Androniki Raftogianni

Brief CV

Androniki Raftogianni is an Assistant Professor of Physiology of Behavior at the University of Crete, Department of Psychology, as of July 2022. She did her PhD (awarded March 2013) in the field of Neuroscience at the University of Athens (Greece) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Fotini Stylianopoulou. During her PhD studies, she focused on how events (stressful or not) during critical periods throughout the lifespan, such as the neonatal period and adolescence, affect the brain function that controls stress responsiveness and emotionality later in life. Upon completion of her  PhD studies, she moved to Germany (June 2013) where she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and at the DKFZ (Prof.Valery Grinevich’s lab), both affiliated with the University of Heidelberg. Her postdoctoral research activity aimed at identifying via optogenetics and chemogenetics the role of neuropeptides (especially that of oxytocin) in controlling stress, fear responses and social behaviours. Dr. Raftogianni has a strong background in Behavioral Neuroscience (animal models)  and has employed a variety of laboratory techniques including cellular and molecular neuroscience, image analysis, animal stereotaxic surgeries, optogenetics, chemogenetics and behavioural paradigms. She has received both national and international awards for her research studies.

Career Development

  • Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and DKFZ, affiliated with the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2013-2018).
    • Postdoctoral Researcher
  • University of Athens (NKUA), School of Health Sciences, Dep.of Nursing (2020-2022).
    • Academic scholar teaching Physiology and Biology.
  • University of Crete (July 2022-today)
    • Faculty member

Research Interests

Her academic interests focus on the impact of stress and, in particular, on how early life experiences (stressful or not) affect the developing brain and shape future behaviours and mental health. She is also interested in the use of animal models for the study of the involvement of neuropeptides in the etiopathogenesis of psychiatric diseases, including anxiety disorders and depression, and other diseases with abnormalities in social function/behavior. Relevant academic interests:

  • Neurobiology of social behaviors
  • Neurobiological mechanisms of depression
  • Early life experiences (rat and mouse models) and neurobiological basis of social behaviors
  • Early life experiences and empathic behavior – Neurobiological mechanisms of empathy
  • Neurobiological and behavioural effects of maternal neglect on the developing and mature brain

Publications (indicative list)

Ferle, V., Repouskou, A., Aspiotis, G., Raftogianni, A., Chrousos, G., Stylianopoulou, F., & Stamatakis, A. (2020). Synergistic effects of early life mild adversity and chronic social defeat on rat brain microglia and cytokines. Physiology & behavior, 215, 112791.

Hasan, M. T., Althammer, F., Silva da Gouveia, M., Goyon, S., Eliava, M., Lefevre, A., Kerspern, D., Schimmer, J., Raftogianni, A., Wahis, J., Knobloch-Bollmann, H. S., Tang, Y., Liu, X., Jain, A., Chavant, V., Goumon, Y., Weislogel, J. M., Hurlemann, R., Herpertz, S. C., Pitzer, C., … Grinevich, V. (2019). A Fear Memory Engram and Its Plasticity in the Hypothalamic Oxytocin System. Neuron, 103(1), 133–146.e8.

Raftogianni, A., Roth, L. C., García-González, D., Bus, T., Kühne, C., Monyer, H., Spergel, D. J., Deussing, J. M., & Grinevich, V. (2018). Deciphering the Contributions of CRH Receptors in the Brain and Pituitary to Stress-Induced Inhibition of the Reproductive Axis. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, 11, 305.

Raftogianni, A., Stamatakis, A., Diamantopoulou, A., Kollia, A. M., & Stylianopoulou, F. (2014). Effects of an early experience of reward through maternal contact or its denial on the dopaminergic system of the rat brain. Neuroscience, 269, 11–20.

Diamantopoulou, A.1, Raftogianni, A.1, Stamatakis, A., Oitzl, M. S., & Stylianopoulou, F. (2013). Effects of denial of reward through maternal contact in the neonatal period on adult hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in the rat. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(6), 830–841. 1These authors equally contributed to the work.

Raftogianni, A., Stamatakis, A., Papadopoulou, A., Vougas, K., Anagnostopoulos, A. K., Stylianopoulou, F., & Tsangaris, G. T. (2012). Effects of an early experience of reward through maternal contact or its denial on laterality of protein expression in the developing rat hippocampus. PloS one, 7(10), e48337.

Raftogianni, A., Diamantopoulou, A., Alikaridis, F., Stamatakis, A., & Stylianopoulou, F. (2012). Effects of interaction of an early experience of reward through maternal contact or its denial with social stress during adolescence on the serotonergic system and the stress responsiveness of adult female rats. Neuroscience, 209, 84–96.

Undergraduate Level

  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Stressful early life experiences and psychopathology 
  • Basic Techniques and Methods for the Study of Brain and Behavior
  • Physiology of Behavior II: Motor & Regulatory Systems

Postgraduate Level

Postgraduate Program “Clinical Interventions in Addictions”: Specific lectures on Neurobiology, Psychopharmacology, and Aetiopathogenesis of Addiction. 

Athens International Master’s Programme in Neurosciences, NKUA: Specific Lectures on Behavioral Neuroscience in Animals.