Elena Mitsi

Senior Research Assistant

Areas of interest

Microbiological detection and analysis as part of the Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage, Interaction of potential respiratory pathogens in the nasopharynx, Effect of P4 peptide in neutrophils and monocytes acquired from critically ill patient with Sepsis, Alveolar Macrophages function and pneumococcal susceptibility. 


Elena obtained a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology from the University of Patras (Greece) in 2005. In 2008 she completed an MSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Patras (2005-2008). She was awarded a 2 years Research Fellowship sponsored by the Hellenic Institute of Research and Technology as part of the MSc. From 2008 to 2010 she worked as a Research Scientist in Prof. John Vlachogiannis group at the University Hospital of Patras, investigating growth factors and apoptosis-related protein expression in several human kidney diseases. From 2010 to 2013 she worked as Microbiologist at the Microbiology Institute of Patras.


Elena joined the Respiratory Infection Group in September 2013 as Senior Research Assistant. She works on the Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage Study, detecting S.pneumoniae carriers and researching mucosal immune response in human challenged with S.pneumoniae. In parallel, leads the laboratory work on P4 peptide project work, to investigate the effects on ex vivo phagocytic activity in blood from critically ill patients with sepsis. This project is part of a translational development programme as the group aims to carry out a Phase I clinical trial.

In terms of the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) and Pneumococcal Carriage clinical trials her current and future work focuses on immunological responses of nasopharyngeal mucosa and lungs, emphasising on Alveolar macrophages behaviour and phagocytosis dependence on pneumococcal carriage status.


During her MSc (2005 - 2008) she was teaching undergraduate students PCR and ELISA techniques in Molecular Biology practical courses. Since 2013 she has been teaching the laboratory session on pneumonia and respiratory health for the MSc Tropical Infectious Diseases course at LSTM.


Milou Strick (BSc), Radboud University, Netherlands. The effect of IgG on pneumococcal-specific IL-17 production, and its impact on killing by alveolar macrophages in the lung.

Henrik Thiemann (Visiting student from Radboud University, Netherlands).  Investigating human protective responses to the pneumococcal vaccine candidate SP1690.

Lavinia Porter (Bachelor student, Tropical Diseases Biology, Liverpool). Detection of pneumococcal DNA in the lungs of healthy adults following nasal challenge

Tim Durant (Bachelor student, Tropical Diseases Biology, Liverpool). Detection of pneumococcal DNA in the lungs of healthy adults following nasal challenge.

Current Projects

Effect of Live Attenuated and Inactivated Influenza vaccines on Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to Dr. Daniela Ferreira.