Fani Κοukouli from Litochoro Pieria, is another Greek, which shines abroad and is a shining example of hard work, endless effort and passion for her work.

In the last 5 years lives in Paris and works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Pasteur Institute.

The recent conquest of the l’Oréal-UNESCO, for the  Neurobiology inquiry, on the Schizophrenia, is the bonus of her effortss. Selected, together with another Greek researcher – between more than 1,000 candidates – and took two of the 30 this year’s French fellowships, L’Oréal – Unesco “Women in Science”.


The hidden recipe for success for Mιss Fani Koukouli, is hard work, perseverance and dedication. Together with that and proud parents, boasts a whole country, but fails to offer present and future young scientists. Thus constitutes a one-way street, immigration and work in a foreign country, which often gives better prospects for the career of a scientist.



“This discrimination was not easy,” says to the “was the result of a great effort and work over many years. This Award I dedicate to my mother for support, love and for all he has done for me!”

“The Neurobiology research has focused on the schizophrenic pathology and pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

During my phd research documents, I have studied a mutation of the  nicotine receptors, who predeterminate to use and nicotine addiction. This mutation occurs in 37% of Europeans.”

What I was discover is that the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the area of the brain that is especially associates with decision making and short – term memory, shows neuronal activity which decreases in people with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. This cerebral deficit is due to a genetic anomaly in the nicotinic receptors which are present in the PFC, correlated with the fact that 80 to 90% of schizoplrenia patients are smokers. During experiments I was able to demonstrate that the repeated administration of nicotine helps re- establish neuronal activity in individuals affected by schizophrenia.

The aim of my research is to test different molicules which act on the nicotinic receptors and enable nerve cells to return to normal activity, without the harmful effects associated with nicotine.

At the same time I am leading a major project, investigating the role of nicotinic peceptors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. My goal, both in the case of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, is the development of new medical therapeutic approaches.”


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