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Alex Antonopoulos


Visiting Postdoctoral Clinical Researcher

I am a Postdoctoral Clinical Researcher with a keen interest in the interplay between adipose tissue and the cardiovascular system. My research career in the field of cardiovascular medicine began as a PhD student in the University of Athens, Greece, where I studied the role of adipose tissue-secreted adiponectin in the endothelial function of human vessels. Then in 2011 I received a grant from the European Society of Cardiology and subsequently a Marie Curie Fellowship that allowed me to join Prof. Charalambos Antoniades group in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Fellow. During those years I expanded my work on adipose tissue by identifying important pathways involved in the cross-talk between epicardial adipose tissue and the heart as well as perivascular adipose tissue and human vessels in patients with ischemic heart disease.

These findings further stimulated my interest in the discovery of methods for the non-invasive phenotyping of human adipose tissue in an effort to couple biology with imaging and have resulted in the construction of a computed tomography (CT)-based methodology which allows detection of coronary inflammation by imaging of perivascular fat. Alterations in perivascular fat as a result of vascular inflammation can be tracked by CT imaging and identify vessels at risk for atherosclerosis progression or plaque rupture. This new imaging biomarker may have important clinical implications for the risk stratification and management of patients with both obstructive and non-obstructive coronary artery disease, and its prognostic value is currently being actively explored in large clinical studies.  

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