Our goal is to understand mechanisms of resistance and discover potential molecular targets in leukemia to develop and propose novel therapies, with special interest in intercellular interactions and their role within the leukemia microenvironment.

We focus on investigation of the cytoprotective pathways, stress response and DNA repair mechanisms in order to propose and verify novel prospective targets and potential therapeutic treatments, including personalized therapies. A high priority is to understand the intercellular cross-talk between the leukemic and surrounding cells and the role of leukemia microenvironment - bone marrow stroma or immune system cells in development of disease and resistance.

We achieve these aims in in vitro and in vivo models by studies at the genomic, proteomic and cellular levels, together with a diverse array of techniques, ranging from biochemical and molecular biology methods to cellular biology, multicolor flow cytometry, cell sorting and microscopy techniques, including confocal, EM, SEM, CLEM to visualize cellular processes and molecules.

Currently we investigate:

Integrated Stress Response pathways in leukemia

Non-classical mechanisms of BRCA1/2 deficiencies in leukemia and sensitivity to personalized therapy by PARP inhibitors

The leukemia-bone marrow stroma interactions

Direct intercellular connections within leukemia microenvironment by tunneling nanotubes (TNTs)

Leukemic extracellular vesicles and influence on immunosuppression

Protein markers for BRCA1/2 deficiency and PARP1 inhibitors in cancer

For details go to the Research.

Core facility service

Our mission is to provide leading edge service, expertise and instrumentation in flow cytometry for in-house and outside investigators. Our vision is to meet reserchers' specific needs by providing dedicated help with design of experiments, aquisition and data analysis.

We offer the state-of-the-art expertise in flow cytometry and sorting, with a wide range of flow cytometry techniques, hands-on service, data analysis and training. We are also involved in the research and innovative projects, based on the high-tech flow cytometry applications. We are using modern flow cytometry applications to study different cellular processes, immune cells subsets, rare events, apoptosis, proliferation, signal transduction, ROS production and many others. One of our big expertise is cell sorting, including sorting from demanding tissues, e.g. microglia or organisms, e.g. zebrafish. Additionally we perform single-cell sorting into the 96-well plates or microscope slides. Our goal is to meet reserchers' specific needs by providing dedicated help with design of experiments, aquisition and data analysis.

Lab members provide training, organize courses and workshops in basic and advanced flow cytometry techniques. Being part of the ISAC (International Society for Advancement of Cytometry) Life Education Task, we organize ISAC Warsaw Workshops. We participate in the ISAC initiatives to provide opportunities for collaboration with expertise laboratories.

Cendrowski J, Kaczmarek M, Mazur M, Kuzmicz-Kowalska K, Jastrzebski K, Brewinska-Olchowik M, Kominek A, Piwocka K, Miaczynska M. Splicing variation of BMP2K balances abundance of COPII assemblies and autophagic degradation in erythroid cells. eLife 2020; 9:e58504. Published online 2020 Aug 14. doi: 10.7554/eLife.58504

Swatler J, Dudka W, Piwocka K. “Isolation and Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles from Cell Culture Conditioned Medium for Immunological Studies". Curr Protoc Immunol. 2020 Jun;129(1):e96. doi: 10.1002/cpim.96.

Szymańska E, Nowak P, Kolmus K, Cybulska M, Goryca K, Derezińska-Wołek E, Szumera-Ciećkiewicz A, Brewińska-Olchowik M, Grochowska A, Piwocka K, Prochorec-Sobieszek M, Mikula M, Miączyńska M. "Synthetic lethality between VPS4A and VPS4B triggers an inflammatory response in colorectal cancer". EMBO Mol Med. 2020 Feb 7;12(2):e10812. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201910812

Swatler J, Dudka W, Bugajski L, Brewinska-Olchowik M, Kozlowska E, Piwocka K. "Chronic myeloid leukemia-derived extracellular vesicles increase Foxp3 level and suppressive activity of thymic regulatory T cells". Eur J Immunol. 2019 Nov 23. doi: 10.1002/eji.201848051

For more go to Publications.

NCN Preludium Bis, Katarzyna Piwocka “Cell adhesion molecules as regulators of tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) formation and protein transfer in leukemia microenvironment; role in therapy resistance” (2020-2024)

National Science Center (NCN) HARMONIA 10, Paulina Podszywałow-Bartnicka „Role of RBPs in the therapy resistance of leukemia cells” (2019-2022)

National Science Center (NCN) OPUS 15 Katarzyna Piwocka „Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) within the leukemia microenvironment; influence of metabolic remodeling and implications for therapy" (2019-2022)

National Science Center (NCN) PRELUDIUM, Julian Swatler "BCR-ABL-containing leukemic extracellular vesicles as a novel, immunosuppressive factor controlling function of regulatory T cells" (2019-2022)

Foundation for Polish Science TEAM TECH Core Facility Plus/2017-2/2: "Flow-PROSPER – Flow Cytometry Protein Signature Platform for Personalised Therapies" (2018 - 2021, PI - Katarzyna Piwocka) - see Flow-PROSPER

EU Horyzon 2020, Maria Curie COFUND grant Bio4Med: Biology for Medicine International PhD Programme; Project title: "Precision medicine-guided synthetic lethality to eradicate quiescent and proliferating leukemia stem cells: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic appications" (2015 - 2020)


15.06.2020 - Additional funds dedicated to new research task aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic within the ongoing FlowProsper project awarded

Polish Intelligent Development Award 2020 for dr hab. Katarzyna Piwocka

The prize was awarded in the "Future Scientist" category for the implementation of three projects:

  • FNP (Foundation for Polish Science) Flow-PROSPER - Flow Cytometry Protein Signature Platform for Personalised Therapies

  • Bio4Med - Biology for Medicine (International PhD Programme in Biological Bases of Human Diseases) - European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND grant agreement No 665735

  • NCN (National Science Center) - Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) within the leukemia microenvironment; influence of metabolic remodeling and implications for therapy

Press release: