ESR 8 Alexandros Zografakis, University of Freiburg

ESR 8 Alexandros Zografakis

alexandros.zografakis@biologie .uni-freiburg.de

Warscheid Lab, Albert -Ludwigs University, Freiburg im Breisgau,

Supervisor: Prof . Dr. Bettina Warscheid

 I received my Bachelor’s degree at 2015 from the Department of Biology at the University of Patras in Greece. My diploma thesis was conducted in the department of Pharmacy under the supervision of Prof. Spyro uli as. It involved the study of recom bin ant human protein structure using NMR spect roscopy. Upon complet ing my studies, I ret urned to my hometown,  Athens, and joined the MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. My master thesis was in the field of mass-spect romet ry based proteomics and phosphoproteomics in the lab of Dr. Panayotou in BSRC ” Alexander Fleming” Institute in Athens.

Project Title: Dynamics and regulation of ER-p ero xisome contact sites

The project centers around Pex30-associated assemblies and their potential role in the dynamic formation and regulation of contacts bet ween the ER and peroxisomes. Briefly, the work on this project involves: 1) Mapping phosp horylat ion sites in Pex30-associated contacts under different conditions in vivo.

Identifying the kinases responsible for the phosphoryl at ion of these sites and regulation of ER­ peroxisome contact sit es. 3) Generating and using phosphosite mut ant strains of specific prot eins or identi fied kinases involved in t he formation of these contacts and peroxisomal 4) Characterizing the human homologue of Pex30 and its potential role in the regulation of ER-p ero xisome contact sites in human cells. Unraveling the mystery around the regulation and the protein network involved in the formation and activity of these sites will contribut e tow ards enhancing the knowledge about peroxisomal biology and the implication of theseorganelles in various diseases.

The vast field of Biology, in general, is the one that won me over in a small age. During my bachelor years studying biology, I developed an interest towards protein studies and the field of proteomics. I started from NMR spectroscopy in my bachelor thesis. Then, I leaned towards Mass Spectrometry­ based proteomics research in my master’s and, currently, my doctoral thesis. It is a very important tool in studying my other major scientific interest, which is the biology of the cell and, specifically, peroxisomal biology. Even though peroxisomes have a very crucial role in the maintenance of a healthy cellular state, they are neglected research-wise. However, the fact that we still have very lit t le concrete knowledge about them makes them an even more attractive research target.

In my free time I try to interact with my friends and family as much as I can. Being abroad and away from your home country is not easy and it sometimes can be quite discouraging, having direct impact on the progress of your work. Keeping in touch with my family, but also friends back in my country and here, provides the main inspiration and motivational force for me, especially in difficu lt and more stressful periods. Whenever I have time, I also like to go running to clear my head, listen to music, read a book or watch a movie.

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grant number 812968