Ph. D., University of Patras, Greece, 1984
Research and Clinical Interests
The focus of the current research in Dr. Anni's laboratory is on understanding how ethanol reprograms the complex genetic and epigenetic regulatory networks operating at the onset of embryonic development in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The disease is caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, and is the leading cause of mental retardation. Using mouse embryonic stem cells to recapitulate the early stages of neurogenesis we have shown that ethanol differentially regulates the mRNA and protein expression levels of several transcription factors, including Sox2 and Nanog that govern cell fate commitment. Techniques used include high-throughput multiparametric flow cytometry and microfluidic-based RT-qPCR. Network analysis, in collaboration with Dr. Vadigepalli, has predicted altered dynamics and downstream target dysregulation that may be responsible for the FASD phenotype. The goal of these integrated experimental and computational modeling studies is to identify the critical network components affected by ethanol exposure in early embryonic development and their contribution to the FASD phenotype.