PhD student
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
e-mail: p.vazakidou@vu.nl

Who is Evi?

I am Evi Vazakidou (Evi is my nickname and comes from the last 3 letters of my official name Paraskevi) and I am originally from Thessaloniki in the north part of Greece. I am a PhD candidate in FREIA project studying steroidogenesis pathways after exposure to EDCs in relation to female reproductive toxicity. My background is pharmacy with a master specialization about drug disposition and toxicity assessment (molecular toxicology).

What is your focus/role in the FREIA project?

My project is part of FREIA WP3 and is about studying ovarian specific steroidogenesis pathways after chemical exposures, but also aiming to improve the current OECD testing strategy for chemical prioritization.

What is an interesting result you have obtained so far? 

Some interesting results for my research are:

  • LC-MS/MS method development of an expanded steroid metabolome
  • Steroid profiles of human adrenal cell line (H295R), granulosa cell line (KGN), adult ovarian, fetal adrenal tissue cultures and bovine primary oocyte cultures

What would you like to accomplish within the FREIA project?

I would like to improve the current testing strategy of OECD steroidogenesis assay by expanding the quantification to more steroid targets and by assessing the applicability of H295R adrenal cell line as a cell model for predicting ovarian specific toxicity after chemical exposures.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting you/your work?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected my work mainly during the first year when total lockdown for 2 months and lab access restrictions during the summer period were applied in the Netherlands. However, after this period my personal work was not affected much, except for the fact that meetings with FREIA and physical attendance in conferences was not possible. This outcome has hindered collaborations and getting to know other researchers.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the people following FREIA?

I would like to thank all our partners for your understanding and fruitful collaboration that we have even if the current conditions are not ideal. I wish to all of you best luck with your research and I hope that we will be able to meet in person soon!