Nik Georgopoulos

Associate Professor Nik Georgopoulos PhD, BSc, FHEA

Associate Professor in Cell Biology & Transforming Lives Fellow


I am a cell biologist with expertise in epithelial cell biology and immunology, as well as having a strong interest in understanding the mechanisms of diseases such as cancer. My main research focus is to utilise fundamental cell biology knowledge to design novel therapeutic interventions to combat disease and improve patient quality of life.


I am a cell biologist with expertise in epithelial cell biology and immunology, as well as having a strong interest in understanding the mechanisms of diseases such as cancer. My main research focus is to utilise fundamental cell biology knowledge to design novel therapeutic interventions to combat disease and improve patient quality of life.


College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences


I have a long-standing research interest in two main areas: a) the cell biology of normal epithelial tissues and immune cells and b) understanding how the process of cancer development influences cellular proliferation, differentiation and response to death signals. With expertise in cancer and immunology, as well as a deep understanding of the biology of normal epithelial tissues, my work has led to projects with commercial and patient impact in the areas of novel therapeutics and medical devices.
My specific research interests can be summarised as follows:
• Studying the signalling cues that regulate cell survival versus death using appropriate epithelial cell models to understand normal tissue physiology and chronic disease
• Understanding the cellular responses to death (apoptosis) signals triggered by members of the TNF Receptor protein family as well as other types of cell death (such as necrosis, autophagy, ferroptosis)
• Exploring the cell signalling mechanisms that underpin: a) chemotherapy-induced hair loss (alopecia), b) chemotherapy drug-mediated neuropathic pain, and c) inadequate and/or defective wound healing
• Designing novel therapeutic strategies to develop improved tumour-specific anticancer therapeutic interventions
• Utilising our basic cell biology discoveries and knowledge to improve existing and/or to design novel medical devices that improve quality of life and/or aid patient health recovery.
Currently I have a major industrial collaboration on chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) research with Paxman Ltd (, and I am the Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder of the skin regeneration-focused company VeritaCell (


Ibraheem, K., Yhmed, A.M.A., Qayyum, T., Bryan, N.P., & Georgopoulos, N. (2019). CD40 induces renal cell carcinoma-specific differential regulation of TRAF proteins, ASK1 activation and JNK/p38-mediated, ROS-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis. Cell Death Discovery, 5 (1).

Bründl, J., Wallinger, S., Breyer, J., Weber, F., Evert, M., Georgopoulos, N., ... Rubenwolf, P. (2018). Expression, localisation and potential significance of aquaporins in benign and malignant human prostate tissue. BMC urology, 18.

Allison, S.J., Sadiq, M., Baronou, E., Cooper, P.A., Dunnill, C., Georgopoulos, N.T., ... Phillips, R.M. (2018). Corrigendum to "Preclinical anti-cancer activity and multiple mechanisms of action of a cationic silver complex bearing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands" [Canc. Lett. 403 (2017) 98-107]. Cancer letters, 431, 247.

Dunnill, C.J., Al-Tameemi, W., Collett, A., Haslam, I.S., & Georgopoulos, N.T. (2017). A clinical and biological guide for understanding chemotherapy-induced alopecia and its prevention. The Oncologist, 23 (1), 84-96.

Allison, S.J., Sadiq, M., Baronou, E., Cooper, P.A., Dunnill, C., Georgopoulos, N., ... Phillips, R.M. (2017). Preclinical anti-cancer activity and multiple mechanisms of action of a cationic silver complex bearing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. Cancer letters, 403, 98-107.

Dunnill, C.J., Ibraheem, K., Mohamed, A., Southgate, J., & Georgopoulos, N. (2017). A redox state-dictated signalling pathway deciphers the malignant cell specificity of CD40-mediated apoptosis. Oncogene, 36, 2515-2528.

Dunnill, C., Patton, T., Brennan, J., Barrett, J., Dryden, M., Cooke, J., ... Georgopoulos, N.T. (2017). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and wound healing: the functional role of ROS and emerging ROS-modulating technologies for augmentation of the healing process. International wound journal, 14 (1), 89-96.

Baker, S.C., Shabir, S., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Southgate, J. (2016). Ketamine-Induced Apoptosis in Normal Human Urothelial Cells: A Direct, N-Methyl-d-Aspartate Receptor-Independent Pathway Characterized by Mitochondrial Stress. The American journal of pathology, 186 (5), 1267-1277.

Rubenwolf, P., Thomas, C., Denzinger, S., Hartmann, A., Burger, M., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Otto, W. (2015). Loss of AQP3 protein expression is associated with worse progression-free and cancer-specific survival in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. World journal of urology, 33 (12), 1959-1964.

Al-Tameemi, W., Dunnill, C., Hussain, O., Komen, M.M., van den Hurk, C.J., Collett, A., & Georgopoulos, N.T. (2014). Use of in vitro human keratinocyte models to study the effect of cooling on chemotherapy drug-induced cytotoxicity. Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA, 28 (8), 1366-1376.

Rubenwolf, P.C., Otto, W., Denzinger, S., Hofstädter, F., Wieland, W., & Georgopoulos, N.T. (2014). Expression of aquaporin water channels in human urothelial carcinoma: correlation of AQP3 expression with tumour grade and stage. World journal of urology, 32 (4), 991-997.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Kirkwood, L.A., & Southgate, J. (2014). A novel bidirectional positive-feedback loop between Wnt-β-catenin and EGFR-ERK plays a role in context-specific modulation of epithelial tissue regeneration. Journal of cell science, 127 (Pt 13), 2967-2982.

Kayamba, F., Dunnill, C., Hamnett, D.J., Rodríguez, A., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Moran, W.J. (2013). Piperolein B, isopiperolein B and piperamide C9:1(8E): total synthesis and cytotoxicities. RSC Advances, 3 (37), 16681.

Rubenwolf, P.C., Georgopoulos, N.T., Kirkwood, L.A., Baker, S.C., & Southgate, J. (2012). Aquaporin expression contributes to human transurothelial permeability in vitro and is modulated by NaCl. PloS one, 7 (9), e45339.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Kirkwood, L.A., Varley, C.L., MacLaine, N.J., Aziz, N., & Southgate, J. (2011). Immortalisation of normal human urothelial cells compromises differentiation capacity. European urology, 60 (1), 141-149.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Kirkwood, L.A., Walker, D.C., & Southgate, J. (2010). Differential regulation of growth-promoting signalling pathways by E-cadherin. PloS one, 5 (10), e13621.

Walker, D.C., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Southgate, J. (2010). Anti-social cells: predicting the influence of E-cadherin loss on the growth of epithelial cell populations. Journal of theoretical biology, 262 (3), 425-440.

Rubenwolf, P.C., Georgopoulos, N.T., Clements, L.A., Feather, S., Holland, P., Thomas, D.F.M., & Southgate, J. (2009). Expression and localisation of aquaporin water channels in human urothelium in situ and in vitro. European urology, 56 (6), 1013-1023.

Chopra, B., Georgopoulos, N.T., Nicholl, A., Hinley, J., Oleksiewicz, M.B., & Southgate, J. (2009). Structurally diverse peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists induce apoptosis in human uro-epithelial cells by a receptor-independent mechanism involving store-operated calcium channels. Cell proliferation, 42 (5), 688-700.

Walker, D.C., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Southgate, J. (2008). From pathway to population--a multiscale model of juxtacrine EGFR-MAPK signalling. BMC systems biology, 2, 102.

Hill, K.S., Errington, F., Steele, L.P., Merrick, A., Morgan, R., Selby, P.J., ... Melcher, A.A. (2008). OK432-activated human dendritic cells kill tumor cells via CD40/CD40 ligand interactions. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 181 (5), 3108-3115.

Kottke, T., Sanchez-Perez, L., Diaz, R.M., Thompson, J., Chong, H., Harrington, K., ... Vile, R. (2007). Induction of hsp70-mediated Th17 autoimmunity can be exploited as immunotherapy for metastatic prostate cancer. Cancer research, 67 (24), 11970-11979.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Merrick, A., Scott, N., Selby, P.J., Melcher, A., & Trejdosiewicz, L.K. (2007). CD40-mediated death and cytokine secretion in colorectal cancer: a potential target for inflammatory tumour cell killing. International journal of cancer, 121 (6), 1373-1381.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Steele, L.P., Thomson, M.J., Selby, P.J., Southgate, J., & Trejdosiewicz, L.K. (2006). A novel mechanism of CD40-induced apoptosis of carcinoma cells involving TRAF3 and JNK/AP-1 activation. Cell death and differentiation, 13 (10), 1789-1801.

Steele, L.P., Georgopoulos, N.T., Southgate, J., Selby, P.J., & Trejdosiewicz, L.K. (2006). Differential susceptibility to TRAIL of normal versus malignant human urothelial cells. Cell death and differentiation, 13 (9), 1564-1576.

Crallan, R.A., Georgopoulos, N.T., & Southgate, J. (2006). Experimental models of human bladder carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis, 27 (3), 374-381.

Shaw, N.J., Georgopoulos, N.T., Southgate, J., & Trejdosiewicz, L.K. (2005). Effects of loss of p53 and p16 function on life span and survival of human urothelial cells. International journal of cancer, 116 (4), 634-639.

Bugajska, U., Georgopoulos, N.T., Southgate, J., Johnson, P.W.M., Graber, P., Gordon, J., ... Trejdosiewicz, L.K. (2002). The effects of malignant transformation on susceptibility of human urothelial cells to CD40-mediated apoptosis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 94 (18), 1381-1395.

Stockwin, L.H., Matzow, T., Georgopoulos, N.T., Stanbridge, L.J., Jones, S.V., Martin, I.G., ... Blair, G.E. (2002). Engineered expression of the Coxsackie B and adenovirus receptor (CAR) in human dendritic cells enhances recombinant adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. Journal of immunological methods, 259 (1-2), 205-215.

Georgopoulos, N.T., Proffitt, J.L., & Blair, G.E. (2000). Transcriptional regulation of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I heavy chain, TAP1 and LMP2 genes by the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 6b, 16 and 18 E7 oncoproteins. Oncogene, 19 (42), 4930-4935.

Other publications

Albarbar, B., Dunnill, C., & Georgopoulos, N. (2015). Regulation of cell fate by lymphotoxin (LT) receptor signalling: Functional differences and similarities of the LT system to other TNF superfamily (TNFSF) members. Elsevier BV:

Other activities

British Society of Cell Biology (BSCB) Ambassador for Sheffield Hallam University.
Editorial Board member for journal “Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology” (review editor for section ‘Cell Death and Survival’ (Frontiers)
Topic Editor for journal "Cells" (MDPI)
CSO and Co-Founder at VeritaCell
Scientific Advisory Board member for Paxman Ltd
International Trichology Congress (ITC) & ‘Hair Advice and Information Research (H.A.I.R.) Project' - Member
White Rose Melanoma and Cancer Immunology group - Member
Member of the Board of Trustees of Project Youth Cancer

Postgraduate supervision

Areas of research supervision include (but are not limited to):
• Understanding the mechanisms of cell death (apoptosis) triggered by members of the TNF Receptor protein family for the design of novel cancer-specific, targeted therapeutics
• Studying the molecular mechanisms of novel types of cell death such as regulated necrosis, autophagy, and ferroptosis and their role in human pathophysiology as well as their potential as novel therapeutic targets
• Investigations of the mechanisms of chemotherapy drug-mediated hair loss (alopecia) using physiologically-relevant in vitro models and design of novel scalp cooling-based approaches to prevent hair loss in cancer patients
• Understanding the cell signalling pathways that underpin chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and designing novel cooling-based methods to combat chronic CIPN
• Use of physiologically-relevant in vitro models of epithelial tissues and engineered cell models that mimic disease in order to understand normal tissue homeostasis and human pathology.

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