Partner 2’s teams

Team 4

Dr Florian Veillard

Florian Veillard studied at the University of Tours (France) where he obtained his PhD in biochemistry in 2009 for his work on the role and regulation of proteases implied in inflammatory pulmonary diseases. He then joined the University of Louisville Dental School (USA) for a post-doctoral fellowship (2010-2012) during which he studied the virulence mechanisms of the main etiological agent of periodontitis, the bacteria P. gingivalis. Back in France, he integrated the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) as a project manager on an ERC Grant to decipher the innate immune system of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (2013-2018). As a team leader in the FixNet project, he is responsible for the cellular and functional characterizations of the neutrophils from neutropenic patients and the IPS-derived cell lines.

Dr Barbra Chruścińska-Smaga

Doctor of Medical Sciences with fourteen years of experience in laboratory work, co-author of several scientific publications and coordinator of national projects including in collaboration with industry. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (2009). She defended her doctoral thesis at the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (2015) on the pharmacodynamic characteristic of novel allosteric ligands for GPCRs as new therapeutic agents in neuropsychiatric diseases. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork (2016-2018) she was responsible for establishing a high-throughput in vitro screening platform for bacterial-derived metabolites modulating GPCRs signaling in the context of gut-brain axes. In addition, she investigated heterodimerization, signaling cross-talk, and biased agonism of several GPCRs, using cell based systems. At the Małopolska Biotechnology Center of the Jagiellonian University (2018-2020) her research focused on post-translational modifications of proteins and peptides as a new biomarker associated with chronic infectious diseases. As a PostDoc in the Fix Neutropenia (FIXNET) project, she focuses on functional characteristics of peripheral granulocytes in patients with neutropenia.

Dr Justyna Folkert

PostDoc in the project Fix Neutropenia (FIXNET). In the project she deals with analysis of physiological function of neutrophils including chemotaxis, phagocytosis, bactericidal activity, respiratory burst, and others.

A biotechnologist by profession, in 2019 she received a doctoral degree from Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice (thesis theme: “The effect of rhamnogalactoronan-I on osseointegration. In vitro  study”). She performed her PhD studies in two international research institutions (Charité Medical University, Berlin, Germany and University of Birmingham, UK) where she has participated in several research projects investigating natural sources of biomaterials, derived from plants having osteogenic properties. In her research she used different in vitro cell culture models (osteoblasts, fibroblasts, neutrophils, and macrophages) as well as molecular biology techniques (Real Time PCR, FACS, etc.) to investigate the ability of plant-derived pectins to stimulate osseointegration. Her research activity resulted in the publication of several articles in renowned scientific journals.

Dr Stanisław Malicki

Research Assistant in the project “FIXNET" at the Department of Microbiology, Jagiellonian University. He received his PhD in the field of Biological sciences at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology UJ. His expertise in molecular pharmacology and biochemical analysis was developed during his PhD work in the Department of Cell Biochemistry, UJ, and expanded during his employment at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and at the Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology. During his scientific career he has been involved in projects aimed at immune-mediated diseases and research and development projects aimed at developing functional molecules with potential pharmacological use in a consortium with pharmaceutical companies. Co-author of scientific publications and patent applications.

As a research assistant in the Fix Neutropenia (FIXNET) project, he focuses on the characteristics of the biological functions of primary cells in host-pathogen interactions studies.

Team 5

Dr Tomasz Prajsnar

The Project Leader of a team responsible for developing animal models of congenital neutropenia and subsequently determining their bacterial infection phenotypes and their neutrophil function in vivo. Tomasz obtained the MSc in Biotechnology in 2006 at the Jagiellonian University and the PhD in Biological Sciences in 2010 at the University of Sheffield (UK). His primary expertise lies in studying the host-pathogen interactions encompassing research in the bacterial pathogenesis and the innate immune response to bacterial infection.

During his PhD and postdoctoral appointments in Sheffield, and the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the University of Leiden (NL), Tomasz developed extensive experience in microbiology and innate immunity, including development of new in vivo models of infection. He is the main author or a co-author of 21 scientific publications in the leading journals including “Science", “Nature Microbiology", “Autophagy", “PLoS Pathogens” and “Cellular Microbiology".

Dr Izabela Ciastoń

Postdoc in the project Fix Neutropenia (FIXNET): focusing on neutrophil proteases defects which serve as novel diagnostic and therapeutic options. Since 2009, associated with the Department of Microbiology at the Faculty of Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Jagiellonian University.  Her field of interest is related to the evaluation of the modulation of immune response during bacterial infections.  During her scientific work, she participated in many projects focused on therapy in Clostridium difficile infection, the role of periopathogens in T cells differentiation, analysis of etiology of bacterial co-infection during cystic fibrosis and infection with Candida albicans or the role of Porphyromonas gingivalis on the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps. Co-author of 9 scientific publications, participant in many conferences and principal investigator in PRELUDIUM 11 project, where she demonstrated the proinflammatory effect of enzymatically inactive gingipains – the main virulence factors of P. gingivalis. In 2019 she defended her doctoral thesis about the biological role and mechanism of action of inactive gingipains. Her experience in working with animal models will be used in FIXNET project, where she will be responsible for determining the effect of genetic modifications in neutrophils present in neutropenia on bacterial infections in different in vivo models.

Dr Anna Golda

Post-doctoral researcher in the project Fix Neutropenia (FIXNET): focusing on neutrophil proteases defects which serve as novel diagnostic and therapeutic options.

Dr Golda graduated from the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University. She studied the survival of S. aureus in professional phagocytes. Later, she began her doctoral thesis focusing her attention on a study of the effect of infection with human coronavirus NL63 on the bacterial superinfection. Dr Golda completed her PhD in 2012. During her academic training she has been involved in studies related to host-pathogen interactions. She is familiar with isolation and culture of primary cells (e.g. monocytes, neutrophils, pDC, epithelial cells from the respiratory tract of human subjects). Additionally, she has extensive experience in developing of 3-D models like ex vivo model of fully differentiated human airway epithelium (HAE) and esophageal organotypic cell culture (OTC). In the project dr Golda is responsible for analysis of physiological functions of granulocytes isolated from animals suffering from neutropenia or devoid of neutrophils proteases (e.g. neutrophil elastase).