Department of Medical Biotechnology was established as a separate unit in June 2005. Our main field of research is vascular biology, with particular interest in molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, inflammation and oxidative stress. We are also interested in tumor cell biology. In our lab we investigate gene and cell therapy approaches to treat vascular disorders.

Szymon Czauderna, our PhD student, as a co-author of paper published in “Cell”.

In September 2016, an article by a research team from Whitehead Institute in Massachussets, (USA), lead by prof. Rudolf Jaenisch, was published in “Cell”. One of the co-authors of the paper “Editing DNA methylation in the mammalian genome”, is our PhD student Szymon Czauderna. The full article is available here.

The paper about new mechanisms in the development of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the most common soft tissue tumour in children has been just published by our group in Cancer Research.

In August 2016, an article by a research team from Department of Medical Biotechnology was published in Cancer Research, one of the leading oncology journals. The paper "Heme oxygenase-1 controls an HDAC4-miR-206 pathway of oxidative stress in rhabdomyosarcoma" Ciesla M, Marona P, Kozakowska M, Jez M, Seczynska M, Loboda A, Bukowska-Strakova K, Szade A, Walawender M, Kusior M, Stepniewski J, Szade K, Krist B, Yagensky O, Urbanik A, Kazanowska B, Dulak J, Jozkowicz A, Cancer Res. 2016 Aug 3, is about new mechanisms in the development of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the most common soft tissue tumour in children. It describes the crucial role of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the cells of this type of cancer. The sarcoma is supposedly caused by disturbed differentiation of muscle stem cells. The full article is available here.

Prof. Rudolf Jaenisch visits the Jagiellonian University

On 31 May - 2 June 2016, founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, a pioneer in research on epigenetic mechanisms, created the first transgenic mice and enormously contribued to advances in understanding of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells as well as their therapeutic applications, prof. Rudolf Jaenisch visited Jagiellonian University and our Department.

3rd Workshop of the International Associated Laboratory CNRS-Jagiellonian University, Orleans, France 8-10 May 2016

Polish - French Workshops are conducted within the agreement of scientific collaboration that embraces a series of scientific meetings of research teams from Poland (our Depatment) and France. More about Polish-French Laboratory LIA here

Participants of the Winter School in Rytro, 27th February 2016


Stipend for Outstanding Young Scientists from Minister of Science and Higher Education, Magdalena Kozakowska, Katarzyna Pietraszek

Perspectives in Medical Biotechnology 22-23 May 2015, Krakow, Poland, Website

The first Polish experimental publication on induced pluripotent stem cells has been just published by our group in Scientific Reports.

The aim of the paper Induced pluripotent stem cells as a model for diabetes investigation. Stepniewski J, Kachamakova-Trojanowska N, Ogrocki D, Szopa M, Matlok M, Beilharz M, Dyduch G, Malecki MT, Jozkowicz A, Dulak J. Sci Rep. 2015; 5: 8597. was to generate and characterize iPSCs from diabetic, leptin-receptor deficient mice (db/db) and from patients with HNF1A MODY diabetes. We have shown that obtained murine iPSCs cells can be successfully differentiated to cells demonstrating endothelial properties, while human reprogrammed cells were differentiated to cells of pancreatic lineage, producing pancreatic hormones – insulin and glucagon.

Obtaining human iPSCs from patients suffering from HNF1A MODY diabetes (Maturity Onset of Diabetes) was possible thanks to the cooperation with the Clinic of Metabolic Diseases, Jagiellonian University Medical College. The research on iPSCs conducted at the Department of Medical Biotechnology are funded by the grants from the National Science Centre and the Foundation for Polish Science.

Prof. Irving L. Weisman visits the Jagiellonian University

On 26–27 January 2015, a world renowned expert in the field of stem cell research, Irving L. Weissman, Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University, visited the Jagiellonian University.

For more information please visit the website.

Prof. Józef Dulak awarded by the government of Argentina

Prof. Józef Dulak, Head of the Jagiellonian University Department of Biotechnology at Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, received the Dr. Luis Federico Leloir Prize from the Argentinean Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation.

The award ceremony took place on 17 November 2014 in Buenos Aires.

An award is granted for foreign experts who have promoted and contributed to the enrichment of international cooperation, therefore strengthening the scientific and technological capacities of Argentina.

Dr. Luis Federico Leloir Prize

As indicated in the official letter sent to the Jagiellonian University authorities, Prof. Józef Dulak "has increasingly promoted the scientific interactions between Argentina and Poland, collaborating with Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Nacional del Sur, promoting the visit of Argentine researchers to his laboratory, giving lectures in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Bariloche and contributing to the financing of symposiums such as SISTAM 2010 and 2012 ‘The South American Symposium in Signal Transduction and Molecular Medicine'."

Anna Grochot-Przęczek (PhD) has received a grant "Iuventus Plus" from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Maciej Cieśla, a PhD student from our Department, has received the Lymn's Award for the best poster presentation at FASEB SRC Muscle Satellite and Stem Cells, Steamboat Springs CO, 20-25 July 2014. Maciek has presented the poster entitled “Role of heme oxygenase-1 in rhabdomyosarcoma development and differentiation”. Maciej is the beneficiary of the Foundation for Polish Science VENTURES grant (2013-2015), which is the continuation of the previous VENTURES grant, the only one of this type of prolongation awarded so far. Our research on mechanisms of muscle differentiation is supported also by the grants from the National Science Center (MAESTRO and OPUS).

Book on mechanisms of blood vessel formation edited by our team

A publication entitled Angiogenesis and Vascularisation: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Diseases, edited by Prof. Józef Dulak, Prof. Alicja Józkowicz and Dr Agnieszka Łoboda was issued by the Springer publishing company.

Formation of blood vessels is essential for the development of the human body and progression of numerous diseases is accompanied by disturbances of this process. The publication is addressed for readers interested in vascular biology and medicine - not only experienced researchers, but students as well. In the eighteen chapters of the book, an international group of scientists discuss the current state of knowledge about this rapidly developing discipline, bordering on molecular biology, biotechnology and medicine. Readers interested in the role of angiogenesis in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis will surely want to study the chapters that concern molecular and cellular basis of angiogenesis as well as those that are devoted to the disorders of blood vessel formation and methods of treating them.

Poster Prize, 27th Annual Meeting of the European Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Society, Erlangen Germany 10-12 October 2013, Karolina Bukowska-Strakova.

Finalist of the POLITYKA competition ‘Stay with us’ for young and talented researchers; Anna Grochot-Przęczek.

L'Oreal Award for Women in Science 2013, Agnieszka Łoboda.

Stipend for Outstanding Young Scientists from Minister of Science and Higher Education, Urszula Florczyk, Anna Grochot-Przęczek.

Our paper undermining the properties of so called VSELs, published in PLoS One, has been cited in commentaries in Nature and Cell Stem Cell

Recently we have published a paper (Szade K et al, PLoS One. 2013; 8: e63329.) in which we demonstrated that so called very small embryonic like cells (VSELs) do not have stem cell properties and actually consist mostly out of dying or dead cells. Interestingly, our data have been fully confirmed by the group of Irving Weissman from Stanford University who published a paper in Stem Cell Reports

Those studies and other critical for the VSELs hypothesis (Danova-Alt et al. and Alvarez-Gonzalez et al.) have been commented by Alison Abbott in Nature’s Editorial on 24th July and by Henry Nicholls in Cell Stem Cell

Gordon Research Conference - Myogenesis – Mechanism and Models Conference, Lucca, Italy, 7-12 July 2013

Award for the best poster presentation - Maciej Cieśla, a PhD student from our department, for the presentation: Heme oxygenase-1 impairs myoblast differentiation and may promote development of rhabdomyosarcoma.

Prof. Jozef Dulak new president of the European Vascular Biology Organisation

Prof. Jozef Dulak (Head of the Department of Medical Biotechnology, FBBB) was elected the new president of the European Vascular Biology Organisation (EVBO) for two-year term. EVBO was launched in 2006 and to date the presidents of EVBO were: prof. Andrew Newby (School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK) and prof. Ingrid Fleming (Institute for Vascular Signalling, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt / Main, Germany).
EVBO is an organisation of scientists in the field like a vascular biology and medicine which deals with research on vascularization and function of blood vessels. Result of this studies are used to develop a new way of treatment. More information about EVBO at: http://www.evbo.org/

Special issue of Gene

In July, 2013 the special issue of the scientific journal Gene, dedicated to Professor Wacław Szybalski, the founder of the journal, has been published. The publication is on the occasion of 50 years of the seminal experiments Dr. Szybalski and his wife, Dr. Elisabeth Szybalska have performed in 1962, laying the backgrounds for gene therapy.

This special issue of Gene, which guest editors were prof. Jozef Dulak and prof. Alicja Jozkowicz (Department of Medical Biotechnology, FBBB, JU), contains the texts of the lectures delivered during the conference “50 years of gene therapy: a contribution of professor Waclaw Szybalski to science and humanity”, held in Krakow on the 28 and 29th of September 2012. The meeting has been organized by the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Polish Society for Cell Biology and Polish Society of Biochemistry, .

Among the authors there are: prof. Wacław Szybalski (professor emeritus of oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical School, USA) and other speakers, namely prof. Seppo Yla-Herttuala, the President of the European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, University of Eastern Finland; prof. Claudine Kieda, prof. Chantal Pichon and dr Patrick Midoux from CNRS in Orleans; prof. Alain Fischer (INSERM U768, Paris, France); prof. Adrian Thrasher (UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK); prof. Andrzej Mackiewicz (Medical University in Poznan), prof. Ewa Łojkowska and prof. Jacek Bigda from from Gdansk University and Gdansk Medical University.

Special issue of Gene is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03781119/525/2

The joint project of the Department of Medical Biotechnology and Selvita SA

In the 2nd call of the Applied Research Programme of the National Centre for Research and Development the Department of Medical Biotechnology and Selvita SA, the biotech company based in Krakow received the funding of 3 697 302 PLN, including 2 269 920 PLN for Department of Medical Biotechnology. The total value of the three-year project is 4 173 096 PLN. Dr Tomasz Rzymski from Selvita SA (which is the leader of the project) and prof. Józef Dulak from Department of Medical Biotechnology will coordinate the project. The aim of the project is to investigate new heme oxygenase inhibitors as potential anticancer agents. Applied Research Programme of the National Centre for Research and Development is a horizontal programme aimed at supporting the science sector and the industry sector within the scope of applied research in various scientific fields (programme path A) and industry branches (programme path B).

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Jagiellonian University Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology Department of Medical Biotechnology