fbpx Invited speakers | Międzyuczelniany Wydział Biotechnologii UG i GUMed

Invited speakers | Międzyuczelniany Wydział Biotechnologii UG i GUMed

The essential role of Th17/Treg cells in inflammation

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
piątek, 18 października 2019 roku, 8:50

Speaker: Zhi Jane Chen, Associate Professor (Tenure Track) of immunology in Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland.

Talk: The essential role of Th17/Treg cells in inflammation

Time: 25th October 2019, 09:00 pm

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

She graduated from Beijing Medical University (current name: Peking University Health Science Center). She carried out her Ph.D study at the Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku, Finland. During 2005-2007, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)/NIH, USA. In 2008-2010, she received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Academy of Finland and worked in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku. In 2012, she was awarded as an Academy of Finland research fellow, became a principle investigator and group leader working at the Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku. In 2014, she earned Docentship in Immunology from Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku and started independently supervising Ph.D students.  In 2018, she joined the International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science (ICCVS), University of Gdansk as a group leader. At the end of 2018, she was appointed as an Associate Professor in University of Oulu, Finland.  Her research focuses on understanding the role of Th17 and Treg cells in regulating the inflammatory/autoimmune and tumorigenesis. Her group studies Th17 and iTreg differentiation at multiple levels from mouse to human and integrate the results to build a comprehensive view of the processes.


α-subunits of voltage-gated channels in vertebrates development and disease

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 30 lipca 2019 roku, 8:51

Speaker: prof. Vladimir KorzhInternational Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland

Talk: α-subunits of voltage-gated channels in vertebrates development and disease

Time: 20th September 2019, 14:00 pm

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

KorzchKcnb1-containing voltage-gated potassium channels consist of two types of α-subunits: (i) electrically active Kcnb1 subunits and (ii) silent or modulatory α-subunits. Voltage-gated potassium channels are viewed as regulators of electrical activity of the plasma membrane in excitable cells, a role that is performed by transmembrane protein domains of α-subunits. Genetic studies revealed a role for this region in human neurodevelopmental disorders, such as epileptic encephalopathy. The N- and C-terminals of α-subunits interact to form the cytoplasmic subunit of heterotetrameric potassium channels that regulate their activity. Subsequent animal studies revealed the developmental functions of Kcnb1-containing voltage-gated potassium channels, illustrating their role during brain development and reproduction. The functions of potassium channels will be discussed in the context of regulatory interactions between electrically active and regulatory α-subunits during zebrafish development.


Evolutionary and medical implications of the huge diversity of surface polysaccharides in the Enterobacteriales

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 11 czerwca 2019 roku, 7:30

Speaker: Dr Rafał Mostowy, Group Leader in Microbial Genomics, MCB UJ, Honorary Research Fellow, Imperial College London

Talk: Evolutionary and medical implications of the huge diversity of surface polysaccharides in the Enterobacteriales

Time: 14th June 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042


Dr Rafał Mostowy studied theoretical physics at the Jagiellonian University and the University of Copenhagen, after which he pursued doctoral studies in evolutionary biology at ETH Zurich. In 2012, he became a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College London to study evolutionary dynamics of a major bacterial pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae. During this time, he developed interest and expertise in genetics of bacterial surface polysaccharides, both in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In 2019, he moved from the University of Oxford to Jagiellonian University in Krakow to start his own lab. The newly founded Microbial Genomics group at the Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology uses bioinformatics, computer simulations and statistical methods to provide insight into emergence of antigenic diversity in bacteria, and the role of bacteriophages therein. This research helps us to understand and predict genetic changes in pathogenic bacteria and thus contribute to the co-creation of next-generation drugs.




Lipid-specific T cells and the skin

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
czwartek, 16 maja 2019 roku, 11:27

Speaker: prof. Graham Ogg, MRC Human Immunology Unit and Oxford University Hospitals, UK

Talk: Lipid-specific T cells and the skin

Time: 24th May 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

oggProfessor Graham Ogg is the Deputy Head of MRC Human Immunology Unit of the University of Oxford and he is based at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. Graham is a consultant dermatologist and a scientist. He completed his doctoral training with University of Oxford and his clinical training in Oxford and London. Since, he had numerous prestigious appointments, such as the chairman of British Society of Investigative Dermatology and chairman of British Association of Dermatologists Research Committee. Currently, he is an MRC Programme Leader, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator and UK’s Clinical Lead for Dermatology. He is also an editor for JAMA Dermatology, Clinical and Developmental Immunology as well as Clinical and Experimental Dermatology.  

His early pioneering work on MHC tetramers laid foundation to investigating specific T cell responses. His current research interest is the interactions between the cellular immune response and the epidermis. Graham’s research and clinical work is based on the investigations of mechanisms underlying inflammatory skin disease.  Particular areas of focus are the roles of unconventional CD1a-restricted T cells and innate lymphoid cells. Graham’s scientific work is recognised worldwide, and he received multiple awards in recognition of this, including Biomedical Research Centre Principal Fellowship, Pharmacia Allergy Research Foundation Award, Dermatologist International Achievement Award.



DNA repair processes as markers for personalized cancer therapies

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
środa, 15 maja 2019 roku, 9:32

Speaker: Dr. Pawel Zawadzki, Division of Molecular Biophysics, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland

Talk: DNA repair processes as markers for personalized cancer therapies.

Time: 17th May 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

pzPersonalized medicine is an approach to improve treatment of an individual patient by taking into account specific changes in individual’s DNA. One aspect of this is an assessment of DNA repair mechanisms to tailor cancer treatment based on patient genomic profiles. Thus, evaluation of the efficiency of DNA repair provides a unique opportunity to apply targeted cancer therapies. We work on identifying DNA repair pathways involved in cell chemosensitivity by RNAi knockdown screening. We tested RNAi library for genes involved in different DNA repair pathways using the hTERT RPE-1 cell line. Silencing RNA interference (RNAi) of the target DNA repair gene was followed with various drug treatments to identify repair pathway-specific chemosensitivity. For example, we observed that silencing of Nucleotide Excision Repair but not Mismatch Repair drastically increase the sensitivity of the cells to popular chemotherapeutic – cisplatin. In conclusion, poor effectiveness of some repair pathways increase susceptibility to cisplatin. Obtaining this information for individual tumor can potentially help select most effective treatment for patients. We suggest that the comprehensive analysis of DNA repair pathways efficiencies, preferably achieved by cancer whole-genome sequencing could provide a diagnostic tool and should soon be applied in the day-to-day cancer diagnostics.


Mixed-Lineage Kinase 4 (MLK4) – a new player in breast cancer progression

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 12 marca 2019 roku, 8:55

Speaker: dr Anna Marusiak (CENT Warszawa)

Talk: Mixed-Lineage Kinase 4 (MLK4) – a new player in breast cancer progression

Time: 5th April 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

marusiakI graduated with a MSc in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Wroclaw. I then moved to the UK where I did my doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham. During PhD I investigated the contribution of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) to the malignant phenotype of breast cancer cells using a proteomic approach. My postdoctoral fellowship took place at Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute in Signalling Networks in Cancer Group. Since then my work in cell signalling has been focused on the family of Mixed-Lineage Kinases (MLKs) and their contribution to carcinogenesis.

In December 2015 I started a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre of New Technologies in the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine. The grants that I have been awarded, Fuga by NCN and Homing by FNP, allowed me to investigate the role of MLK4 in breast cancer progression. MLK4 is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a role in a variety of cellular processes. According to TCGA, amplification and mRNA upregulation of MLK4 is present in 23% of invasive breast carcinoma and our transcriptomic analysis revealed that it is most abundantly expressed in triple-negative breast cancer subtype. Nevertheless, the role of MLK4 in the pathogenesis of breast cancer has been poorly understood so far. My talk will focus on our recent data where we identified MLK4 as a novel therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancer.


Charging the Code - insights into tRNA Modification Enzymes

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
piątek, 15 lutego 2019 roku, 9:59

Speaker: dr Sebastian Glatt (Max Planck Research Group Leader z Małopolskie Centrum Biotechnologii UJ, Kraków)

Talk: Charging the Code - insights into tRNA Modification Enzymes

Time: 15th March 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

glattMy whole scientific career is driven by a deep fascination for the complex molecular mechanisms that allow cells to reproduce, adapt to changing environmental conditions and differentiate into specialized cell types by the activation of specific gene expression programs. These processes are particularly important in multi-cellular organisms, as each individual cell carries the identical genetic information, but needs to produce selected sets of proteins depending on the specialized function of the respective cell type and different external triggering signals. Protein synthesis can be subdivided into different successive processes, called transcription and translation, which are both susceptible to specific regulatory mechanisms. Whereas, transcription describes the production of mRNA molecules from activated genes by RNA polymerases, the subsequent process describes the translation of mRNA encoded sequence information into correctly assembled chains of linked amino acids. During the final step, these peptide chains fold into their correct and enzymatically active three dimensional structure due to their intrinsic properties or with the help of associated chaperoning factors.

During my doctoral thesis I have been studying the consequences of deregulated protein synthesis, leading to an overproduction of certain proteins that are essential for the development of human squamous cell carcinomas. During my postdoctoral time, I have been involved in different basic research projects that focused on understanding the fundamental structural and functional aspects of transcriptional and translational regulation. In detail, I have been studying the structure and function of specific and general transcription factors, which are needed to recruit RNA polymerases and activate gene transcription. In addition, I have been involved in the structural dissection of RNA polymerases themselves and so called chromatin remodelling complexes, which regulate the access of all the above described factors to their respective DNA binding sites in the context of the tight network of condensed chromatin. For most of the above mentioned projects, I have been involved through direct mentoring/supervision of PhD students or contributed my technical expertise in structural biology and protein biochemistry techniques.

My prime scientific interest focused on the structural and functional characterization of specific regulatory events of the translation machinery. In detail, the speed and continuity at which ribosomes move along mRNAs during the elongation phase of translation varies with the nucleotide sequence, influencing not only the rates but also the folding and stability of the emerging nascent polypeptide chains. As tRNA selection in the A-site of ribosomes is a rate-limiting step during elongation phase, the use of synonymous codons and specific base modifications in the wobble base position of tRNAs influences local elongation speed and aids co-translational protein folding. As errors in these tRNA modifications cascades are causing intellectual disabilities, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers in humans, they have caught my special attention over the last years. Therefore, my Max Planck Research Group at the MCB is continuing previous efforts to understand the structure and function of the highly conserved eukaryotic Elongator complex, responsible for conducting specific chemical modifications in the wobble base position of tRNAs. In detail, we use x-ray crystallography and electron microscopy to obtain snapshots of the involved proteins and try to deduce their biochemical activities from the observed structures. Subsequently, we employ different in vitro and in vivo approaches to validate and challenge our structure based working hypotheses. In addition, together with various national and international collaboration partners we have recently started to work on related tRNA modification pathways and other translation control pathways, that are important for stem cell maintenance and differentiation.

Last but not least, I would like to highlight that these cellular mechanisms under investigation are not only highly conserved, vaguely characterized and extremely complex, but are also of high clinical relevance and importance. Therefore, I believe that the results and scientific insights from our ongoing research projects will pave the way for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to improve the life span and life quality of the affected patients.


Interspecies signaling in plant associated bacteria

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 5 lutego 2019 roku, 12:41

Speaker: dr Vittorio Venturi (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB),Trieste, Italy)

Talk: Interspecies signaling in plant associated bacteria

Time: 08th March 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042


dr Vittorio Venturi graduated from Edinburgh University, UK, and received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. During his PhD research he focused in the regulation of iron-transport processes of beneficial plant associated bacteria which promote plant growth; the monopolization of iron nearby plant roots is an important trait which keeps microbial pathogens away. He then moved as a postdoctoral fellow to the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste, Italy, where he started investigating intercellular signaling among bacteria. He then went on to become Group Leader at ICGEB continuing his studies on intercellular signaling. He has published over 140 research articles in peer-reviewed international journals. He is interested in (i) how plant associated bacteria undergo interspecies communication and interkingdom signaling with plants and (ii) plant microbiomes and the development of microbial products for a more sustainable agriculture https://www.icgeb.org/vittorio-venturi.html

Abstract: Just like what occurs in humans, plants have been recently recognized as meta-organisms possessing a distinct microbiome that have a close relationship with their associated microorganisms. The plant microbiome presents an additional reservoir of genes that the plant can have access to when needed. Plant health is thought to heavily depend also on its microbiome and signaling among microorganisms is crucial for the establishment of the microbial community. Understanding how bacteria undergo interspecies signaling in the microbiome will be a big challenge for future studies. We are using several rice diseases as a model of interspecies bacterial interactions, which also highlights their role in bacterial plant pathogenicity. In addition, we are designing experiments to begin to understand how beneficial plant associated bacteria communicate and establish multispecies communities. Understanding these signaling pathways will help in devising new ways for a more sustainable agriculture.


Soft rot bacteria and their interaction with potato

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 5 lutego 2019 roku, 12:14

Speaker: Prof. Minna Pirhonen (University of Helsinki)

Talk: Soft rot bacteria and their interaction with potato

Time: 12th April 2019, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

helisinkiMinna Pirhonen is an Associate Professor and University Lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland and a supervisor for Doctoral Programmes in Microbiology and Biotechnology and Plant Sciences at University of Helsinki.  Minna’s main research interest are connected to phytopathology, plant physiology, genetics and molecular microbiology.  She is an author and coauthor of more than fifty research and review publications targeting different aspects of interaction of plant pathogenic and plant associated bacteria with their plant hosts as well as isolation and characterization of soft rot bacteria.

Associate Professor Pirhonen was one of the first scientists (1993) to discover and describe that plant pathogenic bacteria communicate with each other in environment (the mechanism broadly known now as quorum sensing) and that they can globally coordinate their populational response during infection of the host. This fundamental work was a basis to understand that bacteria can be perceived as semi-multicellular organisms living under natural conditions in consortia and “talking to each other all the time”.


Entry of human coronaviruses

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
piątek, 18 stycznia 2019 roku, 12:18

Speaker: Krzysztof Pyrć, PhD, DSc, JU professor (Laboratory of Virology, Jagiellonian University)

Talk: Entry of human coronaviruses

Time: 25th January 2018, 9:00 am

Venue: Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, Abrahama 58, hall 042

prof. PyrćThe virus entry is one of the key points of the infection, and cell/tissue susceptibility to a large extent determines the nature and severity of the disease. Using a variety of techniques we have mapped the route of entry for several coronaviruses, including human coronavirus NL63 and human coronavirus OC43. Available data on coronavirus’ entry originate frequently from studies employing immortalized cell lines or undifferentiated cells. Here, using the most advanced 3D tissue culture system mimicking the epithelium of conductive airways, we systematically mapped entry of viruses into susceptible cell. Considering low specificity of chemical inhibitors targeting different endocytic pathways, we decided to track the fate of a single virus particle in the cell with confocal microscopy. Obtained results were validated with developed 3D image analysis algorithms and subsequent statistical assessment.

Our results show that HCoV-NL63 virions require endocytosis for successful entry, and interaction between the virus and the receptor molecule triggers recruitment of clathrin. Subsequent vesicle scission by dynamin results in virus internalization, and the newly formed vesicle passes the actin cortex, what requires cytoskeleton rearrangement. Finally, acidification of the endosomal microenvironment is required for successful fusion and release of viral genome into the cytoplasm. On the other hand, HCoV‑OC43 employed a very different route, using caveolin-1-dependent pathway to enter the cell. Surprisingly, the virus was also internalized by macropinocytosis, but this route of internalization did not allow for virus entry and subsequent replication. HCoV‑OC43 trafficking in the cell seems to be carried out along actin filaments. We believe that usage of 3D tissue culture models and an appropriate methodology allowed us to obtain reliable, relevant biological results.