, Demeter, Amanda, Jones, Emily, Korcsmaros, Tamas, Nezis, Ioannis P., 2018. Targeted interplay between bacterial pathogens and host autophagy. Autophagy, View
  • Jacomin, Anne-Claire, Samavedam, Siva, Charles, Hannah, Nezis, Ioannis P., 2017. iLIR@viral : a web resource for LIR motif-containing proteins in viruses. Autophagy, 13 (10), pp. 1782-1789, View
  • Tusco, Radu, Jacomin, Anne-Claire, Jain, Ashish, Penman, Bridget S., Bowitz Larsen, Kenneth, Johansen, Terje, Nezis, Ioannis P., 2017. Kenny mediates selective autophagic degradation of the IKK complex to control innate immune responses. Nature Communications, 8, View
  • Jacomin, Anne-Claire, Samavedam, Siva, Promponas, Vasilis, Nezis, Ioannis, 2016. iLIR database : a web resource for LIR motif-containing proteins in eukaryotes. Autophagy, 12 (10), pp. 1945-1953, View
  • Kalvari, Ioanna, Tsompanis, Stelios, Mulakkal, Nitha Charles, Osgood, Richard, Johansen, Terje, Nezis, I. P., Promponas, Vasilis J., 2014. iLIR : a web resource for prediction of Atg8-family interacting proteins. Autophagy, Volume 10 (Number 5), View
  • Shimokawa, Noriaki, Haglund, Kaisa, Hölter, Sabine M, Grabbe, Caroline, Kirkin, Vladimir, Koibuchi, Noriyuki, Schultz, Christian, Rozman, Jan, Hoeller, Daniela, Qiu, Chun-Hong, Londoà±o, Marina B, Ikezawa, Jun, Jedlicka, Peter, Stein, Birgit, Schwarzacher, Stephan W, Wolfer, David P, Ehrhardt, Nicole, Heuchel, Rainer, Nezis, I. P., Brech, Andreas, Schmidt, Mirko H H, Fuchs, Helmut, Gailus-Durner, Valerie, Klingenspor, Martin, Bogler, Oliver, Wurst, Wolfgang, Deller, Thomas, de Angelis, Martin Hrabé, Dikic, Ivan, 2010. CIN85 regulates dopamine receptor endocytosis and governs behaviour in mice. The EMBO Journal, Vol. 29 (No. 14), pp. 2421-2432, View
  • Haglund, Kaisa, Nezis, I. P., Lemus, Dafne, Grabbe, Caroline, Wesche, Jà¸rgen, Liestà¸l, Knut, Dikic, Ivan, Palmer, Ruth, Stenmark, H. (Harald), 2010. Cindr Interacts with Anillin to Control Cytokinesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Current Biology, Vol. 20 (No. 10), pp. 944-950, View
  • Nezis, I. P., Sagona, Antonia P., Schink, Kay Oliver, Stenmark, H. (Harald), 2010. Divide and ProsPer: The emerging role of PtdIns3P in cytokinesis. Trends in Cell Biology, Vol. 20 (No. 11), pp. 642-649, View
  • Sagona, Antonia, P., Nezis, I. P., Pedersen, Nina Marie, Liestà¸l, Knut, Poulton, John, Rusten, Tor Erik, Skotheim, Rolf I., Raiborg, Camilla, Stenmark, H. (Harald), 2010. PtdIns(3)P controls cytokinesis through KIF13A-mediated recruitment of FYVE-CENT to the midbody. Nature Cell Biology, Vol. 12 (No. 4), pp. 362-371, View
  • Nezis, I. P., Shravage, Bhupendra V., Sagona, Antonia, P., Lamark, Trond, Bjorkoy, G., Johansen, Terje, Rusten, Tor Erik, Brech, Andreas, Baehrecke, Eric H., Stenmark, H. (Harald), 2010. Autophagic degradation of dBruce controls DNA fragmentation in nurse cells during late Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis. The Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 190 (No. 4), pp. 523-531, View
  • Nezis, I. P., Lamark, Trond, Velentzas, Athanassios D., Rusten, Tor Erik, Bjà¸rkà¸y, Geir, Johansen, Terje, Papassideri, Issidora S., Stravopodis, Dimitrios J., Margaritis, Lukas H., Stenmark, H. (Harald), Brech, Andreas, 2009. Cell death duringDrosophila melanogasterearly oogenesis is mediated through autophagy. Autophagy, Vol. 5 (No. 3), pp. 298-303, View
  • Nezis, I. P., Simonsen, Anne, Sagona, Antonia, P., Finley, Kim D., Gaumer, S., Contamine, D., Rusten, Tor Erik, Stenmark, H. (Harald), Brech, Andreas, 2008. Ref(2)P, the Drosophila melanogaster homologue of mammalian p62, is required for the formation of protein aggregates in adult brain. The Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 180 (No. 6), pp. 1065-1071, View
  • Rusten, Tor Erik, Vaccari, Thomas, Lindmo, Karine, Rodahl, Lina M.W., Nezis, I. P., Sem-Jacobsen, Catherine, Wendler, Franz, Vincent, Jean-Paul, Brech, Andreas, Bilder, David, Stenmark, H. (Harald), 2007. ESCRTs and Fab1 regulate distinct steps of autophagy. Current Biology, Volume 17 (Number 20), pp. 1817-1825, View

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Post Graduate Supervision

  • Molecular mechanisms of selective autophagy in innate immunity Date of Completion:2017
  • Molecular mechanisms of selective autophagy in Drosophila melanogaster Date of Completion:2016

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