Profile – Dr Nikoleta Daskoulidou, Cardiff University

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Dr Nikoleta Daskoulidou


Dr Nikoleta Daskoulidou

Job title:

Research Associate

Place of work / study:

UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff University

Area of Research:

My research interests include the role of innate immunity and neuroinflammation in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. I am fascinated by the complement system and its critical role in AD pathogenesis that makes it a potential therapeutic target. My postdoctoral work focuses on the role of the complement receptor 1 (CR1)-given its potential to regulate the complement cascade, complement component deposition and phagocytosis locally and its role in immune clearance- to provide detailed knowledge about how it confers risk for AD.

How is your work funded?

My work at the DRI is funded by MRC, ARUK and Alzheimer’s Society, and ARUK pump priming grants.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I studied Molecular Biology & Genetics at Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. During my undergraduate studies I was awarded an Erasmus exchange European studentship and a Leonardo da Vinci Programme award which allowed me to undertake my diploma Thesis at the University of Liverpool in the UK. I then did a PhD in cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at Hull York Medical School and postdoctoral work at the University of Surrey and UCL. I decided to focus my career in dementia research when I joined the UK DRI complement group in Cardiff in October 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher. I’m also an elected early career researcher representative for the Cardiff DRI. It is very important to form and keep a bidirectional communication between ECRs and the people at the top and make sure ECRs’ voices are heard. I am a dedicated scientist, passionate about dementia research and if I am not in the lab I will be probably travelling.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I love collecting old stuff, kick-boxing, and coffee is basically my middle name.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

From a scientific point of you, there are so many reasons to make a scientist interested in understanding this disease! There are still so many unknowns and so many pathways involved! Recent genetic discoveries made this even more intriguing and interesting! However, I have to mention a personal reason that took part in my decision. In a period of 5 years I observed three of my grandparents suffering from dementia. I felt to the bone how devastating this disease is and this is when I decided to change career course to focus on dementia research. I felt the need to do something about it, to take part in this fight against dementia and make a difference.

What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?

Find a good mentor, be involved in forums, be informed about the opportunities there are out there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?

I just started reading ‘The package’ by Sebastian Fitzek.

Can we find you on Twitter & Instagram?

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