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Dr Ilias Kounatidis

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr. Ilias Kounatidis earned his Bachelor's degree in Biology in 2005 and his PhD in Microbiology and Cytogenetics in 2009 from the School of Biology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in Greece. His doctoral research focused on analyzing the microbiota of agriculturally and medically important flies and assessing the toxicity and antimutagenic properties of essential oils and olive oils using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.

From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Kounatidis was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford's Department of Biochemistry. His research during this period included:

  1. Studying host-pathogen interactions using Drosophila models to investigate human pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Candida glabrata.
  2. Exploring age-dependent neurodegeneration through healthy ageing models in Drosophila.
  3. Analyzing microbiota structures in hyperactive immune Drosophila models to understand conditions resembling Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Between 2017 and 2020, he worked as a Beamline Scientist in the biological cryo-imaging group at Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron facility. His primary research involved developing and applying advanced correlative cryo-microscopy techniques, combining super-resolution imaging with cryo soft X-ray tomography and cryo-electron microscopy.

In addition to his research, Dr. Kounatidis holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education from the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD) and a Master's degree in Education with a focus on Leadership and Management from the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (FRMS) and the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Currently, he serves as a coordinator of the Neuroscience research cluster at the School of Life & Health Sciences (LHCS) at the Open University, alongside Dr. Laura Lopez.

Research interests

  • Host pathogen interaction topics with a special interest on fungal pathogenesis (Candida spp.)
  • Development and application of correlative microscopy schemes in biomedical topics.
  • Compounds screening for antifungal properties. 
  • Study of inflammageing phenomenon using invertebrate models.



The utility of Drosophila melanogaster as a fungal infection model (2024)
Mpamhanga, Chengetai D. and Kounatidis, Ilias
Frontiers in Immunology, 15, Article 1349027

Systematic analysis of YFP traps reveals common mRNA/protein discordance in neural tissues (2023)
Titlow, Joshua S.; Kiourlappou, Maria; Palanca, Ana; Lee, Jeffrey Y.; Gala, Dalia S.; Ennis, Darragh; Yu, Joyce J.S.; Young, Florence L.; Susano Pinto, David Miguel; Garforth, Sam; Francis, Helena S.; Strivens, Finn; Mulvey, Hugh; Dallman-Porter, Alex; Thornton, Staci; Arman, Diana; Millard, Marissa J.; Järvelin, Aino I.; Thompson, Mary Kay; Sargent, Martin; Kounatidis, Ilias; Parton, Richard M.; Taylor, Stephen and Davis, Ilan
Journal of Cell Biology, 222, Article e202205129(6)

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)

Single Cell Cryo-Soft X-ray Tomography Shows That Each Chlamydia Trachomatis Inclusion Is a Unique Community of Bacteria (2021)
Phillips, Patrick; Parkhurst, James M.; Kounatidis, Ilias; Okolo, Chidinma; Fish, Thomas M.; Naismith, James H.; Walsh, Martin A.; Harkiolaki, Maria and Dumoux, Maud
Life, 11, Article 842(8)

Correlative multi-scale cryo-imaging unveils SARS-CoV-2 assembly and egress (2021)
Mendonça, Luiza; Howe, Andrew; Gilchrist, James B.; Sheng, Yuewen; Sun, Dapeng; Knight, Michael L.; Zanetti-Domingues, Laura C.; Bateman, Benji; Krebs, Anna-Sophia; Chen, Long; Radecke, Julika; Li, Vivian D.; Ni, Tao; Kounatidis, Ilias; Koronfel, Mohamed A.; Szynkiewicz, Marta; Harkiolaki, Maria; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L.; James, William and Zhang, Peijun
Nature Communications, 12, Article 4629

Cryo-Structured Illumination Microscopic Data Collection from Cryogenically Preserved Cells (2021)
Vyas, Nina; Perry, Nina; Okolo, Chidinma A.; Kounatidis, Ilias; Fish, Thomas M.; Nahas, Kamal L.; Jadhav, Archana; Koronfel, Mohamed A.; Groen, Johannes; Pereiro, Eva; Dobbie, Ian M. and Harkiolaki, Maria
Journal of Visualized Experiments, Article e62274(171)

A 3D Cartographic Description of the Cell by Cryo Soft X-ray Tomography (2021)
Groen, Johannes; Sorrentino, Andrea; Aballe, Lucía; Oliete, Robert; Valcárcel, Ricardo; Okolo, Chidinma; Kounatidis, Ilias; Harkiolaki, Maria; Pérez-Berná, Ana Joaquina and Pereiro, Eva
Journal of Visualized Experiments, Article e62190(169)

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)

Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and Alzheimer Disease, Unifying Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors from Cell to Humans (2017-12)
Jones, Simon Vann and Kounatidis, Ilias
Frontiers in Immunology, 8, Article 1805

Interaction Between Familial Transmission and a Constitutively Active Immune System Shapes Gut Microbiota in Drosophila melanogaster (2017-06)
Mistry, Rupal; Kounatidis, Ilias and Ligoxygakis, Petros
Genetics, 206(2) (pp. 889-904)

NF-κB Immunity in the Brain Determines Fly Lifespan in Healthy Aging and Age-Related Neurodegeneration (2017)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Chtarbanova, Stanislava; Cao, Yang; Hayne, Margaret; Jayanth, Dhruv; Ganetzky, Barry and Ligoxygakis, Petros
Cell Reports, 19(4) (pp. 836-848)

Exploring interactions between pathogens and the Drosophila gut (2016)
Mistry, Rupal; Kounatidis, Ilias and Ligoxygakis, Petros
Developmental & Comparative Immunology, 64 (pp. 3-10)

Evaluation of Potential Genotoxicity of Virgin Olive Oil (VOO) Using the Drosophila Wing-Spot Test (2009-08-13)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Papoti, Vassiliki T.; Nenadis, Nikolaos; Franzios, Gerasimos; Oikonomou, Mariangella; Partheniou, Fedra; Tsimidou, Maria and Mavragani-Tsipidou, Penelope
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(17) (pp. 7785-7789)

Acetobacter tropicalis Is a Major Symbiont of the Olive Fruit Fly (Bactrocera oleae) (2009-05)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Crotti, Elena; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Sacchi, Luciano; Rizzi, Aurora; Chouaia, Bessem; Bandi, Claudio; Alma, Alberto; Daffonchio, Daniele; Mavragani-Tsipidou, Penelope and Bourtzis, Kostas
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(10) (pp. 3281-3288)

Effect of elevation on spatio‐temporal patterns of olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) populations in northern Greece (2008-12)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Papadopoulos, N. T.; Mavragani‐Tsipidou, P.; Cohen, Y.; Tertivanidis, K.; Nomikou, M. and Nestel, D.
Journal of Applied Entomology, 132(9-10) (pp. 722-733)

Genetic and cytogenetic analysis of the fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae) (2008-07)
Kounatidis, Ilias; Papadopoulos, Nikolao; Bourtzis, Kostas and Mavragani-Tsipidou, Penelope
Genome, 51(7) (pp. 479-491)

Correlative Cryo-imaging Using Soft X-Ray Tomography for the Study of Virus Biology in Cells and Tissues (2023)
Jadhav, Archana and Kounatidis, Ilias
In: Vijayakrishnan, Swetha; Yaming, Jiu and Robin, Harris eds. Virus Infected Cells. Subcellular Biochemistry (pp. 169-196)
ISBN : 978-3-031-40085-8 | Publisher : Springer