ESR4: Christina Athanasiou
Modelling of mechanistic effects of neurotrophin modulators
Christina will investigate the mechanism of action of neurotrophin small molecule mimetics and potentiators, through the use of molecular simulations and mathematical modelling techniques. Her study will provide a basis for the optimisation of neurotrophin modulators and for the experimental investigation of their mechanisms. She will also study the interactions between neurotrophin mimetics and their receptors, as well as conformational changes and allosteric effects caused by the small molecules.
B2: HITS gGmbH, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Germany
Prof. Rebecca Wade, HITS gGmbH, Molecular and Cellular Modeling Group
Christina graduated with a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Her diploma thesis was conducted at the Biomedical Research Foundations of Academy of Athens (BRFAA) in collaboration with the Laboratory of Organic Synthesis in the School of Chemical Engineering of NTUA. Her thesis involved the lead optimisation of an Arp2/3 complex inhibitor, using Free Energy Perturbation calculations and organic synthesis. She has also participated in the D3R Grand Challenge 2, where she employed computational techniques to predict binding poses and relative binding affinities of farnesoid X receptor ligands. After completing her Diploma, she continued as a Research Student at the BRFAA, studying the overactivation mechanism of the E545K mutant of phosphoinositide 3-kinase a using metadynamics simulations. In September 2018, Christina joined the EuroNeurotrophin network as a PhD student at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS).