Grzegorz Sumara - PhD - principal investigator

I started my research career with undergraduate student internships at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria, and at the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland. I received my PhD from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Afterwards, I spent 4-years as a postdoctoral HFSP fellow at Columbia University in New York and half a year at the IGBMC in Strasbourg. Prior to coming to the Nencki Institute, since August 2013, I was a junior group leader at the Rudolf Virchow Centre in Würzburg, Germany. For my research I acquired prestigious Emmy Noether grant from the German Research Foundation for studying hormonally-induced signalling cascades in adipocytes and hepatocytes and the ERC Starting Grant, within which I established Protein kinase D (PKD) family members as a crucial regulators of energy metabolism. All of these allowed me to build the scientific program for the Dioscuri Centre of Scientific Excellence in Warsaw, where my research group focuses on unraveling the cross-talk of different signalling molecules in regulation of adipocytes function during metabolic diseases such as obesity or cancer-associated cachexia. We were also awarded an EMBO Installation Grant from European Molecular Biology Organization, which further helped us to start the lab in Poland.

In my spare time I enjoy biking and running.

Katarzyna Kolczyńska-Matysiak - PhD - postdoctoral researcher

I graduated from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences with a MSc in biotechnology. During my studies I spend one semester at Ghent University in Belgium within Erasmus Programme and did an internship at the VIB UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology. 

I did my PhD in Prof. Agnieszka Dobrzyń’s laboratory at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. My PhD project aimed to investigate molecular mechanism involved in HSP72-associated regulation of insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle. During the last year of my PhD studies thanks to ETIUDA grant that I have received from National Science Centre I did an internship at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, where I studied the role of HSP72 in browning of white adipose tissue.

In 2019 I joined Grzegorz Sumara’s lab at the Rudolf Virchow Centre in Würzburg, Germany and at the beginning of 2020 I moved to Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. Currently I am working on a project concerning the cross-talk between pancreatic β-cells and platelets. The aim of my second project is to unravel molecular mechanisms regulating cancer associated cachexia.

Toufic Kassouf - PhD - postdoctoral researcher

My research interest is focused on the topic of post-translational protein modifications (PTMs) and their crosstalk with almost every cellular pathway. In 2013, I started my PhD studies at Dr. Peter Coopman lab at IRCM Montpellier. During my PhD work, I could show that Syk Kinase is involved in the maintenance of the epithelial integrity of the mammary gland via the phosphorylation and stabilization of the E-cadherin/catenin adherens junction complex, thereby inhibiting cell migration and malignant tumor invasion (Kassouf T. et al., 2019, Cancers). In 2017, I joined the lab of Dr. Dimitris Xirodimas at CRBM Montpellier, whose studies on Protein Quality Control and Neddylation via the Ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 have gained high exposure in the past years. My postdoctoral research plan combined cellular, molecular, and advanced microscopic approaches to understand the role of NEDD8 and the deNEDDylating enzyme NEDP1 in Stress Granule assembly and dynamics. In February 2020, I joined the Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases. The aim of my current project is to define the impact of ubiquitin-dependent signaling events on regulation of adipose tissue function. Since the impact of ubiquitination-dependent signaling on adipocytes function has been ignored until now, we believe that our project will open a new research field.

Filip Dziaczkowski - MSc - Lab manager and Research Technician

Magdalena Dorota Wit - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - PhD candidate

I graduated in veterinary medicine from Warsaw University of Life Sciences  (2020). During studies, I joined prof. Król's lab at maternal university and investigated a crosstalk between tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and breast cancer cells. That experience allowed me to gain first hands-on experience in working in research laboratory and motivated for choosing scientific pathway. 

I started my PhD studies at Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases in 2020. In my current project I am investigating the role of PKD isoforms (PKD1, PKD2) in lipid droplet formation in adipocytes and function of PKD2 in lipid absorption from the intestine. The aim of my future project will be to elucidate the impact of ERK3/MK5 signalling pathway on development of cancer-associated cachexia. 

Fan of biking, swimming and running.

Katia El Ghoz - MSc -
- PhD candidate

I carried out my studies at the Lebanese University where I received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. In 2020, I received my Master's degree in Chemistry and Biology of Bioactive Molecules. During my master's, I joined prof. Ziad Abdel Razzak lab at the Lebanese University where I studied the interaction of cigarette smoke condensate and its inorganic components with amiodarone in terms of toxicity.

I start working at Dioscuri Centre for Metabolic Diseases in November 2021. My current project aims to increase the performance of skeletal muscles and brown adipose tissue to combat obesity and related diseases.

Carlos Acosta Gallo - MSc -
- PhD candidate

I graduated with a BSc in Human Nutrition Science and did my internship in the Hospital de la Princesa at the Nephrology Unit, which help me to develop my final degree thesis, entitled "Protein-energy wasting Syndrome (PEW) in chronic kidney disease: nutrition and exercise as therapeutic targets". Afterwards, I graduated from an MSc in Exercise Physiology from the University of Barcelona and did my master's thesis about the variations in the expression of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) induced by strength training stimuli with different intensities. Then, I moved to graduate from a MSc in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid while doing an internship at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, focusing my research on the role of neuromelanin in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration and working mainly with Neural Stem Cells. 

Currently, I am a PhD student at the Dioscuri Center for Metabolic Diseases, focusing my research on identifying molecular targets to increase the performance of skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue, to combat diabetes and its comorbidities as well as pathological states such as cachexia, sarcopenia or dynapenia.

Alumni from Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences:

Yelyzaveta Samoilenko - intern/practical BSc student from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Angel Erandeni Loza Valdes, MSc - Research Specialist
Anna Dudnik -  intern/practical BSc student from the National Technical University of Ukraine, “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ukraine
Izabela Hawro, MSc - PhD student
Agnieszka Demczuk, MSc - research technician

Alumni from Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine, University of Würzburg, Germany:

Till Karwen, PhD - PhD student
Jonathan Trujillo Viera, PhD - PhD student
Mona Löffler, PhD - PhD student
Alexander Mayer, PhD - PhD student
Rabih El-Merahbi, PhD  - PhD student
Kai Cai, PhD  - postdoc
Anja Slotta, MD PhD - practical medical PhD student