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Dr Iakowos Karakesisoglou

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences
Fellow in the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


BSc: 1993 University of Athens, Greece
PhD: 1996 Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
Postdoctoral fellow: 1997-2002 University of Chicago, USA
Group leader: 2002-2007 University of Cologne, Germany
Senior Lecturer: 2007-present University of Durham, UK

Dr Karakesisoglou started his academic career at the University of Athens (Greece), where he studied Biology. His PhD thesis conducted under the supervision of Prof. Michael Schleicher (LMU-Munich, Germany) aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underpin cellular movement in D. discoideum. Inspired by the power of genetics in addressing fundamental cell biological questions he continued to pursue his goal of elucidating the cytoskeleton in epithelia using relevant mouse models in Prof. Elaine Fuch’s laboratory at the University of Chicago (USA). As a group leader at the University of Cologne (Germany) he pioneered a novel field in cell biology, by studying the functions of a novel complex that spans the mammalian nuclear envelope termed LINC (LInker of the Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton), which functionally integrates the cytoplasmic compartment with the nuclear interior in eukaryotic cells. In 2007 he joined the University of Durham as a senior lecturer. His long-term research interests are to unravel the molecular mechanisms that underpin skin ageing and ageing-associated diseases. Members of his laboratory examine the roles of LINC complex (e.g. nesprins, spectraplakins and SUN-domain proteins) constituents in tissue formation, tissue homeostasis, breast cancer metastasis and motor neuron degeneration.

Figure legend: Cell polarization of wild type keratinocytes that are LINC complex positive. Golgi (red), F-actin (green) and nuclei (blue). Note that the majority of cells orient their Golgi apparatus towards the wound edge. Arrows indicate the direction of cell movement.

Research Interests


  • Structure and Function of the Nuclear Envelope
  • The Role of the Cytoskeleton in Cell Architecture
  • The Role of LINC Complex Proteins in Breast Cancer Metastasis
  • The Role of LINC Complex Proteins in Motor Neuron Degeneration
  • Premature and Physiological Human Ageing
  • Skin Biology and Ageing
  • Tissue and Animal Morphogenesis
  • Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering


Chapter in book

Journal Article

Supervision students