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

Key details

Areas of expertise

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

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Vasso Apostolopoulos

Vasso Leads the Immunology & Translational Research Group. She is also the Program Director, Immunology, at the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science

Her expertise is multi-disciplinary with extensive expertise in immunology, x-ray crystallography, medicinal chemistry, cellular biology, clinical & translational research with development of drugs and vaccines. Vasso was a Chief Scientific Officer for 4Gvaccines, is on the board and consults for pharmaceutical companies worldwide, and is the Director of VAConsulting. She has undertaken research in various capacities at Oxford University, Scripps Research Institute USA, Mater Institute Qld, ANU Canberra, University of Melbourne. She was head of the Immunology & Vaccine Unit at the Austin Research Institute and at the Burnet Institute; the Immunology Program Leader in the Centre for Chronic Disease at VU; was the Mechanisms and Interventions in Health and Disease Program Leader at VU. In 2018-2022 she was part of the senior executive team being the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Associate Provost and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research Partnerships.

Vasso is a world-renowned researcher who has been recognised with >100 awards including 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 one of the most successful Greeks abroad by the prestigious Times magazine. Vasso was the first to develop a method of immunotherapy to stimulate the immune system in the early 1990s, which today is used by hundreds of labs around the world. These studies led to >25 phase I, II, III human trials of vaccine formulations for breast & ovarian cancer which attracted investment by pharma. Of note, one of the studies now has long-term follow-up data showing that 25 years later those injected with the vaccine remain cancer free.

Committed to the benefits of immunotherapy, Vasso has applied several immunotherapies to other diseases including MS, diabetes, drug addiction, Alzheimer’s’ disease. Vasso’s research is also working on understanding mechanisms and developing interventions for cancer, mental health, diabetes, chronic diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmunity, using vaccines, drugs, natural bio-active compounds or via physical activity / exercise. She is committed to driving her research and programs to help people age healthy.

In response to the current global COVID emergency, a global consortia was developed which includes researchers from Europe, USA, Canada and Australia investigating and working on vaccines and drugs to treat the virus.

Vasso has published over 500 research papers, is an inventor on 20 patents, has supervised >70 Hons MSc PhD students and has received >$63.5M in research funds

Qualifications

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

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.

Supporting the mental health of CALD older adults in the Wyndham region - (WYNDHAM HEALTH FOUNDATION ) Innovation Grant
From: Victoria University, Innovation and Research Grants
Other investigators: Dr Jack Feehan
For period: 2023-2024
$39,151
MODULATION OF DIGESTION PATTERNS, PEPTIDE RELEASE AND IMMUNOGENETIC PROFILE OF MILK SUBJECTED TO HAELEN PROCESS
From: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Naturo Pty Ltd
Other investigators: Prof Todor Vasiljevic, Ms Narges Dargahi, Dr Muditha Dissanayake
For period: 2023-2023
$151,704

Renewal of CRA between VU and Surecell Australia PTY LTD (2022-2024) and Schedule 2 (Project #2).
From: Surecell Australia Pty Ltd
For period: 2022-2024
Not disclosed

Osteosarcopenia in osteopathic practice: incorporating disease detection in the clinical setting
From: Osteopathy Australia Research Fund
Other investigators: Dr Nicholas Tripodi, Dr Jack Feehan
For period: 2021-2022
$5,000
Improving Care for Patients on a Waiting List for Orthopaedic Specialist Public Health Services in Melbourne’s West (Waitlist Project)
From: Victorian Higher Education Strategic Investment Fund
Other investigators: Prof Itamar Levinger, Prof Michael Mckenna, Prof Rebecca Lane, Miss Mary Woessner, Prof Alexandra Parker, Dr Michaela Pascoe
For period: 2021-2022
$2,025,812

Low Level Laser Therapy for Treating Wounds and Managing Pain
From: Defence Science Institute
Other investigators: Prof Kulmira Nurgali, Dr Sarah Fraser, Dr Maja Husaric, Dr Fotios Sidiroglou
For period: 2020-2020
$50,000

Novel Breast Cancer Markers
From: The Thelma and Paul Constantinou Foundation - Donation
For period: 2019-2020
$45,000
Vitamin B and Mental Health
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
Other investigators: Prof Kulmira Nurgali, Dr Dimitrios Kiatos
For period: 2018-2019
Not disclosed
Preventing a T1D Progression via a Tolerance Inducing Vaccine
From: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia
Other investigators: Prof Friedrich De courten
For period: 2018-2020
Not disclosed

Part 2: Multiple Sclerosis Program in Australia - MS Immunotherapeutics using MBP
From: Vianex S.A.
For period: 2015-2019
$300,000

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
5 PhD Associate supervisor
5 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (5) Associate supervisor
PhD (5) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 PhD by Publication Associate supervisor
7 PhD Principal supervisor
6 PhD Associate supervisor
1 Masters by Research Associate supervisor
1 Masters by Research Principal supervisor
1 Master of Applied Research Principal supervisor
2 Master of Research Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD by Publication (1) Associate supervisor
PhD (7) Principal supervisor
PhD (6) Associate supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Associate supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Principal supervisor
Master of Applied Research (1) Principal supervisor
Master of Research (2) Principal supervisor

Careers

Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.