Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Immunology
  • Protein crystallography
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Extensive translational research expertise with development of drugs and vaccines

Not available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Vasso Apostolopoulos

Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos received her PhD majoring in immunology in 1995 from the University of Melbourne, and the Advanced Certificate in Protein Crystallography from Birkbeck College, University of London. 

Her expertise is multi-disciplinary with extensive expertise in immunology, x-ray crystallography, medicinal chemistry, cellular biology, molecular biology. She has extensive translational research expertise with development of drugs and vaccines.

Vasso was a Chief Scientific Officer for 4Gvaccines, is on the board, and consults for, a number of pharmaceutical companies worldwide, and is the Director of VAConsulting Services. She was the head of the Immunology and Vaccine Unit at the Austin Research Institute and at the Burnet Institute; the Immunology Program Leader in the Centre for Chronic Disease at Victoria University; and is the Mechanisms and Interventions in Health and Disease Program Leader at the Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University. She is currently the interim Vice President (Research) at Victoria University.

Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos is a world-renowned researcher who has been recognised with over 100 awards for the outstanding results of her research. Most notable are the Premier’s Award for Medical Research, Young Australian of the Year (Vic), Greek Australian of the Year, Woman of the Year. She was named as one of the most successful Greeks abroad by the prestigious Times magazine.

Vasso was the first in the world to develop the concept of immunotherapy for cancer in the early 1990s, which today is used by hundreds of labs around the world. Immunotherapy aims to boost specific immune cells and program them to kill cancer cells; it was used by Vasso to develop the world’s first breast cancer vaccine with phase I, II and III clinical trials completed. Of note, one of the studies now has long-term follow-up data showing that 20 years later those injected with the vaccine remain cancer free. It has been licensed to an Australian pharmaceutical company.

Using immunotherapy, Vasso has also developed the world’s first ovarian cancer vaccine, which attracted the investment by a pharmaceutical company and has been commercialised in the Middle East. Committed to the wide-ranging benefits of immunotherapy, Vasso has applied this approach to other diseases including a vaccine for multiple sclerosis (which will undergo human clinical trials early in 2019). Most recently, Vasso’s work has been awarded a research grant to develop a vaccine for type-1 diabetes.

Qualifications

  • PhD majoring in immunology, University of Melbourne, Australia, 1995
  • Advanced certificate in Protein Crystallography, Birkbeck College, University of London, (Yr)

Key publications

Year Citation
2018 Mikkelsen, K., Hallam, K., Stojanovska, L., & Apostolopoulos, V. (180101). Yeast based spreads improve anxiety and stress. Journal of Functional Foods, 40 (471-476).

doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2017.11.034

2017 Prakash, M. D., Tangalakis, K., Antonipillai, J., Stojanovska, L., Nurgali, K., & Apostolopoulos, V. (170601). Methamphetamine: Effects on the brain, gut and immune system. Pharmacological Research, 120 (60-67).

doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.03.009

2017 Lourbopoulos, A., Deraos, G., Matsoukas, M. T., Touloumi, O., Giannakopoulou, A., Kalbacher, H., Grigoriadis, N., Apostolopoulos, V., & Matsoukas, J. (170101). Cyclic MOG35-55 ameliorates clinical and neuropathological features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 25(15), (4163-4174).

doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2017.06.005

2017 Apostolopoulos, V., Deraos, G., Matsoukas, M. T., Day, S., Stojanovska, L., Tselios, T., Androutsou, M. E., & Matsoukas, J. (170101). Cyclic citrullinated MBP87-99peptide stimulates T cell responses: Implications in triggering disease. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 25(2), (528-538).

doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2016.11.029

2016 Apostolopoulos, V. (160601). Vaccine delivery methods into the future. Vaccines, 4(2),

doi: 10.3390/vaccines4020009

2015 Day, S., Tselios, T., Androutsou, M. E., Tapeinou, A., Frilligou, I., Stojanovska, L., Matsoukas, J., & Apostolopoulos, V. (150101). Mannosylated linear and cyclic single amino acid mutant peptides using a small 10 amino acid linker constitute promising candidates against multiple sclerosis. Frontiers in Immunology, 6(APR),

doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00136

2013 Vassilaros, S., Tsibanis, A., Tsikkinis, A., Pietersz, G. A., McKenzie, I. FC., & Apostolopoulos, V. (131101). Up to 15-year clinical follow-up of a pilot Phase III immunotherapy study in stage II breast cancer patients using oxidized mannan-MUC1. Immunotherapy, 5(11), (1177-1182).

doi: 10.2217/imt.13.126

2009 Apostolopoulos, V. (090301). Peptide-based vaccines for cancer: Are we choosing the right peptides?. Expert Review of Vaccines, 8(3), (259-260).

doi: 10.1586/14760584.8.3.259

2008 Katsara, M., Yuriev, E., Ramsland, P. A., Deraos, G., Tselios, T., Matsoukas, J., & Apostolopoulos, V. (080801). Mannosylation of mutated MBP83-99 peptides diverts immune responses from Th1 to Th2. Molecular Immunology, 45(13), (3661-3670).

doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.04.024

2000 Corper, A. L., Stratmann, T., Apostolopoulos, V., Scott, C. A., Garcia, K. C., Kang, A. S., Wilson, I. A., & Teyton, L. (000421). A structural framework for deciphering the link between I-A(g7) and autoimmune diabetes. Science, 288(5465), (505-511).

doi: 10.1126/science.288.5465.505

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Vitamin B and Mental Health
From: The Thelma and Paul Constantinou Foundation - Donation
For period: 2019-2020
$45,000
Novel Breast Cancer Markers
From: The Thelma and Paul Constantinou Foundation - Donation
For period: 2019-2020
$45,000

Characterisation of Blood-Derived Stem Cells
From: Surecell Australia Pty Ltd
Investigators: Dr Dimitrios Kiatos, Aspr Kulmira Nurgali
For period: 2018-2019
Not disclosed
Preventing a T1D Progression via a Tolerance Inducing Vaccine
From: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia
Investigators: Prof Friedrich De courten
For period: 2018-2020
Not disclosed

Anti-bacterial properties of phytolin.
From: The Product Makers (TPM) Australian Pty Ltd
Investigators: Prof Lilian Stojanovska
For period: 2017-2018
$18,291

The Effects of Phytolin on Inflammation and Cancer
From: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Commonwealth), The Product Makers (TPM) Australian Pty Ltd
Investigators: Prof Lilian Stojanovska
For period: 2016-2017
Not disclosed
Part 1 - Master Research Services Agreement
From: Vianex S.A.
For period: 2016-2018
$1,317,644

Part 2: Multiple Sclerosis Program in Australia - MS Immunotherapeutics using MBP
From: Vianex S.A.
For period: 2015-2019
$300,000
Vitamin B and effects on depression
From: Cooper Foundation
For period: 2015-2015
$20,000

Supervision of research students at VU

Not available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
3 Masters by Research Principal supervisor
5 PhD Associate supervisor
6 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
Masters by Research (3) Principal supervisor
PhD (5) Associate supervisor
PhD (6) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
3 PhD Associate supervisor
1 PhD Principal supervisor
1 Masters by Research Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (3) Associate supervisor
PhD (1) Principal supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Associate supervisor

Careers

Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.