Τhe Kollias lab has pioneered genetic approaches to study the function of TNF in animal models of human diseases and has a long standing expertise in transgenic, gene mutational and knockout technologies, molecular and cell biology and immunology. The lab is highly cited for a series of discoveries on molecular and cellular mechanisms driving chronic inflammation and autoimmunity and for contributing to the introduction of the highly successful anti-TNF therapies for rheumatoid arthritis in the clinic.
Modelling mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases
Chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and others, afflict millions of people worldwide leading to substantial personal, social and economical burden. While great effort has focused on elucidating the immunological basis of these diseases, their specific pathogenic mechanisms remain elusive and current treatments aim mostly at alleviating the symptoms rather than curing the disease.
The main objective of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying immunological disease initiation, progression and chronicity and to provide innovative solutions towards their diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.
More specifically, our aims are:
- To achieve a systems level understanding of molecular and cellular pathways of inflammatory diseases
- To identify and validate novel targets and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation and cancer
- To align existing animal models to human disease and to develop novel, more predictive animal models
- To establish novel translational platforms for the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers
Towards that end, we use a unique collection of transgenic mouse models, conditional gene targeting, and state of the art genomic technologies, together with bioinformatic and chemoinformatic computational analyses. We combine large scale approaches with in depth dissection of candidate gene function in vivo and in vitro, from human vs animal models, to discover causalities in the epigenetic, biochemical, molecular and cellular changes that occur in specific cell types of interest during disease initiation and progression.
Through the identification and validation of unexplored pathways, targets and biomarkers we aim to introduce novel concepts towards disease prognosis, prevention and therapy.