Fotis Asimakopoulos, MB, BChir, PhD

Portrait of Fotis Asimakopoulos, MB, BChir, PhD
4031 WIMR
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 265-4835
Focus Groups: 
Cancer Biology
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Doctor of Philosophy, (Cambridge combined MD/ PhD program), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Research Summary: 
Myeloma research and phase I experimental therapeutics
Research Detail: 

The Asimakopoulos lab at UW-Madison focuses on the study of the regulation of intratumoral immune microenvironment, the cross-talk between tumor matrix  remodeling and immune cells infiltrating the tumor site and the development of novel tumor models to study targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Our passion is to understand antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells) and other myeloid regulatory cells operating at the tumor site. These cells collectively determine the balance between immunogenic and tolerogenic inflammation and regulate “innate sensing” of tumors by the immune system and recognition of tumor antigens. This first step of the “cancer immunity cycle” is critical for the success of all immunotherapy modalities (whether through vaccination, checkpoint inhibition or cellular therapies using engineered effector cells, e.g., CAR-T cells).


Our main expertise and focus is on multiple myeloma, a tumor of plasma cells that constitute the “snipers” of the immune system (as they attack invaders through secretion of antibodies, the “bullets” of the immune system). However in recent years, our scope has expanded into several solid tumor models through strategic collaborations.


Active projects in the lab include:

1)            Understanding tumor matrix cross-talk with dendritic cells and other intratumoral myeloid cells (tumor-associated macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells).

2)            Understanding the pathways that regulate dendritic cell function and dysfunction at the tumor site.

3)            Novel animal models to study multiple myeloma targeted therapy and immunotherapy


Selected Publications: 
Asimakopoulos F. and Varmus HE. Gene targeting of germinal center centroblasts generated in vivo. Manuscript in preparation.
Asimakopoulos F. and Varmus HE. Cell-Specific Transduction Of Blimp-1-expressing Lineages Mediated By A Receptor For Avian Leukosis Virus Subgroup B. Journal of Virology, 83: 4835-4843, 2009.
Shteper PJ, Siegfried Z, Asimakopoulos F.A., Palumbo GA, Rachmilewitz EA, Ben-Neriah Y, Ben-Yehuda D. ABL1 methylation in Ph-positive ALL is exclusively associated with the P210 form of BCR-ABL. Leukemia, 15: 575-82, 2001.
Asimakopoulos F.A., Shteper PJ, Krichevsky S, Fibach E, Polliack A, Rachmilewitz E, Ben- Neriah Y, Ben-Yehuda D. ABL1 Methylation is a Distinct Molecular Event Associated With Clonal Evolution of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Blood, 94: 2452-60, 1999.
Bench A.J., Aldred M.A., Humphray S.J., Champion K.M., Gilbert J.G., Asimakopoulos FA, Deloukas P., Gwilliam R., Bentley D.R., and Green A.R. A Detailed Physical And Transcriptional Map Of The Region Of Chromosome 20 That Is Deleted In Myeloproliferative Disorders And Refinement Of The Common Deleted Region. Genomics, 49: 351-362, 1998.
Champion K.M., Gilbert J.G.R, Asimakopoulos F.A., Hinshelwood S. and Green A.R. Clonal Haematopoiesis In Normal Elderly Women: Implications For The Myeloproliferative Disorders And Myelodysplastic Syndromes. British Journal of Haematology, 97: 920-926, 1997.
Asimakopoulos FA, Hinshelwood S., Gilbert J.G.R., Delibrias C.C., Göttgens B., Fearon D.T., and Green A. R. The Gene For Hematopoietic Cell Phosphatase (SHP-1) Is Structurally And Transcriptionally Intact In Polycythemia Vera. Oncogene, 14: 1215-1222, 1997.
Asimakopoulos F.A., White N.J., Nacheva E. and Green A.R. The Human CD40 Gene Maps Within Chromosome 20q Deletions Associated With Myeloid Malignancies. British Journal of Haematology, 92: 127-130, 1996.
Asimakopoulos F.A., Holloway T.L., Nacheva E., Scott M.A., Fenaux P. and Green A.R. Detection Of Chromosome 20q Deletions In Bone Marrow Metaphases But Not Peripheral Blood Granulocytes In Patients With Myeloproliferative Disorders Or Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Blood, 87: 1561-1570, 1996.
Asimakopoulos F.A., Gilbert J.G.R., Aldred M.A., Pearson T.C., and Green A.R. Interstitial Deletion Constitutes The Major Mechanism For Loss Of Heterozygosity On Chromosome 20q In Polycythaemia Vera. Blood, 88: 2690-2698, 1996. Gilbert J.G.R., Aldred M.A., Pearson T.C., and Green A.R. Interstitial Deletion Constitutes The Major Mechanism For Loss Of Heterozygosity On Chromosome 20q In Polycythaemia Vera. Blood, 88: 2690-2698, 1996.