Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: RVC Quantitative Biology Resource

Androniki is a Lecturer in Clinical Veterinary Genetics and an Honorary Scientific Associate at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. She is a quantitative geneticist interested in the dissection of the genetic architecture and the study of the underlying molecular mechanism of resistance to important animal diseases and zoonoses.

Androniki is a complex disease geneticist with extensive experience in breeding programmes, quantitative trait analysis, QTL mapping, GWAS, functional genomics, molecular biology and systems biology approaches. After receiving her veterinary degree at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, she pursued her PhD in quantitative and molecular genetics of scrapie in sheep, funded by the European Commission (FP5 programme), which she completed in 2010. She continued her scientific training as a Postdoctoral Fellow, initially in Greece and then at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Over the past 10 years she has been involved in twelve successful BBSRC, European Commission and industry funded research projects, aiming to control disease in different species. The outcomes of her work have already led to new follow-up funding. She joined the faculty at RVC in 2017, while she continues collaborating with the Roslin Institute.

For the last decade, Androniki has been involved in multiple research projects aiming to dissect the genomic architecture of important animal infectious diseases and zoonoses - mainly in poultry and ruminants and more recently in companion animals, enabling the identification of novel disease control strategies to enhance animal and human health and welfare. She integrates her veterinary training with immunology, quantitative and molecular genetics and computational and systems biology approaches in scientific research. She is interested in the discovery of novel biomarkers, the development of breeding and diagnostic tools, the identification of drug discovery targets and the use of companion animals as models of human disease.  She has been working on the genetics of zoonoses (campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis), important infectious diseases in poultry (coccidiosis, fowl typhoid, fowl cholera, Marek’s disease, IBDV), mastitis in sheep, telomere dynamics in relation to health and longevity in cattle, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and canine Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. She has also been involved in microRNA and microbiome studies investigating their role in health and productivity.

Current projects include:

  1. “Identification of genomic biomarkers associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats”. BBSRC Industrial CASE studentship with Zoetis (2019-2023)
  2. “Mapping genetic susceptibility to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats and assessing their utility as a disease study model” BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Biosciences PhD Consortium (LIDo) studentship (2018-2021)
  3. “Dissecting the genetic architecture of hypertrophy cardiomyopathy in cats” Petplan Charitable Trust (2019)
  4. “Dissecting the genetic architecture of equine exertional rhabdomyolysis”, Internal RVC PhD studentship (2018-2021)
  5. “Identification of genomic markers associated with susceptibility to equine exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER)”, MRes RVC project (2018-2019)
  6. ‘Aetiopathogenesis and genomic architecture of resistance to claw horn disruption lesions in dairy cattle’;  BBSRC response mode (2018-2021)
  7. ''SMARTER, SMAll RuminanTs breeding for Efficiency and Resilience'' funded by Horizon 2020 (2018-2022)
  8. ''Identification of selection targets and development of analytical tools to optimise  breeding programmes in African chicken populations'' funded by Department for International Development and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2017-2022)
  9. “The role of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the regulation of innate immunity in the domestic chicken“, funded by BBSRC (BBSRC Industrial partnering award) (2017-2020)
  10. “A systems-wide approach to the control of Campylobacter in the food chain: exploiting genetic variation” funded by the Scottish government (2016-2019)

 

  • J.M Bettridge, A. Psifidi, Z.G. Zerfa, T.T Desta, M. Lozano-Jaramillo, T. Dessie, P. Kaiser, P. Wigley, O. Hanotte, R.M. Christley. 2018 “The role of local adaptation in sustainable production of village chickens” Nature Sustainability-in press
  • R. Pandit, A.T. Hinsu, N.V. Patel, P.G. Koringa, S.J. Jakhesara; J.R. Thakkar; T.M. Shah, G. Limon, A. Psifidi, J. Guitian, D.A. Hume, F.M. Tomley, D.N. Rank, M. Raman, Tirumurugaan K G; D.P. Blake, C.G. Joshi. 2018. “Microbial diversity and community composition of caecal microbiota in commercial and indigenous Indian chickens determined using 16s rDNA amplicon sequencing” Microbiome20186:115 https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0501
  • Hinsu AT, Thakkar JR, Koringa PG, Vrba V, Jakhesara SJ, Psifidi A, Guitian J, Tomley FM, Rank DN, Raman M, Joshi CG, Blake DP. 2018. “Illumina next generation sequencing for the analysis of Eimeria populations in commercial broilers and indigenous chickens”. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 5:176. PMID: 30105228.
  • RA. Bailey, A. Kranis, A. Psifidi, L. Rothwell, P. Hocking, KA. Watson, P. Kaiser, MP. Stevens, S. Avendano. 2018. “Genetic basis of Campylobacter colonisation in the broiler chicken and its impact on intestinal health following natural field exposure” Poultry Science, pey295,  https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey295.
  • S.J. Bush, L. Freem, A.J. MacCallum, J. O’Dell, C. Wu, C. Afrasiabi, A. Psifidi, M.P. Stevens, J. Smith, K.M. Summers, D.A. Hume. 2018. “Combination of novel and public RNA-seq datasets to generate an mRNA expression atlas for the domestic chicken” (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/04/05/295535, BMC Genomics DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4972-7
  • J. Ioannidis, E. Sánchez-Molano, A. Psifidi, F. X. Donadeu and G. Banos. 2018. “Association of plasma microRNA expression with age, genetic background and functional traits in dairy cattle” Scientific Reports, 8(1), 12955. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31099-w
  •  L. Seeker, J. Ilska, A. Psifidi, R. Wilbourn, S. Underwood, J. Fairlie, R. Holland, H. Froy, E. Salvo-Chirnside, A. Bagnall, B. Whitelaw, M. Coffey, D. Nussey,  G. Banos. 2018. "Bovine telomere dynamics and the association between telomere length and productive lifespan" Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 12748 (2018)
  •  R.J. Pandit, A.T. Hinsu, S.H. Patel, S.J. Jakhesara, P.G. Koringa, F. Bruno, A. Psifidi, S.V. Shah, C.G. Joshi. 2018."Microbiota composition, gene pool and its expression in Gir cattle (Bos indicus) rumen under different forage diet using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approach" Systematic and Applied Microbiology- https://doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2018.02.002
  • L.A. Seeker, J.J. Ilska, A. Psifidi, R.V. Wilbourn, S.L. Underwood, J. Fairlie, R. Holland, H. Froy, A. Bagnall, B. Whitelaw, M. Coffey, D.H. Nussey, G. Banos. 2018. "Longitudinal changes in telomere length and associated genetic parameters in dairy cattle analysed using random regression models" PLos One – https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192864
  • Banos G, G Bramis, SJ Bush, EL Clark, MB McCulloch, J Smith, G Schulze, G Arsenos, DA Hume and A Psifidi. 2017. “The genomic architecture of mastitis resistance in dairy sheep” BMC Genomics 18:624 doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3982-1.
  • D. Miltiadou, A. L. Hager-Theodorides, S. Symeou, C. Constantinou, A. Psifidi, G. Banos, O. Tzamaloukas. 2017. Variants in the 3'UTR of the ovine Acetyl-Coenzyme A Acyltransferase 2 gene are associated with dairy traits and exhibit differential allelic expression Journal of Dairy Science 100:8:6285-6297.
  • L.A. Seeker, R. Holland, S. Underwood, J. Fairlie, A. Psifidi, J.J. Ilska, A. Bagnall, B. Whitelaw, M. Coffey, G. Banos and D.H. Nussey. 2016. “Method specific calibration corrects for DNA extraction method effects on relative telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR”  PLoS ONE https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0164046.
  • A. Psifidi, G. Banos, O. Matika, T.T. Desta, J. Bettridge, D.A. Hume, D. Tadelle, R. Christley, P. Wigley, O. Hanotte and P. Kaiser. 2016. “Genome-wide association studies of immune, disease and productivity traits in indigenous chicken ecotypes” Genetic Selection Evolution 48:74 DOI: 10.1186/s12711-016-0252-7.
  • A. Psifidi, M. Fife, J. Howell, O. Matika, P. M. van Diemen, R. Kuo, J. Smith, P.M. Hocking, N. Salmon, M.A. Jones, D.A. Hume, G. Banos, M.P. Stevens and P. Kaiser. 2016. “The genomic architecture of resistance to Campylobacter jejuni intestinal colonisation in chickens” BMC Genomics 201617:293, DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2612-7
  • A. Psifidi, C.I. Dovas, G. Bramis, T. Lazou, C.L. Russel, G. Arsenos and G. Banos. 2015. “Comparison of eleven methods for genomic DNA extraction suitable for large-scale whole-genome genotyping and long-term DNA banking using blood samples” PLoS ONE 10(1): e0115960. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115960.

  • A. Psifidi, C. Dovas, K. Efthimiou and G. Banos. 2013. “PRNP genotyping in dairy sheep flocks: A sampling strategy for application in breeding programmes for scrapie eradication" Small Ruminant Research 113:335-339.

  • A.I. Gelasakis, G. Arsenos, J. Hickford, H. Zhou H., A. Psifidi, G.E. Valergakis and G. Banos. 2013. “Polymorphism of the MHC-DQA2 gene in the Chios dairy sheep population and its association with footrot” Livestock Science http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2013.02.011i.

  • A. Psifidi, Z. Basdagianni, C.I. Dovas, G. Arsenos, E. Sinapis, M. Papanastassopoulou and G. Banos. 2011. “Characterisation of the PRNP gene locus in Chios dairy sheep and its association with milk production and reproduction traits” Animal Genetics 42:406-414.

  • A. Psifidi, C.I. Dovas and G. Banos. 2011. “Novel quantitative real-time LCR for the sensitive detection of SNP frequencies in pooled DNA: Method development, evaluation and application” PLoS ONE 6(1): e14560. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014560.

  • A. Psifidi, C.I. Dovas and G. Banos. 2010. “A comparison of six methods for genomic DNA extraction suitable for PCR-based genotyping applications using ovine milk samples” Molecular and Cellular Probes 24:93-98.

Androniki teaches animal genetics and genetics of disease in BVetMed students. She supervises PhD and MRes students within the field of genetics, genomics and functional genomics of complex disease resistance.

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