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Dr Ilias Kounatidis

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Ilias Kounatidis received his Bachelor in Biology (2005) and PhD in Microbiology and Cytogenetics (2009) from the School of Biology, at Aristotle University of Thesalloniki (AUTH) in Greece. The main focuses of his doctoral thesis was the analysis of the microbiota of flies with agricultural or/and medical importance and the evaluation of the toxicity and the antimutagenic properties of essential oils and various grades of olive oils using Drosophila melanogaster as a research model.

Between 2010 and 2016 Dr Kounatidis was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford working:  i) across host-pathogen interaction topics involving Drosophila models as a host for the study of human pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata spp., ii) age dependent neurodegenaration topics using healthy ageing Drosophila models and iii) microbiota structure in conditions that resemble Intestinal Bowel Diseases (IBD) using hyper active immunity Drosophila flies as a host.   

From 2017 to 2020 Dr Kounatidis was a Beamline Scientist in the biological cryo-imaging group in Diamond Light Source (UK's National Synchrotron). His main research focus was the development, evaluation and following application across biomedical projects of advanced correlative cryo-microscopy schemes; combining super resolution imaging with cryo soft X-ray tomography and cryo-electron microscopy techniques. 

Dr Kounatidis holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE) from the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD) and a Master in Education (strand Leadership and Management) from the School of Education from Oxford Brookes University. 

I am also a Fellow of the Royal Microscopy Society (FRMS) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I am currently, among my collegue Dr Laura Lopez, a co-cordinator of the Neuroscience research cluster in the School of Life & Health Sciences (LHCS) in OU. 

Research interests

  • Host pathogen interaction topics with a special interest on fungal pathogenesis
  • Development and application of correlative microscopy schemes in biomedical topics
  • Study of inflammageing phenomenon using invertebrate models 



A genetic screen in Drosophila reveals the role of fucosylation in host susceptibility to Candida infection (2022-05-22)
Glittenberg, Marcus; Kounatidis, Ilias; Atilano, Magda and Ligoxygakis, Petros
Disease Models & Mechanisms, 15, Article dmm049218(5)

Correlative cryo-imaging of the cellular universe with soft X-rays and laser light used to track F-actin structures in mammalian cells (2021-12-01)
Koronfel, Mohamed; Kounatidis, Ilias; Mwangangi, Dennis; Vyas, Nina; Okolo, Chidinma; Jadhav, Archana; Fish, Thomas; Chotchuang, Phatcharin; Schulte, Albert; Robinson, Robert and Harkiolaki, Maria
Acta Crystallographica Section D, 77(12) (pp. 1479-1485)

3D Correlative Cryo-Structured Illumination Fluorescence and Soft X-ray Microscopy Elucidates Reovirus Intracellular Release Pathway (2020-07)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Megan, Stanifer; Michael, Philips; Perrine, Paul-Gilloteaux; Xavier, Heiligenstein; Hongchang, Wang; Chidinma, Okolo; Thomas, Fish; Matthew, Spink; David, Stuart; Ilan, Davis; Steeve, Boulant; Jonathan, Grimes; Ian, Dobbie and Maria, Harkiolaki
Cell, 182(2) (pp. 515-530)