Panagis obtained his BSc. in Chemistry from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. He carried out his doctoral studies in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Michigan with Prof. Dimitri Coucouvanis and received his PhD in 2004. He moved to Oxford University in the UK at the Structural Genomics Consortium where he focused on protein crystallography and biophysics, first as a postdoctoral scientist until 2007, then as a Team Leader until 2011. In December 2011 he received a Research Career Development Fellowship Award from the Wellcome Trust and took a post as a Principal Investigator at the Nuffield Department of Medicine in Oxford University. In November 2012 he became an affiliate of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) in Oxford. His research interest is focused on structural comparisons of entire protein families and the discovery of shared and distinct mechanisms that determine substrate recognition and protein regulation, as well as the structure-guided design of specific inhibitors that modulate the function of proteins involved in epigenetic signaling, aiming to target them in disease.
The goal of our research is to address the structural and functional role of BET (Bromo and Extra Terminal) proteins in transcription initiation by establishing the network of their interactions and their structural involvement in the assembly of the transcriptional machinery. Importantly, we aim to understand how this network of interactions is perturbed in cancer, when members of the BET family are found fused to the NUT protein, acting as molecular switches, resulting in so called NUT-midline carcinomas (NMCs). Research of this type will help demystify cell cycle progression providing a link between cellular signalling and readout of epigenetic marks facilitating the design of translational research projects that aim to target BET proteins.