Head: Adam Szewczyk



2004 Professor of Biological Sciences, nomination by the President of the Republic of Poland, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

1998 DSc Habil, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

1989 PhD in Biology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

1984 MSc in Chemistry, Chemical Faculty, University of Warsaw


Research trainings:

1997-1998 Visiting Scientists, Eduardo Marban Lab, Johns Hopkins University, USA

1990-1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, Michel Lazdunski Lab, University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis, France

1989-1990 Postdoctoral Fellow, Angelo Azzi Lab, Bern University, Switzerland


Professional employments:

2008-2018 Director of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

2004-2008 Deputy Director of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

2001-present Head of the Laboratory of Intracellular Ion Channels, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

1998-2004 Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS

1992-1998 Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS


Honors and fellowships:

2008-present Deputy President of Biochemical Society

2008-2011 Deputy Head, Division of Biological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences

2006-2009 Director of Polish Mitochondrial Network

2006-2014 Congress Counselor at Executive Committee of Federation of European Biochemical Societies

2001-2004 Secretary of Polish Biochemical Society

2001 Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation Grant

1989 PhD thesis Cum Laude

Staff: Piotr Bednarczyk, Agnieszka Kiełbasa (PhD student), Piotr Koprowski, Milena Krajewska (PhD student), Bogusz Kulawiak, Michał Laskowski (PhD student), Anna Olszewska, Daria Rotko (PhD student), Shur Kucman (PhD student), Antoni Wrzosek, Monika Zochowska


Research profile:

Intracellular ion channels regulate many key cellular functions by controlling the ion fluxes across different intracellular compartments. Our laboratory is particular inter- ested in potassium channels found in inner mitochondrial membrane. We focus on pharmacology of intracellular potassium channels, interaction of potassium channel openers with mitochondria and the role of mitochondria in cytoprotection. Our overall objective is to study the role of intracellular potassium channels in cellular function during health and disease.


Current research activities:


The laboratory, established in June 1999 is focused on mitochondrial potassium channels. We study the following topics:

  • interaction of mitochondrial potassium channels with regulatory proteins,
  • mechanism of (neuro) cytoprotective action of potassium channel openers,
  • functional role of mitochondrial ATP-regulated and BK-types potassium channels,
  • regulation of mitochondrial potassium channels by plant derived substances such as flavonoids, and gaseous signaling molecules,
  • role of mitochondrial potassium channels in skin physiology.


Selected publications:


Laskowski M., Augustynek B., Kulawiak B., Koprowski P., Bednarczyk P., Jarmuszkiewicz, W., Szewczyk A. (2016) What do we not know about mitochondrial potassium channels? Biochim Biophys Acta-Bioenerg, 1857 (8): 1247-1257.


Toczyłowska-Mamińska R., Olszewska A., Laskowski M., Bednarczyk P., Skowronek K., Szewczyk A. (2014) Potassium channel in the mitochondria of human keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol, 134 (3): 764-772.


Augustynek B., Kudin A.P., Bednarczyk P., Szewczyk A., Kunz W.S. (2014) Hemin inhibits the large conductance potassium channel in brain mitochondria: A putative novel mechanism of neurodegeneration. Exp Neurol, 257: 70-75.


Wrzosek A. (2014) The potassium channel opener NS1619 modulates calcium homeostasis in muscle cells by inhibiting SERCA. Cell Calcium, 56 (1): 14-24.


Bednarczyk P., Wieckowski M.R., Broszkiewicz M., Skowronek K., Siemen D., Szewczyk A. (2013) Putative Structural and Functional Coupling of the Mitochondrial BKCa Channel to the Respiratory Chain. PLoS ONE, 8 (6): e68125.