Dr Spiridoula Athanasiadou
As a veterinarian, Dr Spiridoula Athanasiadou has a special interest in managing animal health, achieved with minimum input of chemical drugs and without compromising animal welfare. Her research focuses into: i) understanding host-pathogen interactions, ii) characterizing the consequences of host’s environment on host-pathogen interactions and iii) designing strategies to improve the ability of the host to cope with a disease in any given environment. Dr Athanasiadou uses parasitological, immunological and molecular methodologies, including genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to address her research. Dr Athanasiadou focuses on gastrointestinal tract health and has acquired expertise in production diseases of both ruminant and monogastric hosts. She has been using in vivo and in vitro models to study disease and host responses and has pioneered research on the investigation of the antiparasitic properties of plant secondary metabolites, which is widely cited around the world. Dr Athanasiadou has recently developed and validated an in situ duodenal loop model to investigate host-pathogen interactions in the intestine; this is a very useful tool, particularly in the absence of a poultry epithelial cell line. It is currently used to investigate disease pathogenesis and host responses following infusion with Clostridium perfringens, the main causative agent of necrotic enteritis, a production disease of broiler poultry.