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Nikolaos Nikolaou

BSc (Hons), MSc (Distinction), DPhil

Postdoctoral Researcher

I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Patras (2011), followed by an MSc in Female Reproduction (Distinction) from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece in 2013. During my MSc studies, I received a prestigious MSc Scholarship from the Medical School, University of Athens to fulfil my research project at the University of Birmingham, UK and the Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (CEDAM). In 2014, I moved to the University of Oxford to complete my DPhil training under the leadership of Prof. Jeremy Tomlinson. Currently, I am working as a Postdoctoral Researcher under a programme of research funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), investigating the role of steroid metabolome in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

My research focuses on the role of pre-receptor regulation of steroid hormone action through manipulation of expression/activity of the A-ring reductases (5α-reductase and 5β-reductase), which have the ability to regulate steroid hormone availability within human liver. Steroid hormones, including glucocorticoids, androgens and oestrogens are potent regulators of metabolic phenotype. Glucocorticoid excess has been associated with hepatic steatosis, and glucocorticoid metabolism is dysregulated across the NAFLD disease spectrum. My work tests the hypothesis that manipulation of expression and activity of these enzymes can regulate aspects of the metabolic phenotype and may represent novel targets for pharmaceutical approach. The techniques I employ include human hepatocyte cell culture, gene editing and expression, western blotting, biochemical analyses, mass-spectrometry and high-throughput enzyme assays.

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