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Dimitra P. Vageli, PhD

Associate Research Scientist of Surgery (Otolaryngology)


Dimitra P. Vageli, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist in Surgery Otolaryngology, Yale School of Medicine, experienced in molecular oncology, molecular pathology, and cancer biology. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sciences, Section of Biology, and Diploma Thesis in Biochemistry, from the University of Patras, Greece. After her graduation, she received a Post-graduate Scholarship, from the National Centre of Science Research “Demokritos”, Athens, Greece, and subsequently her Ph.D. Degree in Molecular Oncology, Medical School of Crete, and University of Crete, Greece. In parallel to her research, she has contributed to education, through teaching in Medical School and School of Health Professions of Thessaly, Greece, and writing educational book monographs. In 2013 she joined the Yale Surgery Otolaryngology research program and her mentor Dr. Clarence T. Sasaki inspired her to explore the etiopathogenetic mechanism of laryngopharyngeal cancer. Her first findings from an in vitro study funded by Ohse Research Grants 2013-2014, and an in vivo study funded by Ohse Research Grant 2014-2015, supported the role of bile reflux in hypopharyngeal carcinogenesis, mediated through the NF-κB pathway, followed by further investigation and several articles. Since 2021, under Dr. Judson’s mentorship, she has further shown by preclinical models that other transcriptional factors, such as STAT3 or EGFR may also play a role in laryngopharyngeal reflux-related carcinogenesis, and the carcinogenic effect of common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke components, can be accelerated in the presence of bile reflux causing a malignant phenotype in the upper aerodigestive tract. Currently, her interest is to clinically characterize cancer-specific molecular profiles and identify new diagnostic biomarkers using non-invasive methods for the early detection of HPV-negative head and neck precancerous and cancerous lesions.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of Crete (1998)

Honors & Recognition

Ohse Research Award2015
Ohse Research Award2014

Departments & Organizations