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Dr Renata Jurkowska

Dr Renata Jurkowska

Senior Lecturer

School of Biosciences

Email
jurkowskar@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 9067
Campuses
Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

I have always been fascinated by the processes of cellular differentiation and functional specialization, which illustrate how the genetic alphabet can elegantly be interpreted by an interplay of epigenetic processes to drive progenitor cells towards their specialized fates. This amazement has fueled the development and crystallization of my research interests around epigenetics and stem cell differentiation.

My long-term research interests are to understand how different populations of human lung cells cooperate to form a functional organ, how epigenetic regulation drives cellular identity in the healthy lung and how dysregulation of epigenetic processes due to environmental insults, like cigarette smoke or air pollution contributes to development of lung diseases.

Since September 2019 I am a Senior Lecturer in the Biomedicine Division within the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, where I have a distinct pleasure to work in a highly collaborative and inspiring research environment.

After completing my BSc and MSc studies in Biotechnology at Warsaw University in Poland, I joined the group of Prof. Albert Jeltsch (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany) for PhD studies in Biochemistry, which I concluded with special distinction. I investigated the enzymatic properties and regulation of human DNA methyltransferases, key enzymes involved in cellular identity and function. My PhD triggered a long-life fascination with epigenetics and crystallised my research interests around stem cell differentiation and tissue regeneration. During my postdoctoral time (initially at Jacobs university Bremen, Germany and then at University of Stuttgart, Germany), I investigated the mechanisms of different classes of epigenetic enzymes to understand their function and contribution to human diseases.

I like exploring emerging fields and engaging in interdisciplinary projects. Therefore, I started my independent career by changing my research field from biochemistry to lung diseases and the research sector from academia to a start-up company. From the end of 2015 until July 2019 I was a group leader of the Epigenetics and COPD research team at BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg (Germany), an institution promoting a novel collaboration model at the interface between academia and industry. There, I have designed and successfully delivered an innovative research project carried out in collaboration with pharma industry, which explored epigenetic regulation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to provide novel therapeutic avenues for this uncurable lung disease. The success of the project and its impact were demonstrated by the acquisition of all results by the pharma partner for internal continuation.

Honours and awards

  • Best Oral Presentation Award at the Lung Science Conference (2020)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship and research grant awarded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation (2015)
  • EMBO short term fellowship award (2014)
  • Best poster award at the 6th NEB meeting and workshop on “DNA restriction and modification”, Bremen, Germany (2010)
  • Merit-based scholarship for distinguished scientific achievements granted by Polish Ministry of Education (2004-2003 and 2003-2002)
  • Scholarship granted for distinguished achievements, Warsaw University, Poland (2004-2000)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the British Association for Lung Research (from 2019)
  • Member of the European Respiratory Society (from 2016)
  • Member of the American Thoracic Society (from 2016)
  • Member of the The (German) Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (from 2005)

Academic positions

  • 2019 - present: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • 2015 - 2019: Group Leader at BioMed X Innovation Center (Heidelberg, Germany)
  • 2012 - 2019: Postdoctoral Researcher, Stuttgart University (Germany)
  • 2009 - 2011: Postdoctoral Researcher, Jakobs University Bremen (Germany)

Committees and reviewing

  • Member of the Editorial Board of Epigenomes (from 2018)
  • Journal reviewer of diverse journals 

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

External profiles

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