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.

Ochocka N, Segit P, Walentynowicz KA, Wojnicki K, Cyranowski S, Swatler J, Mieczkowski J, Kaminska B. Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals functional heterogeneity of glioma-associated brain macrophages. Nat Commun. 2021 Feb 19;12(1):1151. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21407-w.

Kolmus K, Erdenebat P, Szymańska E, Stewig B, Goryca K, Derezińska-Wołek E, Szumera-Ciećkiewicz A, Brewińska-Olchowik M, Piwocka K, Prochorec-Sobieszek M, Mikula M, Miączyńska M. Concurrent depletion of Vps37 proteins evokes ESCRT-I destabilization and profound cellular stress responses. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jan 8;134(1):jcs250951. doi: 10.1242/jcs.250951.

Polak A, Bialopiotrowicz E, Krzymieniewska B, Wozniak J, Stojak M, Cybulska M, Kaniuga E, Mikula M, Jablonska E, Gorniak P, Noyszewska-Kania M, Szydlowski M, Piechna K, Piwocka K, Bugajski L, Lech-Maranda E, Barankiewicz J, Kolkowska-Lesniak A, Patkowska E, Glodkowska-Mrowka E, Baran N, Juszczynski P. SYK inhibition targets acute myeloid leukemia stem cells by blocking their oxidative metabolism. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Nov 6;11(11):956. doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-03156-8.

Le BV, Podszywalow-Bartnicka P, Maifrede S, Sullivan-Reed K, Nieborowska-Skorska M, Golovine K, Yao JC, Nejati R, Cai KQ, Caruso LB, Swatler J, Dabrowski M, Lian Z, Valent P, Paietta EM, Levine RL, Fernandez HF, Tallman MS, Litzow MR, Huang J, Challen GA, Link D, Tempera I, Wasik MA, Piwocka K, Skorski T. TGFβR-SMAD3 Signaling Induces Resistance to PARP Inhibitors in the Bone Marrow Microenvironment. Cell Rep. 2020 Oct 6;33(1):108221. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108221.

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)


New equipment in the Core Facility:

Meet Cytek Aurora

With five lasers, three scattering channels (FSC, blue laser SSC and violet laser SSC) and 64 fluorescence channels, the Aurora suits every laboratory’s needs, from simple to highcomplexity applications.

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

Polish Intelligent Development Award 2020 for dr hab. Katarzyna Piwocka for the implementation of three projects:

  • FNP Flow-PROSPER - Flow Cytometry Protein Signature Platform for Personalised Therapies

  • Bio4Med - Biology for Medicine

  • NCN (National Science Center) - Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) within the leukemia microenvironment

Press release: