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Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry
Polish Academy of Sciences
PL-30239 Krakow, Poland
Maciej Guzik, PhD
Maciej graduated from Jagiellonian University in Kraków with MSc in environmental protection in 2008. Next, he'd undertaken a structured PhD programme at University College Dublin in Ireland. During that time Maciej specialised in high cell density fermentation development, downstream and upstream processing of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), and also genetic manipulation of bacteria. In 2012 he presented thesis entitled “Conversion of postconsumer polyethylene to biodegradable polymer polyhydroxyalkanoate” and successfully graduated from UCD with PhD in industrial microbiology.
In the following years Maciej worked in a UCD spin out company Bioplastech, where he was developing fermentation strategies for PHA production. He was also a lead on a project aiming at production of small molecules arising from PHA. In 2015 he moved back to Kraków, his home town, and become a fellow at J. Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry PAS. Here Maciej is a PI of two projects, one of which is the NCBiR sponsored FunBioMed project.
Tomasz Witko, MSc
Tomasz is a graduate of Biophysics on Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Bioinformatics at the Jagiellonian University. Passionate photographer and interior designer. Born in Cracow in love with Nowa Huta. His PhD studies conducted in Department of Biosystems Physics relate to cell migration phenomena and some electrophysiology matters. He is a part of team implementing a project concerning influence of electrical fields in cell movements and cytoskeletal dynamics.
In daily work Tomasz uses confocal microscope and fluorescence lifetime imaging system. He combines efficient work and travel, that’s what brought him to perform interns at University of Calgary, Institute of Biocomplexity and Informatics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa or Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He is an active member of International Biophysical Society. In his spare time performs visualizations and renderings of homes and interiors.
Martyna Podobińska, MSc
Martyna graduated in 2010 from Faculty of Biology on University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, where she studied animal biotechnology. During her master studies participated in the international student exchange program (The University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy). After the studies she took part in an internship in Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, and then started her PhD studies in Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, where she investigated the influence of oxygen tension, small molecules and microenvironment architecture on in vitro differentiation of neural stem cells. In 2013 received WERC-IBRO/CEERC-IBRO scholarship and took part in a workshop “Stem cells and biomaterials in regenerative medicine” FENS Featured Regional Meeting (Prague). In 2014-2015 she was employed in Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ and was a part of team, which investigated how microenvironmental signals, collagen scaffolds and RNA interference influence stem cell fate decisions. Currently she is working at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Physiology Medical University of Warsaw, where she is responsible for The Laboratory of Confocal Microscopy.
Karolina Stępień, MSc
Karolina began her studies at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection at the University of Lodz in 2008. She obtained her BSc in Microbiology in 2011 and moved on to MSc studies specializing in Medical and Laboratory Diagnostics. She graduated in 2013 with her thesis titled: Evaluation of biocompatibility index of selected essential oils at the Department of Immunology and Infectious Biology, Institute of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Immunology.
Since 2014 she has been working at the Medical University of Warsaw in the Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology. Her main research focuses on the mechanisms of biofilm formation and their control with antimicrobial agents. She has been working in collaboration with other research groups on finding new antimicrobials (natural and synthetic compounds) and an understanding of their mechanisms of action. In 2016 her research activity won her the Medical University of Warsaw’s Rector’s individual award as well as accolades for co-writing a 2nd degree scientific award-winning publication. She is now a co-author of 6 publications, 3 conference abstracts and one oral presentation at a scientific meeting.
Throughout 2015-2016 she was involved in the IIMCB research project. She was tasked with analyzing specific chimeric enzymes of various species and strains of pathogenic bacteria and was also responsible for verifying enzyme’s effectiveness in decontaminating surfaces and microbiological food preservation.
Outside of the lab, she spends every spare moment of her life conquering mountain trails or dancing to Middle Eastern tunes.
Kamila Sofińska, PhD eng
Kamila received her MSc degree from Warsaw University of Technology at the Faculty of Chemistry in 2010 (studies in the field of Biotechnology with major in microbioanalysis). In her MA thesis Kamila investigated the cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil with the use of cell cultures in microfluidic systems. During the studies the main aspects of her work concerned the designing of microfluidic devices for the cell culture, the optimization of the cell culture conditions in the „Lab-on-a-Chip” microfluidic system manufactured of glass and PDMS with the photolithography method and the determination of toxicity of the anti-cancer compounds on the carcinoma cells.
In 2011-2015, Kamila participated in the PhD program "Molecular Sciences for Medicine" at the Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Chemistry of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. During the PhD studies Kamila was dealing with interdisciplinary issues combining the knowledge of chemistry, physics and biochemistry. As the result of her research she presented the thesis "Description of the interaction in the systems of antigen-immunoglobulin by means of electrokinetic methods and AFM measurements". Kamila has specialized particularly in Atomic Force Microscopy by means of which she examines the interactions between the particles as wall as the mechanical properties of biological particles and the soft materials. She is also well acquainted with areas such as antigen-antibody interaction, colloidal and biocolloidal systems, AFM imaging, atomic force spectroscopy, protein adsorption at interfaces, soft matter, protein-surface and protein-protein interactions, nanomechanical properties of proteins, polyelectrolyte and liposomal adsorption layers.
Production of novel functionalised polymers and characterization of their material properties
First part of the FunBioMed project employs production of bacterial polymers in a controlled manner. PHA polymers will be functionalised using a variety of enzymes with different drugs (such as antibiotics, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Next we will formulate materials for specific applications and describe their physical properties on micro and macro scales.
Biological properties characterization of novel materials
Once we will establish the production process and describe phiscal properties of the novel materials, we will start biological tests. The novel functionalised materials will be characterized in vitro for their biocompatibility with chosen cell lines appropriate for their future applications. In parallel we will conduct test in order to descibe antibacterial properties of the novel functionalised PHAs.
Testing materials for their applications in medicine
The final stage of the project envisages testing of the chosen functionalised PHAs in vivo. We will proceed with an animal model in order to assess the effectiveness of novel biomaterials in wound healing.
PROJECT LIDER "Novel functionalised biopolymers for medical applications" sponsored by the Polish National Centre for Research and Developement
The FunBioMed aims at producing novel functionalised biopolymers for medical applications. Bacterial polyesters, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), will be modified by a biocatalytic esterification with antibiotics, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Materials will be formed into foams and their physicochemical and antimicrobial characteristics will be determined. In vitro studies of the tissue formation on foams by chondroblasts and osteoclasts will allow for evaluation of their applications in tissue engineering. The PHA foams will also be tested for their suitability in dressing preparations. We will conduct skin cells migration assays on chosen functionalised foams and also in vivo studies on a mouse model assessing their effectiveness in wound healing in real conditions.