Division of Molecular Biology
At the Division of Molecular Biology, we investigate the molecular basis and functional roles of fundamental biological structures and processes.
Research in the Division of Molecular Biology is based on the methods of modern molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, biophotonics and bioinformatics. The model organisms used in these studies include bacteria, yeasts, cellular slime molds, several invertebrates, plants, lab animals and mammalian cells in culture.
The projects in the Division broadly involve the following fields of study: the maintenance of genome integrity and regulation of genome variation (DNA replication, recombination and repair); genome organization and repetitive DNA sequences; expression of genomic information (transcription and translation); signal transduction in the molecular regulation of cell division, growth, differentiation and senescence; cellular responses to toxic agents and resistance to cytostatics and antibiotics; the genetic background and regulatory mechanisms of neurotransmission; the regulatory mechanisms of photosynthesis; the physiology, biochemistry and structural biology of plant hormones; dynamical processes in the cytoskeleton; and the evolution of genes and genomes.
The primary purpose of these research projects is the general broadening of our knowledge of biological processes at the molecular level and the underlying principles of life, as well as the training of young scientists for professional work in the molecular biosciences, including biomedicine and biotechnology.
At the center of our interests are the processes of cellular cytoskeleton movement in social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, development and differentiation of somatic stem cells (haematopoietic stem cells); transcription factors of the Ikaros family and the role of serotonin in cell differentiation. Lastly, we study biochemical processes of energy conversion in photosynthetic plant organelles and their prokaryotic cyanobacterial ancestors.more »
We are a young and dynamic laboratory, one of the biggest laboratories in the Division of Molecular Biology, consisting of two research groups working on different subjects with some degree of overlap. We collaborate with several researchers groups within the Institute and even more research groups abroad (Germany, France, USA, Slovenia). We use state-of-the-art cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry techniques.
The directions of our research are:
- Integrin signaling in cancer cell chemoresistance
- Cell response to genotoxic agents and mechanisms involved in drug resistance
- The involvement of miRNA in cancer in sensitivity to anticancer drugs
- Adenoviruses as vectors for gene transfer
- New synthesized compounds as potential anticancer drugs
Laboratory for Chemical Biology (LCB) is oriented to interdisciplinary research in the field of plant growth and development and its molecular regulation, as well as secondary metabolism.more »
The main goal of our research is to get new insights into molecular mechanisms of DNA recombination and repair in prokaryotesmore »
Research in the Laboratory is focused to the function and regulation of central and peripheral serotonin systems, with areas of research interest ranging from the gene regulation, through cellular and extracellular signalling to animal behaviour. Another research focus is pathophysiology of the cerebrospinal fluid at the experimental and clinical level.more »
Our research is focused on satellite DNAs and other repetitive DNA sequences with the goal to understand their structure, evolutionary mechanisms, functionality and impact on genome dynamics and plasticity. Current research is done on different invertebrate model organisms, namely, root-knot nematodes, bivalve mollusks and insects (tenebrionid beetles).more »
The main goal of this project is to identify CenH3 and CenH3-associated DNA sequences as well as their non-functional counterparts in order to explore genomics of differently organized centromeres: satellite DNA-rich, satellite DNA-poor and dispersed on holocentric chromosomes.more »