Dr. Olga Giannakopoulou

Research Associate




Research Focus

My research interests include the investigation of the human biology of complex disorders, the mechanisms involved and how genetic alterations lead to disease, with a goal to improve human health.
In my current post, I am investigating for differences in depression definition as well as genetic differences across diverse ancestry populations, as part of the Psychiatric Genomic Consortium group. My hope is to promote through my research a better representation of diverse groups in science, aiming to reduce health inequalities.
I have also contributed in large-scale projects on the genetic predisposition of coronary heart disease and other related cardiometabolic traits, through the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D and the UK Biobank Cardiometabolic Consortium.


I graduated from University of Patras with a degree in Pharmacy, followed by a MSc in Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine at University College London (UCL). I pursued my research in the field of genetics of human disease and joined Queen Mary University of London for a PhD programme in cardiovascular genetics, under the supervision of Professor Panos Deloukas. During my postgraduate studies, I gained expertise on statistical genetics and worked in large-scale projects that investigate the genetic susceptibility for coronary artery disease and other related traits. In January 2019, I joined the Mental Health Neuroscience Research Department within UCL’s Division of Psychiatry and the UCL Genetics Institute as a post-doctoral follow in Dr Karoline Kuchenbaecker’s team and I have been investigating the genetic architecture of depression across diverse ethnic groups.


When I am not working

I am on a trip or just planning the next one!

Key publications

  • Ntalla, I., Kanoni, S., Zeng, L., … Schunkert, H. (2019). Genetic Risk Score for Coronary Disease Identifies Predispositions to Cardiovascular and Noncardiovascular Diseases. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73(23), 2932–2942.
  • Nelson, C. P., Goel, A., Butterworth, A. S., … Deloukas, P. (2017). Association analyses based on false discovery rate implicate new loci for coronary artery disease. Nature Genetics, 49(9), 1385–1391.
  • Surendran, P., Drenos, F., Young, R., … Munroe, P. B. (2016). Trans-ancestry meta-analyses identify rare and common variants associated with blood pressure and hypertension. Nature Genetics, 48(10), 1151–1161.
  • Tafrali, C., Paizi, A., Borg, J., … Patrinos, G. P. (2013). Genomic variation in the MAP3K5 gene is associated with β-thalassemia disease severity and hydroxyurea treatment efficacy. Pharmacogenomics, 14(5), 469–483.
  • Zagoriti, Z., Georgitsi, M., Giannakopoulou, O., … Poulas, K. (2012). Genetics of Myasthenia Gravis: A Case-Control Association Study in the Hellenic Population. Clinical and Developmental Immunology, 2012, 1–7.
  • Georgitsi, M., Viennas, E., Gkantouna, V., … Patrinos, G. P. (2011). Population-specific documentation of pharmacogenomic markers and their allelic frequencies in FINDbase. Pharmacogenomics, 12(1), 49–58.