I am working in a Parkinson’s disease (PD) field for 11 years. My scientific carrier started with biophysical examination of alpha-synuclein (aSN) oligomeric species, which are believed to be the most toxic species in PD, and resulted with gathering methodological expertise in many scientific techniques. During post-doctoral training I extrapolated the pure biophysical protein-protein interaction process towards neurotoxicity culprits of aSN. From that point my interest were pointed to the basic research dedicated to aSN neurotoxicity in cellular models, its interactions with other protein and molecules. The post-doctoral training in the multidisciplinary team, with ongoing academic and clinical research related to PD and other parkinsonian syndromes, extended my research focus and let me be involved in projects involving among other the depression mechanism and immunological studies. Consequently, during my current work as a assistant professor, I am also put part of my research focus into other parkinsonian syndromes and the selective vulnerability of neurons in PD pathology.
Currently I am focused on finding new potential biomarkers (proteins and small compounds) for detection early onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as related disorders, and solving mystery of selective vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in PD pathology. For the analysis I am mostly using cerebrospinal fluid, but also plasma and other tissues, as it is the preferred biosample to address diagnostic and prognostic information related to neurodegenerative disorders. This research is important, since PD shares symptomatology with several other rare neurodegenerative disorders collectively named atypical parkinsonism syndromes (APS). APS include corticobasal syndrome (CBS), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA), vascular parkinsonism and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Therefore, in my research I am trying to target challenges caused by the overlapping clinical features of PD and APS and find the targets able to accurately discriminate between ATP and PD what will be critical for patients as the disease progression, and subsequent functional decline, is often more rapid in atypical parkinsonism syndromes.
I am also working with a protein purification and biophysics since beginning of my PhD, mainly focusing on α-synuclein protein. I was working on characterization of the oligomeric species of α-synuclein, which are believed to be the most toxic species in PD. Currently, this part of my work is targeted toward identifying new proteins interacting with fibrillar and oligomeric α-synuclein.
2010-2014 Aarhus University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, PhD in Nanoscience
Supervisor: Daniel Otzen, Professor, Ph.D.
My PhD project was focused on studying a protein folding and its malfunction in amyloid diseases. It engaged the biophysical characterization of protein aggregates involved in aforementioned disorders and large screening for potential compounds that can inhibit amyloid formation. The second part of the project was dedicated to characterization of GlpG membrane protein folding and how mutations in protein sequence disturb this process.
2005-2010 Wroclaw University of Technology, Department of Chemistry, MSc Eng. in Molecular Biotechnology and Biocatalysis
Supervisor: Krzysztof Pawlik, Ph.D.
My early research and Master thesis work was performed in microbiology filed and included working with Streptomyces bacteria, the largest antibiotic-producing genus, generating antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic drugs, and also a wide range of other bioactive compounds. The main aim of assignment was characterization of CpkF protein and its role in secretion of one of the bioactive compounds by S. coelicolor.
Akademiska priser och utmärkelser
Source: Åke Wibergs foundation Research Grant
Title: The role of brain cholesterol and steroids in Parkinson’s disease pathology
Source: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Title: Assessment of apolipoproteins and alpha-synuclein in lipoprotein vesicles in cerebrospinal fluid
Source: Karolinska Institute Research Grant
Title: Steroids in neurodegeneration