Dr Ataliotis was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Developmental Genetics in September 2006. He has research expertise in the use of embryological and cell biological models aimed at the understanding of human genetic disorders.
Research in Dr Ataliotis’s group focuses on 22q11 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS). Dr Ataliotis is involved in general and specialised teaching to undergraduate students on the Biomedical Science BSc, as well as course organisation and assessment. He also teaches and supervises postgraduate research students at Master's and PhD levels.
Dr Ataliotis worked previously as a Senior Research Fellow in Professor Peter Scambler’s group at the Institute of Child Health. This group was instrumental in identifying the genetic cause of 22q11DS and subsequently exploring the contribution of individual genes to this disorder, using mouse, chick and frog model systems.
Dr Ataliotis was a Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellow in Professor Cheryll Tickle’s group at University College London (and briefly at the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, also at UCL). At that time he had returned to the UK from a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and North Atlantic Treaty Organization-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. At Harvard and later at UCL, he studied the embryological role of platelet-derived growth factor A using xenopus (frog) and chick embryos.
Dr Ataliotis completed his PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and University College London, where, with colleagues from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), he helped to develop Immortomouse. This genetically modified mouse permits the isolation of immortal cell lines (cells that continue dividing indefinitely) from a variety of embryonic and adult tissues.
Dr Ataliotis’s PhD was preceded by 3 years at the National Institute for Medical Research as a Research Officer, studying desmosome cell junctions with Professor Tony Magee, and prior to this, a BSc in Biochemistry at Manchester University.
Dr Ataliotis teaches at undergraduate level, primarily on the Biomedical Science BSc and in joint lectures with medical students on the five year course. He coordinates a final year module, Development and Disease, and undertakes Biomedical Science BSc small group teaching. He runs first year lectures on evolution and developmental biology.
At postgraduate level, Dr Ataliotis gives lectures on the MRes in Biomedical Science and supervises research projects in the lab, as well as supervising PhD research. Dr Ataliotis is Course Director for the Intercalated BSc and is year three organiser for the Biomedical Science BSc. He is also the Chief Examiner and chair of the exam board for these degree courses and is currently the Biomed Careers Link.
Dr Ataliotis is personal tutor to Biomedical Science and Medicine MBBS students.
- Paylor R, Glaser B, Mupo A, Ataliotis P, Spencer C, Sobotka A, Sparks C, Choi CH, Oghalai J, Curran S, et al (2006). Tbx1 haploinsufficiency is linked to behavioral disorders in mice and humans: implications for 22q11 deletion syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103, 7729-7734.
- Ataliotis P, Ivins S, Mohun TJ, and Scambler PJ (2005). XTbx1 is a transcriptional activator involved in head and pharyngeal arch development in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Dynamics 232, 979-991.
- Jat PS, Noble MD, Ataliotis P, Tanaka Y, Yannoutsos N, Larsen L, and Kioussis D (1991). Direct derivation of conditionally immortal cell lines from an H-2Kb-tsA58 transgenic mouse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 88, 5096-5100.
Dr Atticus Hainsworth (St George's, University of London)
Dr Soo-Hyun Kim (St George's, University of London)
Dr Anthony Albert (St George's, University of London)
Dr Kate Everett (St George's, University of London)
Prof Nigel Brown (St George's, University of London)
Dr Pavlos Alifragis (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Professor Peter Scambler (UCL Institute of Child Health)
Dr Kevin Mills (UCL Institute of Child Health)
Dr Ataliotis is a Member of the British Society for Developmental Biology, a Member of the Anatomical Society, and a Member of the Genetics Society.
He is an external examiner at Nottingham University (MRes, Techniques in Developmental Biology) and a PhD thesis examiner.
The main area of Dr Ataliotis's research in the laboratory relates to the study of a human genetic disorder known as 22q11 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS). 22q11DS is caused by the deletion of one copy of a specific region of chromosome 22.
This region contains between 25-50 genes, each of which may contribute to the symptoms seen in patients. The lab concentrates on how deletion of one of these genes, called GNB1L, may be responsible for particular disorders within the syndrome.
22q11DS affects the development of the embryo and symptoms can include heart defects, cleft palate and immune deficiency (along with many others). In addition, children with 22q11DS are far more likely to have autism and adults are far more likely to develop schizophrenia. Genetic evidence has implicated GNB1L as a candidate gene for these aspects of 22q11DS.
The laboratory focuses on the function of GNB1L within the cell, using a variety of molecular biology and cell biology techniques. Recent work points towards a role for GNB1L in regulating how cells signal to one another. This has implications for how subtle differences may occur in the way the brain develops in 22q11DS and how the brain functions after birth.
It is hoped that knowledge of how GNB1L contributes to autism and schizophrenia in 22q11DS will lead to a better understanding of these disorders in the wider population. This is a vital step towards the improvement of their diagnosis and treatment.