The Journal of Cell Biology — a well-known journal in the field of biology — presented what it considers as very important research conducted by team of biologists and engineers at the University of California, San Diego and led by a Greek scientist. This study is expected to open new horizons for the development of new pharmacological strategies for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. The Greek scientist is Effie Bastounis and she works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California.
“We have made a discovery concerning the understanding of the mechanistic way white blood cells move towards inflammatory foci,” stated Effie Bastounis in a recent interview.
To our great surprise, we found that white blood cells adhere to two areas (anterior and posterior), as they move, therefore, following a relatively simple pattern. Until recently, it was not understood how these cells move and if they follow an irregular mechanical path or a spatiotemporal organized one.
The discovery of a biochemical process that the cell uses to produce the necessary forces to move, opens new horizons in drug design for the treatment of many chronic inflammatory diseases (such as arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis), which will be based on controlling white blood cell migration.
Effie Bastounis was born in Washington DC, but grew up in Athens. She studied at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens.
Since her first year of studies at the National Technical University she began to show particular interest in the field of biomechanics. She then decided to move to the US in order to make contacts, accumulate experience and take part in various research programs.