Head of laboratory


About Laboratory of Cytometry

The Laboratory of Cytometry has been established in June 2010 to provide state of the art multicolor flow cytometry service. Currently, Laboratory is equipped with the BD FACSCalibur flow cytometer, BD FACSAria cell sorter and iCys scanning cytometer. In 2011 the two new instruments will be established: 2-laser BD FACSCalibur and 4-laser LSR Fortessa cytometer, which allows for high-quality multiparameter/multicolour analysis. The Laboratory of Cytometry provides also a cell culture unit and all necessary laboratory facilities.

More information about laboratory on the web page: piwocka-lab.nencki.edu.pl

  • Cytometer BD FACSCalibur – equipped in the 488 nm laser and red diode 635 nm
  • Cell sorter BD FACSAria – equipped in the 488 nm, 635 nm lasers and UV lamp
  • Cytometer BD FACSCalibur – equipped in the 488 and 635 nm lasers
  • BD LSR Fortessa Analyser – equipped in the 355 nm, 405 nm, 488 nm and 635 nm lasers


1. The Laboratory provides the core-facility service for investigators from the Nencki Institute and other scientific and R&D institutions;
2. We offer expertise and technical assistance in flow cytometry, cell sorting as well as laser scanning cytometry. We provide the expert consultation for experiment design, fluorochrome selection and data analysis;
3. The Laboratory is involved in the basic research and innovative projects, based on the high-tech flow cytometry applications. Lab members realise own research projects as well as are involved in the colaborative projects with other scientific groups;
4. Education – we organise lectures, training courses and hands-on workshops for beginners and advanced researchers.


  • Immunophenotyping;
  • analysis of apoptosis and viability;
  • analysis of proliferation, cell cycle and mitosis;
  • analysis of DNA damage/breaks;
  • analysis of calcium ions, free radicals production and mitochondrial membrane potential;
  • immunofluorescence of surface and intracellular markers expression;
  • cytokine production;
  • cell sorting;
  • others, designed individually, dependently on needs.

Our research group carries out multidisciplinary studies on signaling networks that regulate cellular stress response and cell-cell communication which allow adaptation to disturbances of cellular or microenvironmental homeostatis in leukemia. Our priority is  to  understand  mechanisms  promoting  leukemia  progression  and  development of resistance, to propose novel therapeutic strategies.

Our  research  concentrates  on  investigation  of  the  prosurvival  pathways  activated in leukemia cells, with the special interest in the unfolded protein response and the PERK-eIF2alpha signaling, as well as genomic instability and BRCA1 deficiency. Apart from that, we want to gain insights into the role of leukemia microenvironment and cross-talk of leukemia cells with other, surrounding cells, like stroma or immune system cells. We investigate what role in the cancer development plays intercellular communication mediated by secreted factors, exosomes and direct cell-cell connections called tunneling nanotubes (TnTs). Part of our research is dedicated to verification of the novel targets and potential therapeutic treatments. We realize these aims by studies at the genomic, proteomic and cellular levels, with the use of broad range of molecular and cellular techniques, using in vitro and in vivo models.

Current research activities

  • studying role of the Unfolded Protein Response and the PERK-eIF2alpha- dependent signaling in leukemia development, progression and resistance to therapy. Examining influence  of  the  eIF2alpha-mediated  secretion  of  leukemia-promoting  proteins  and exosome-transferred molecules, including miRNAs
  • identifying  key  molecules  involved  in  regulation  of  miRNAs  expression  in  stress-dependent conditions
  • studies of mechanisms and role of interactions of leukemia cells with immune system upon adaptive stress response to rearrange functions of immune cells
  • identification of mechanisms leading to BRCA1 deficiency in leukemia
  • examining the therapeutic utility of BRCA1 deficiency in personalized therapy in leukemias and other types of cancers
  • studies of role and mechanisms of leukemia-stroma interactions mediated by secreted soluble factors, exosomes or direct intercellular connections – tunneling nanotubes (TnTs).

Selected publications

Wolczyk M., Podszywalow-Bartnicka P., Bugajski L., Piwocka K. (2017) Stress granules assembly affects detection of mRNA in living cells by the NanoFlares; an important aspect of the technology. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1861 (5PtA): 1024-1035.

Podszywalow-Bartnicka P., Cmoch A., Wolczyk M., Bugajski L., Tkaczyk M., Dadlez M., Nieborowska-Skorska M., Koromilas A., Skorski T., Piwocka K. (2016) Increased phosphorylation of eIF2α in chronic myeloid leukemia cells stimulates secretion of matrix modifying enzymes. Oncotarget, 7(48): 79706-79721.

Mikuła-Pietrasik J., Sosińska P., Murias M., Wierzchowski M., Brewińska-Olchowik M., Piwocka K., Szpurek D., Książek K. (2015) High Potency of a Novel Resveratrol Derivative, 3,3′,4,4′-Tetrahydroxy-trans-stilbene, against Ovarian Cancer Is Associated with an Oxidative Stress-Mediated Imbalance between DNA Damage Accumulation and Repair. Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2015:135691.

Podszywalow-Bartnicka P., Wolczyk M., Kusio-Kobialka M., Wolanin K., Skowronek K., Nieborowska-Skorska M., Dasgubta Y., Skorski T., Piwocka K.  (2014)  Downregulation  of  BRCA1  protein  in  BCR-ABL1  leukemia  cells  depends  on  stress-triggered TIAR-mediated  suppression of translation. Cell Cycle, 13(23): 3727-3741.

Kusio-Kobialka M., Podszywalow-Bartnicka P., Peidis P., Glodkowska-Mrowka E., Wolanin K., Leszak G., Seferynska I., Stoklosa T., Koromilas A.E., Piwocka K. (2012) The PERK-eIF2α phosphorylation arm is a pro-survival pathway of BCR-ABL signaling and confers resistance to imatinib treatment in chronic myeloid leukemia cells. Cell Cycle, 11(21): 4069-4078.