Zoe Cournia, PhD
Investigator - Assistant Professor Level
Center for Clinical, Research, Experimental Surgery
and Translational Research
Telephone :+30 210 6597 195
Fax :+30 210 6597 545
e-mail : zcournia bioacademy.gr
Zoe Cournia graduated from the Chemistry Department in the University of Athens and subsequently pursued doctoral studies in the University of Heidelberg, Germany, with Dr. Jeremy Smith. She obtained the Ph.D. degree in computational biophysical chemistry. Cournia then joined Dr. Bill Jorgensen's lab in the Department of Chemistry, Yale University to perform post-doctoral studies in computer-aided drug design. At Yale, she focused on the design and discovery of novel anti-cancer agents and prediction of pharmacological properties using computational techniques. During 2007-2008 she served as a co-President of the Yale Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Society and in 2009 she became a Lecturer in Yale College in 2009. She is currently a member of BRFAA, where she works on computer-aided drug design techniques for targeting the mutated cancerous PI3Kα protein with small molecule inhibitors, and for the inhibition of the c-Myc-Max interaction and the Arp2/3 protein complex using small molecules. For these studies the Cournia lab employs a combination of MD simulations, virtual screening, de novo drug design, free energy perturbation calculations, pharmacological property prediction and Monte Carlo simulations. Moreover, she works on the design of drug delivery systems such as nanoparticles using multiscale modeling. For her research achievements, she has earned the AACR Fellowship for Cancer Research in Angiogenesis, a Marie Curie Fellowship and has been co-PI in many national and international research programs. In 2009 she was honored with the “Women of Innovation Award” from the Connecticut Technology Council, USA, in 2014 with the “Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry” from the American Chemical Society, and in 2016 with the "Ada Lovelace Award for High Performance Computing” from the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe. She teaches the course "Computer Modeling of Biomolecules" in the MSc program "Information Technologies in Medicine and Biology" organized by the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Membrane Partitioning of Anionic, Ligand-Coated Nanoparticles Is Accompanied by Ligand Snorkeling, Local Disordering, and Cholesterol Depletion
Gkeka, P, Angelikopoulos P, Sarkisov L, Cournia Z.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2014, 10 (10):e1003917
Investigating the Structure and Dynamics of the PIK3CA Wild-Type and H1047R Oncogenic Mutant.
Gkeka P, Evangelidis T, Pavlaki M, Lazani V, Christoforidis S, Agianian B, Cournia Z.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2014, 10 (10):e1003895.
ChemBioServer: a web-based pipeline for filtering, clustering and visualization of chemical compounds used in drug discovery.Athanasiadis E, Cournia Z, Spyrou G.
Bioinformatics. 2012, 28(22), pp. 3002-3.
Structural characterization and computer-aided optimization of a small-molecule inhibitor of the Arp2/3 complex, a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton.
Baggett AW, Cournia Z, Han MS, Patargias G, Glass AC, Liu SY, Nolen BJ.
ChemMedChem. 2012, 7(7):1286-94.
Discovery of human macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)-CD74 antagonists via virtual screening.
Cournia Z, Leng L, Gandavadi S, Du X, Bucala R, Jorgensen WL.
J Med Chem. 2009, 52(2):416-24.
Differential effects of cholesterol, ergosterol and lanosterol on a dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine membrane: a molecular dynamics simulation study.
Cournia Z, Ullmann GM, Smith JC.
J Phys Chem B. 2007, 111(7):1786-801.
A molecular mechanics force field for biologically important sterols.
Cournia Z, Smith JC, Ullmann GM
J Comput Chem. 2005, (13):1383-99.
AFMM: A molecular mechanics force-field vibrational parametrization program.
Vaiana AC, Cournia Z, Costescu IB, Smith JC
Comput Phys Commun 2005, 167:34-42.
Derivation of a Molecular Mechanics Force-Field for Cholesterol.
Cournia Z, Vaiana AC, Smith JC, Ullmann GM
Pure Appl Chem. 2004, 76:189-196.