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Dr Sterghios Moschos

Associate Professor

Department: Applied Sciences

Trained as a Molecular Biologist at the University of Portsmouth, Sterghios did his PhD in Pharmaceutics on nasal vaccines with Prof. Oya H. Alpar at the Centre for Drug Delivery Research, School of Pharmacy, which is now part of UCL. After a 3-year post-doc on genetic adjuvants and siRNA formulation science, he joined Prof. Mark A. Lindsay, Maria Belvisi and Peter J. Barnes at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, to explore cell penetrating peptide-mediated siRNA delivery to the lungs. Here, he expanded this work to biodefence (with dstl), and describing the microRNA regulatory networks in airway inflammatory disease.

He was then headhunted in 2008 by Pfizer Global Research and Development at Sandwich, Kent, to lead oligonucleotide therapeutics research for respiratory indications. Working parallel to Art Krieg’s RNAi-focused Pfizer Research Technology Centre, and closely with colleagues within the Pfizer Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Pfizer Antivirals and Tacere (later acquired by Benitec), Sterghios was instrumental in ensuring the safety of DNA-directed RNAi gene therapy for hepatitis C virus, pioneering inhaled administration of oligonucleotide drugs for liver and kidney diseases, and developing novel methods for reducing animal use in pharmacology research by up to 66%. His work was recognised as breakthrough by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, defining pharmaceutical sector strategy in terms of antisense and RNAi therapies for the lung.

Joining the University of Westminster in 2011 as a Reader in Industrial Biotechnology and Biochemistry, Sterghios established Westminster Genomic Services around the then emerging Ion Torrent next generation sequencing platform to receive the first Certified Service Provider status in the UK, offering GLP-grade internal and external research services. Devising the RACE-SEQ method now established across the RNAi industry, and crucial in the accelerated initiation of first-in-human clinical trials for DNA-directed RNAi, he was the first to digitally quantify the imprecision of human Argonaute 2 activity. Working closely with Prof. Izzet Kale (Dept. Electronic Engineering, University of Westminster), Sterghios also developed PulmoScreen, a novel, patent-protected exhaled breath condensate collection device platform. Responding to the emerging need of the West African Ebolavirus outbreak, Sterghios established and lead the EbolaCheck consortium to conceive, design, deliver and validate with 12 months the first nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) screening platform. The technology is suited for laboratory-free use at the point of need in resource-limited settings, is now available commercially and for future use in screening symptomatic patients for Ebolavirus disease, and under further development for pre-symptomatic differential diagnosis of multiple haemorrhagic fevers.


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Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Microbial adaptation to venom is common in snakes and spiders, Esmaeilishirazifard, E., Usher, L., Trim, C., Denise, H., Sangal, V., Tyson, G., Barlow, A., Redway, K., Taylor, J., Kremyda-Vlachou, M., Davies, S., Loftus, T., Lock, M., Wright, K., Dalby, A., Snyder, L., Wuster, W., Trim, S., Moschos, S. 14 Apr 2022, In: Microbiology spectrum
  • A new threat from an old enemy: Re-emergence of coronavirus (Review), Docea, A., Tsatsakis, A., Albulescu, D., Cristea, O., Zlatian, O., Vinceti, M., Moschos, S., Tsoukalas, D., Goumenou, M., Drakoulis, N., Dumanov1, J., Tutelyan, V., Onischenko, G., Aschner, M., Spandidos, D., Calina, D. Jun 2020, In: International Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Bioengineering bacterial outer membrane vesicles as delivery system for RNA therapeutics targeted to lung epithelial cytosols, Eftychiou, E., Brown, N., Cheung, W., Fois, G., Frick, M., Moschos, S. 12 May 2020, ASGCT 23rd Annual Meeting
  • Comprehensive Analysis of Drugs to Treat SARS‑CoV‑2 Infection: Mechanistic Insights Into Current COVID‑19 Therapies (Review), Nitulescu, G., Paunescu, H., Moschos, S., Petrakis, D., Nitulescu, G., Ion, G., Spandidos, D., Nikolouzakis, T., Drakoulis, N., Tsatsakis, A. Aug 2020, In: International Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Measuring the action of oligonucleotide therapeutics in the lung at the cell type specific level by Tissue Disruption and Cell Sorting (TDCS): In vivo cell type-specific oligonucleotide PK/PD, Graves, H., Evans, S., Fauler, M., Frick, M., Moschos, S. 2019, Oligonucleotide-based Therapies, New York, NY, Springer
  • Predicting oligonucleotide therapeutic efficacy at the population level, Theotokis, P., Usher, L., Kortschak, C., Schwalbe, E., Moschos, S. 1 Nov 2019, In: Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine
  • RACE-SEQ and Population-Wide Polymorphism Susceptibility Testing for Endonucleolytically Active, RNA-Targeting Therapeutics, Usher, L., Theotokis, P., Moschos, S. 1 Jan 2019, Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press
  • RACE-SEQ and population-wide polymorphism susceptibility testing for endonucleotically active, RNA-targeting therapeutics: RACE-SEQing RNA cleaving drug mechanism of action, Usher, L., Theotokis, P., Moschos, S. 2019, Oligonucleotide-based Therapies, New York, NY, Springer
  • The emerging field of venom-microbiomics for exploring venom as a microenvironment, and the corresponding Initiative for Venom Associated Microbes and Parasites (iVAMP), Ul-Hasan, S., Rodriguez-Roman, E., Reitzel, A., Adams, R., Herzig, V., Trim, S., Saviola, A., Nobile, C., Stiers, E., Moschos, S., Keiser, C., Petras, D., Moran, Y., Colston, T. 1 Oct 2019, In: Toxicon: X
  • A novel antifungal property for the Bacillus licheniformis ComX pheromone and its possible role in inter-kingdom cross-talk, Esmaeilishirazifard, E., Dariush, A., Moschos, S., Keshavarz, T. Jun 2018, In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

PGR Supervision

  • Eleni Eftychiou Bioengineering Outer Membrane Vesicles as Delivery Systems for Biotherapeutics Targeted to Lung Epithelial Cytosols Start Date: 01/10/2017 End Date: 16/12/2021
  • Ifeanyi Enekwa In vitro Transcribed RNA-mediated Gene Editing for Cystic Fibrosis Start Date: 01/02/2018
  • Joseph O'Sullivan Resolving the intracellular molecular therapy bottleneck for airways disease Start Date: 15/10/2018


  • PhD October 01 2004
  • Molecular Biology BSc (Hons) July 10 1999
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2017
  • Fellow Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) 2015
  • Fellow (FRSC) Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2014
  • Full Member Genetics Society 2012
  • Full Member Biochemical Society 2005
  • Full Member Society for General Microbiology (SGM) 1998

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