Iordanis Karagiannidis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Karagiannides received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Plymouth State University and his Master’s degree in Genetics at University of New Hampshire. He went on to study in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. During his graduate work, he researched the intrinsic changes in fat cell differentiation with aging and accomplished demonstrating changes in the expression of numerous factors involved in adipocyte differentiation with increasing age in the field of fat tissue physiology.
The main target of his research is to study the extent of abdominal fat tissue involvement in the generation of inflammation during inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this research, he found that fat cells respond to proinflammatory stimuli (such as the neuropeptide substance P), shown to be present during IBD, and in turn are able to produce inflammatory cytokines themselves. Such cytokines have also been shown to be involved in IBD pathophysiology. He hopes to ultimately achieve additional results through his research and demonstrate whether fat cells actively participate in the events taking place in the colonic lumen during IBD. As a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, Dr. Karagiannides received a three-year Fellowship Award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to investigate the SP-mediated involvement of mesenteric fat tissue in the development of IBD. He joined UCLA in July of 2007 as an assistant researcher and a member of the Center of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Division of Digestive Diseases and was recently awarded a two-year Broad Medical Research Program grant to investigate the affects of obesity in colitis-associated changes in the intestine and mesenteric adipose tissue. Dr. Karagiannidis has been publishing his work in high quality journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Gastroenterology, and American Journal of Physiology. Dr. Karagiannides’ work is also consistently presented during the Digestive Disease Week meetings including Posters of Distinction.
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