Work That Matters

Staff Spotlight: Krinio Giannikou, PhD

“I derive immense joy from working in a clinically-oriented environment,” Krinio Giannikou, PhD, says. “Though I don’t interact with patients directly, my research is firmly rooted in translational efforts and has tremendous potential to impact patient care. I find that very rewarding.”

Headshot of woman with medium skin tone and brown hair wearing a brown top against a neutral indoor background
Krinio Giannikou, PhD

She joined CHLA last year after serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow and then Instructor in Medicine (junior faculty) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Here at CHLA, in the lab of Shahab Asgharzadeh, MD, she implements spatial transcriptomics (a novel technology that measures gene activity in tissue) as well as imaging mass cytometry to study the tumor/immune microenvironment in neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.

Dr. Giannikou also works closely with the lab of James Amatruda, MD, PhD, where she is investigating the Wnt/catenin signaling pathway as a promising prognostic and therapeutic target for patients with germ cell tumors. Last month, she presented results from single-cell RNA-sequencing studies on testicular seminoma, a type of germ cell tumor, at the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium annual meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“Human genetics and genomics have been my lifelong passion,” Dr. Giannikou shares. “I also firmly believe that, ‘We do our best together.’ I enjoy collaborating with many talented individuals at CHLA. It is the combined efforts of a wide variety of people with diverse expertise that lead to scientific breakthroughs.”

Originally from Greece, Dr. Giannikou grew up in Olympia Province—the birthplace of the Olympic Games. (Fun fact: Every four years, the Olympic torch relay begins in her hometown). Outside of the lab, she loves reading, learning about artificial intelligence and exploring L.A.’s many art museums and theaters.