Prof. Włodzimierz Krzyżosiak

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Włodzimierz Krzyżosiak was born in 1949 in Rawicz, deceased in December 2017. In 1971 he earned a degree in chemistry at what is now the University of Opole. In 1975 he completed his doctorate at the Institute of Chemistry at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and in 1984 his postdoctoral degree at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw. He was named a professor in 1993. He is the director of the Department of Molecular Biomedicine at the PAN Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Poznań, where he has worked since it was founded.

His research path has led from the structural chemistry of nucleic acids, through molecular biology and genetics, to molecular medicine. For five years he worked at research institutions in England, France, the United States and Japan. For more than a decade he has concentrated his research on investigating the role of RNA in the pathogenesis of human neurological illnesses caused by expansion of microsatellite sequences, and seeking new methods of experimental therapy for this group of disorders. He has also studied the process of biogenesis of microRNA molecules and disorders in their function in microsatellite diseases, and has improved the technology for therapeutic RNA interference.

His earlier research achievements include development of a new method for studying RNA structures in solution using the properties of metal ions and reconstitution of functional ribosome from natural proteins and synthetic rRNA. His latest achievements are creation of structural foundations for studying the role of RNA in the pathogenesis of microsatellite diseases, verifying the involvement of toxic RNA in the pathomechanism of Huntington’s disease, and development of a new therapeutic approach to this disease using siRNA molecules acting like microRNA.

He is the co-author of over 130 scientific publications, including over 100 works of original research. They cover issues from organic chemistry, molecular biology, and biomedicine. He is a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (since 2004) and a member of the PAN Molecular Biology and Human Genetics and Molecular Pathology committees. Since 2002 he has been a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Since 2016 he has served as a member of the European Academies Science Advisory Council Working Group of Experts on Genome Editing.

On three occasions he has won the Polish Biochemical Society prize for the best experimental work performed at a Polish laboratory. He won the Foundation for Polish Science Prize in 2007 and was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 2013.