Expediting the discovery process of anticancer drugs

Expediting the discovery process of anticancer drugs

Dimitrios Iliopoulos is  the Director of the Center for Systems Biomedicine, which is a high technology drug discovery center at UCLA and also an Associate Professor in the Division of Digestive Diseases at David Geffen School of Medicine. He has extensive experience in the development and use of high throughput technologies and systems biology approaches.

He was born in Larisa and grew up in Volos. He studied at the Department of Biology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He continued his studies in Biomedical Science at the University of Ohio. He later performed his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Struhl,  a world expert in molecular genetics.

In 2010, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Immunology & AIDS at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and in the Department of Microbiology & Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School.

He has extensive laboratory experience with the development and use of high throughput technologies, like biomechanics, aiming at expediting the discovery process of drugs against liver and pancreatic cancers.

His innovative methodology has revolutionized and expedited the drug discovery process. He is interested in applied these strategies in order to identify novel therapeutic agents against different gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases and colon, liver and pancreatic cancers.

In two years’ time, they have discovered two new drugs against liver and pancreatic cancers, based on this methodology.

Dr. Iliopoulos research revealed that metformin, an anti-diabetic drug, targets cancer stem cells. Thesedata led to the initiation of several clinical trials all over the world, combining chemotherapy together with metformin.