University position

visiting senior Research Associate


Department of Haematology


MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute



Home page

https://www.researchgate.net/lab/Ili... (personal home page)

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


My research focuses on the regulation of adult brain cytogenesis, especilly on the biology of the subependymal zone neurogenic/gliogenic niche. I am interested in the role of components of the extracellular matrix (ECM/ such as integrins, laminins and tenascin-C), as well as of structural elements of the niche (such as ependymal cells and blood vessels) in the regulation of adult stem cell behaviour. When and how the neural stem cell transforms from a very active progenitor into a relatively quiescent cell? What is the contribution of ECM molecules in this process? How is the niche microenvironment altered when stem cells become activated in order to regenerate the neural tissue? Recently I have started exploring more intensively the oligodendrogenic properties of the subependymal zone, especially in the context of the ageing brain, as well as the potential to develop new methods to isolate neural progenitors from the niche.

Adult neural stem cells are BrdU-retaining (green) cells with astroglial morphology (GFAP-blue). The pictured stem cell is beta1 integrin (red) negative, in contrast to its neighbouring progenitors.
Adult neural stem cells are BrdU-retaining (green) cells with astroglial morphology (GFAP-blue). The pictured stem cell is beta1 integrin (red) negative, in contrast to its neighbouring progenitors.
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus


neural stem cell


extracellular matrix

oligodendrocyte precursor


Clinical conditions

Cerebrovascular disorders


Multiple sclerosis

Parkinson's disease



Cell culture

Computational modelling

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy





Robin Franklin

United Kingdom

Charles ffrench_Constant Web: http://www.crm.ed.ac.uk/researc...


Mary Dickinson Web: http://www.bcm.edu/physio/...

Andreas Faissner Web: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/igsn/re...

Francisco Rivera Web: http://www.pmu.ac.at/forschu...

Ioanna Sandvig Web: http://www.ntnu.edu/employe...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    McClenahan F, Dimitriou C, Koutsakis C, Dimitrakopoulos D, Arampatzis A, Kakouri P, Kourla M, Oikonomou S, Andreopoulou E, Patsonis M, Meri DK, Rasool RT, Franklin RJM, Kazanis I (2021), “Isolation of neural stem and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from the brain of live rats” Stem Cell Res 16(10): 2534-2547

    Mourtzi T, Dimitrakopoulos D, Kakogiannis D, Salodimitris C, Botsakis K, Meri DK, Anesti M, Dimopoulou A, Charalampopoulos I, Gravanis A, Matsokis N, Angelatou F, Kazanis I (2021), “Characterization of substantia nigra neurogenesis in homeostasis and dopaminergic degeneration: beneficial effects of the microneurotrophin BNN-20” Stem Cell Res Ther 12(1):335

    Kazanis I, Evans KA, Andreopoulou E, Dimitriou C, Koutsakis C, Karadottir RT, Franklin RJM (2017), “Subependymal Zone-Derived Oligodendroblasts Respond to Focal Demyelination but Fail to Generate Myelin in Young and Aged Mice” Stem Cell Reports 8(3):685-700

    Kazanis I, Feichtner M, Lange S, Rotheneichner P, Hainzl S, Öller M, Schallmoser K, Rohde E, Reitsamer HA, Couillard-Despres S, Bauer HC, Franklin RJ, Aigner L, Rivera FJ (2015), “Lesion-induced accumulation of platelets promotes survival of adult neural stem / progenitor cells” Experimental Neurology 269: 75-89

    Kazanis I, Ffrench-Constant C (2012), “The number of stem cells in the subependymal zone of the adult rodent brain is correlated with the number of ependymal cells and not with the volume of the niche.” Stem Cells Dev 21(7):1090-6 Details

    Kazanis I, Lathia JD, Vadakkan TJ, Raborn E, Wan R, Mughal MR, Eckley DM, Sasaki T, Patton B, Mattson MP, Hirschi KK, Dickinson ME, ffrench-Constant C (2010), “Quiescence and activation of stem and precursor cell populations in the subependymal zone of the mammalian brain are associated with distinct cellular and extracellular matrix signals.” J Neurosci 30(29):9771-81 Details

    Kazanis I, Belhadi A, Faissner A, Ffrench-Constant C (2007), “The adult mouse subependymal zone regenerates efficiently in the absence of tenascin-C.” J Neurosci 27(51):13991-6 Details

    Ekonomou A, Kazanis I, Malas S, Wood H, Alifragis P, Denaxa M, Karagogeos D, Constanti A, Lovell-Badge R, Episkopou V (2005), “Neuronal migration and ventral subtype identity in the telencephalon depend on SOX1.” PLoS Biol 3(6):e186 Details



    Koutsakis C, Kazanis I (2016), “How Necessary is the Vasculature in the Life of Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells? Evidence from Evolution, Development and the Adult Nervous System.” Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience Feb 16;10:35

    Neumann B, Kazanis I (2016), “Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells: the ever mitotic cells of the CNS” Frontiers in Bioscience 8: 29-43

    Rivera FJ, Kazanis I, Ghevaert C, Aigner L (2016), “Beyond Clotting: A Role of Platelets in CNS Repair?” Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience Jan 20;9:511


    Chandran JS, Kazanis I, Clapcote SJ, Ogawa F, Millar JK, Porteous DJ, Ffrench-Constant C (2014), “Disc1 variation leads to specific alterations in adult neurogenesis.” PLoS One 9(10):e108088 Details


    Agathou S, Káradóttir RT, Kazanis I (2013), “Niche derived oligodendrocyte progenitors: a source of rejuvenation or complementation for local oligodendrogenesis?” Front Cell Neurosci 7:188 Details

    Kazanis I (2013), “Neurogenesis in the adult Mammalian brain: how much do we need, how much do we have?” Curr Top Behav Neurosci 15:3-29 Details

    Kazanis I, Gorenkova N, Zhao JW, Franklin RJ, Modo M, Ffrench-Constant C (2013), “The late response of rat subependymal zone stem and progenitor cells to stroke is restricted to directly affected areas of their niche.” Exp Neurol 248C:387-397 Details


    Kazanis I (2012), “Reforming the Greek health system: A role for non-medical, clinical bioscientists.” Health Policy Details

    Kazanis I (2012), “Can adult neural stem cells create new brains? Plasticity in the adult mammalian neurogenic niches: realities and expectations in the era of regenerative biology.” Neuroscientist 18(1):15-27 Details


    Kazanis I, Ffrench-Constant C (2011), “Extracellular matrix and the neural stem cell niche.” Dev Neurobiol 71(11):1006-17 Details


    Marthiens V, Kazanis I, Moss L, Long K, Ffrench-Constant C (2010), “Adhesion molecules in the stem cell niche--more than just staying in shape?” J Cell Sci 123(Pt 10):1613-22 Details


    Kazanis I (2009), “The subependymal zone neurogenic niche: a beating heart in the centre of the brain: how plastic is adult neurogenesis? Opportunities for therapy and questions to be addressed.” Brain 132(Pt 11):2909-21 Details


    Kazanis I, Lathia J, Moss L, ffrench-Constant C (2008), “The neural stem cell microenvironment” StemBook doi/10.3824/stembook.1.15.1


    Kan L, Jalali A, Zhao LR, Zhou X, McGuire T, Kazanis I, Episkopou V, Bassuk AG, Kessler JA (2007), “Dual function of Sox1 in telencephalic progenitor cells.” Dev Biol 310(1):85-98 Details


    Kazanis I (2005), “CNS injury research; reviewing the last decade: methodological errors and a proposal for a new strategy.” Brain Res Brain Res Rev 50(2):377-86 Details


    Kazanis I, Giannakopoulou M, Philippidis H, Stylianopoulou F (2004), “Alterations in IGF-I, BDNF and NT-3 levels following experimental brain trauma and the effect of IGF-I administration.” Exp Neurol 186(2):221-34 Details


    Kazanis I, Bozas E, Philippidis H, Stylianopoulou F (2003), “Neuroprotective effects of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) following a penetrating brain injury in rats.” Brain Res 991(1-2):34-45 Details

    Mantelas A, Stamatakis A, Kazanis I, Philippidis H, Stylianopoulou F (2003), “Control of neuronal nitric oxide synthase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels by GABA-A receptors in the developing rat cortex.” Brain Res Dev Brain Res 145(2):185-95 Details


    Benekou A, Bolaris S, Kazanis E, Bozas E, Philippidis H, Stylianopoulou F (2001), “In utero radiation-induced changes in growth factor levels in the developing rat brain.” Int J Radiat Biol 77(1):83-93 Details


    Giannakopoulou M, Mansour M, Kazanis E, Bozas E, Philpipidis H, Stylianopoulou F (2000), “NMDA receptor mediated changes in IGF-II gene expression in the rat brain after injury and the possible role of nitric oxide.” Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 26(6):513-21 Details