Profile – Dr Leonidas Chouliaras

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Dr Leonidas Chouliaras

Job title:

NIHR Clinical Lecturer and Speciality Registrar in Old Age Psychiatry

Place of work / study:

University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Area of Research:

Epigenetics of Lewy Body Dementia

How is your work funded:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), Academy of Medical Sciences, Ferblanc Foundation, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge Centre for Parkinson Plus

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and an honorary specialty registrar at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. I am also an early career researcher representative at the NIHR National Dementias Clinical Research Network and at the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) East Network Centre.

After medical training at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, I completed my PhD at the University of Maastricht in 2012 investigating the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. I then worked as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Oxford during my early years of psychiatry training.

My research interests include the role of epigenetic mechanisms in neurodegeneration, and particularly in Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. I believe that exploring disease driven changes in the epigenetic landscape has the potential to improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders and aid in the identification of novel pathways as therapeutic targets. Furthermore, work on peripheral epigenetic profiling in combination with multimodal neuroimaging techniques can aid in the development of early risk markers of disease before the onset of any symptoms.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I like cooking, drinking specialty coffee and driving long distances.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

During medical school I became fascinated by how the brain works and how changes in the brain can lead to mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases. Dementia is a devastating group of conditions that we know very little about and I believe that a better understanding of the underlying fundamental biological mechanisms will ultimately help us develop novel and effective treatments.

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