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Invited speakers

How photoheterotrophic bacteria can challenge our understanding of carbon cycle

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
czwartek, 20 lutego 2020 roku, 6:54

Speaker: dr Katarzyna Piwosz (Centre Algatech, Institute of Microbiology, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Trebon)

Talk: How photoheterotrophic bacteria can challenge our understanding of carbon cycle

Time: 28 February 2020, 9:00 am

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

KaisaMy main scientific interest is on ecology of aquatic microorganisms. Aquatic microorganisms: bacteria, algae and heterotrophic protists, are the key players in energy transfer and element cycling in freshwater and marine habitats. These processes are vital for sustaining aquatic ecosystem and the entire biosphere. My research includes investigation of diversity, distribution, dynamics and activity of bacteria, algae and heterotrophic protists in their natural environments. I graduated from the University of Gdansk in Poland. I did my first scientific project for my master thesis at the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. I studied diversity and distribution of algae dwelling in the Arctic Ocean. During hours spent counting different algal species under a microscope, I noticed a plethora of tiny, tiny cells that neither my supervisor, nor any other ecologists could name. This is how I became fascinated with the smallest of microorganisms, for which high quality light microscopy was not enough. Looking for the possibility to identify those cells, I read about use of molecular methods to study microbial diversity. However, to learn these techniques, I had to move to Germany, where I joined Max Planck Research School at Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen (Marmic). Studying at Marmic and working on my second master thesis at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, I learned all the theory and practice I needed to pursue my doctoral study. I returned to the Institute of Oceanology PAS, and, in cooperation with the University of Zurich, I studied small algae and protists in the Baltic Sea. The phylogenetic diversity of algae and protists in the Baltic Sea turned out to be incredible, with thousands of species present in the Gulf of Gdańsk over a year. I discovered groups of protists that no one expected to be present in the Baltic. After I accomplished my PhD, I returned to Polar Regions to answer the question from my first master project: who were the tiny tiny cells in my samples :)

During my work, I participated in scientific cruises to the Baltic Sea, Arctic Ocean and Adriatic Sea. I successfully managed five international scientific projects. I was awarded fellowships and stipends from the EMBL, FEMS, the Director of the Institute of Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde, Swiss Foundation for Hydrobiology & Limnology, and the University of Zurich, and received four awards from the Director of National Marine Fisheries Research Institute for the publications record. I have been appointed the Ambassador for Poland by the International Society for Microbial Ecology (https://www.isme-microbes.org/). Presently I am a researcher in Institute of Microbiology of Czech Academy of Sciences. My work concentrates on role of photoheterotrophic bacteria in freshwater carbon cycle. There are two known types of photoheterotrophic bacteria: rhodopsin containing and bacteriochlorophylls containing. The former seems to be abundant but slow growing, while the letter are more rare (but still they can make up to 40% of all bacterial abundance) but fast growing, and my current focus lies on them. In my talk, I will present my research on ecology of the bacteriochlorophylls containing photoheterotrophic bacteria in freshwaters: their diversity, seasonal dynamics, activity and interaction with other microbes.  

Website:        Centre Algatech                 About me               Our Team     


Cold atmospheric pressure plasma – new challenges, new hopes

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
czwartek, 20 lutego 2020 roku, 6:52

Speaker: prof. Paweł Pohl (Wrocław University of Science and Technology)

Talk: Cold atmospheric pressure plasma – new challenges, new hopes

Time: 13 March 2020, 09:00 am

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

pohlScientific interests: analytical chemistry, atomic spectrometry, optical emission spectrometry, trace analysis, elemental analysis, speciation analysis, food and environmental analytics, spectroscopic diagnostics. 

Plasma (the 4th state of matter) is an ionized gas generated by different processes, including electric discharges or nuclear reactions, and characterized by very high temperatures, i.e., 100,000 K and much more. Natural examples of plasmas are the sun, lightnings on earth, or temporary electrical discharges. Cold atmospheric pressure plasmas (CAPPs) are just partially ionized gases, and ionization degrees in this case are very small (>>0.01%). Such plasmas can be sustained at atmospheric pressure and operated at room temperature, and are characterized by relatively low temperature, or more precisely, several temperatures that are arranged in the following line: Te (electron temperature)>>Texc (excitation temperature of atoms)>Trot (rotational temperature of molecules)@Tg (kinetic temperature of gas molecules, being from few to less than 103 oC). In addition, being sustained under atmospheric pressure, CAPP is a rich source of different species, including high energy electrons, ions, excited atoms and molecules, radicals, e.g., O3, NO, NO2, NH, OH, H, UV radiation, and heat. Temperature behavior of CAPP (called non-equilibrium or non-thermal plasma, NTP) in addition to the presence of a “cocktail” of species both determine its features and phenomenal applications. The content and the type of species in CAPP may significantly vary for different sources, and hence, can be modified for specific purposes and applications, showing its great flexibility and diversity. In other words, the concentration and the inherent composition of CAPP can be designed for different intended applications. Some of these applications, including spectrochemical analysis, metallic nanoparticles synthesis, and microorganisms inactivation, will be presented in this lecture, although, it should be noted that the number of possible uses of CAPP is much higher, and go beyond human’s imagination.



RNA decay and surveillance in human mitochondria

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 3 grudnia 2019 roku, 11:24

Speaker: dr hab. Roman Szczęsny (IBB PAN)

Talk: RNA decay and surveillance in human mitochondria

Time: 06 December 2019, 09:00 am

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

rszDr Roman Szczesny graduated from the University of Warsaw in 2004 and joined a PhD programme at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, PAS. In his thesis he showed that human RNA helicase SUV3 is an essential enzyme for decay and surveillance of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA). He also described cell death pathways that are activated upon SUV3 silencing. During that time he received several scholarships to work in France and Finland. After obtaining his PhD, he continued to work on mtRNA decay. He supervised the project that led to the identification of the long sought mitochondrial ribonuclease – PNPase, and the discovery of new structures named D-foci where mtRNA degradation occurs. In 2009 he joined Andrzej Dziembowski’s laboratory where he studied mechanisms responsible for RNA surveillance. Having established his group at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS in Warsaw he continues his research into the metabolism of human mitochondrial RNA. His main focus is unraveling mitochondrial gene expression regulation by identification and functional analysis of novel factors engaged in the process. In his research he combines molecular biology, biochemistry and high-throughput methods, including genome-wide siRNA screenings, which provide broad insight into various steps of mitochondrial gene regulation.

Mitochondria are organelles present in most eukaryotic cells that play a vital role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. The function of these organelles depends on the crosstalk between two genomes: nuclear and mitochondrial. Most of the proteins present in mitochondria are encoded in the nuclear genome and are imported into mitochondria upon synthesis in the cytoplasm. Nevertheless, 13 proteins encoded within the mitochondrial genome are essential for human as they are key components of the respiratory complexes. Since human mitochondria seem to have limited possibilities to regulate gene expression by altering the transcription initiation rate, posttranscriptional processes, including RNA degradation, are of great importance for proper mitochondrial and cellular homeostasis. The machinery responsible for mitochondrial RNA decay in humans had remained unknown for many years. We have contributed significantly to the identification and description of the RNA-degradation pathways in human mitochondria. This process, its actors, as well as the consequences of its dysfunction on cellular homeostasis, will be presented.


Contagion, 15 years on

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
piątek, 22 listopada 2019 roku, 8:19

Speaker: Gina Czarnecki

Talk: Contagion, 15 years on

Time: 29 November 2019, 09:00 am

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

GinaGina Czarneckis’ multi-disciplinary arts practice involves the creation media installation video, sculpture, participatory and site specific works that sit at the intersection of art, design, technology and science. Born in Immingham 1965, Gina studied Fine Art at Grimsby School of Art and went on to her BA Hons course at Wimbledon School of Art 1984-7. She started her professional career making animated film and video in the 1980s whilst studying painting. After graduating she developed this into combining live action and drawing whilst working at the London Film-Makers Co-op, running the workshop until 1991. Her postgraduate in Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee, Scotalnd, (91-2) took her work in film and video through to 3D and computer environments. From 2009 her work developed into participatory sculptures, using biomedical materials and processes, worked on community projects that have helped to shape and transform new hospitals and worked to develop new systems for science engagement and bio-art (Heirloom 2016) and more recently working on the intersection of product design, engineering and business with her project/product ‘Koffin’and ‘Who we are Now”. 2018. Ginas work has been exhibited internationally at venues including Brisbane International Arts Festival, Ars Electronica, Linz, Lumiere, UK, Sundance Film Festival & retrospective & monograph exhibitions include ‘Humancraft ‘ moving image Centre, New Zealand, (2005) and the Bluecoat, Liverpool (2010) She was awarded a Creative Scotland Award (2002) Fleck Fellowship Banff (2004) Best Australian/New Zealand Dance Film (2005) and numerous other prizes. Her work is in both public and private collections.

Research ethics: from dilemmas to solutions in scientific practice

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 19 listopada 2019 roku, 11:56

Speaker: Dr Francisco Javier Castro-Toledo (Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche / UMH · CRIMINA. Center for the Study and Prevention of Crime)

Talk: Research ethics: from dilemmas to solutions in scientific practice

Time: 21st February 2020, 09:00 am

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

FJCTDr. Francisco Javier Castro-Toledo holds a degree in Philosophy, a master's degree in moral philosophy and holds a PhD from Miguel Hernández University in Elche. He completed his doctorate in July 2018 with the defense of a doctoral thesis funded by the Spanish Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE) which was qualified with “cum laude”. Since 2013 he has participated as a researcher, teacher and manager of European R&D projects at the CRÍMINA center for the study and prevention of crime at the UMH under the supervision of Professor Dr. Fernando Miró Llinares, and since 2018 he has been assistant professor in the Department of Legal Science at the Miguel Hernández University in Elche and co-founder CEO of Plus Ethics: a spin-off of the UMH and CRIMINA dedicated to providing ethical and legal support for both public policies and R&D projects.

The essential role of Th17/Treg cells in inflammation

Ostatnia modyfikacja: 
wtorek, 19 listopada 2019 roku, 11:56

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 am

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.