Minerva Seminar 6.6.2024: Zebrafish models of human disease

Associate Professor
University of Ioannina

Zebrafish Models of Human Disease

Time: Thursday 6.6.2024 at 14:00
Place: Seminar room 8-9, BMH1, P floor

Dr. Beis did his PhD in Utrecht, where he studied the role of plant hormone auxin and the PLETHORA family of transcription factors. In 2002, he moved to UCSF as a post-doc in the lab of Didier Stainier and worked with zebrafish on cardiac valve development. He was the first to describe this process at cellular resolution using confocal microscopy.

Dr. Beis moved back to Greece in 2005 and introduced zebrafish biomedical research in Greece. He is a founding member of the European Zebrafish Society. He collaborates with Greek research teams to train people using zebrafish as an experimental model system for bioactive compound screening, ecotoxicological studies, and gene function studies.

Dr. Beis’ research focuses on cardiovascular disease and angiogenesis. His group has identified the significance of intracardiac flow dynamics during heart development for proper cardiac valve development. Recently, Dr. Beis expanded his research to study the mechanisms of cardiovascular regeneration. He developed the first inducible system to genetically ablate valve cells and demonstrated that zebrafish can regenerate their cardiac valves, identifying Notch and Tgfβ signaling pathways as critical regulators of this process.

In parallel, Dr. Beis has set up high-throughput chemical screens using zebrafish embryos for drug repurposing and identifying novel bioactive compounds. His lab routinely screens for angiogenesis inhibition, melanogenesis inhibition, wound healing, cardiac function, and toxicity and uses human cancer cell xenotransplantation in zebrafish.

Selected publications:

Giardoglou P, Deloukas P, Dedoussis G, Beis D. (2023) Cfdp1 Is Essential for Cardiac Development and Function. Cells. 3;12(15):1994. doi: 10.3390/cells12151994.

Katraki-Pavlou S, Kastana P, Bousis D, Ntenekou D, Varela A, Davos CH, Nikou S, Papadaki E, Tsigkas G, Athanasiadis E, Herradon G, Mikelis CM, Beis D*, Papadimitriou E. * (2022) Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-ζ1 deletion triggers defective heart morphogenesis in mice and zebrafish. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 322(1):H8-H24. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00400.2021.

Beis D. (2021) Zebrafish research in Greece: swimming against the current. Int J Dev Biol. Sep 20. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.210129db. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34549794.

Katsouda, A.; Peleli, M.; Asimakopoulou, A.; Papapetropoulos, A.; Beis, D. (2020) Generation and Characterization of a CRISPR/Cas9 -Induced 3-mst Deficient Zebrafish. Biomolecules; 10, 317.

Kefalos P, Agalou A, Kawakami K and Beis D (2019) Reactivation of Notch signaling is required for cardiac valve regeneration Sci Rep 9, 16059 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52558-y