The LMB is delighted to announce Patrycja Kozik as a new Group Leader in the PNAC Division, where she will research dendritic cells and their role in initiation of immune responses against pathogens and tumours. Dendritic cells have a unique capacity to take up and process antigens from cancer and infected cells, and to present them to T cells. This process (termed cross-presentation) leads to activation of naïve T cells which then rapidly kill the target cells.
Her group is interested in the signalling events, membrane trafficking pathways, and transcriptional programmes that control processing of captured antigens, and the efficiency of T cell priming. The group employs proteomics, transcriptomics and CRISPR-Cas9-based genetic screening strategies to identify the players involved and to build a detailed picture of the molecular events that occur in dendritic cells following antigen uptake.
Since her undergraduate degree at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, which sparked her passion for science, Patrycja has been working on protein trafficking in the context of immunology. After that she joined the Wellcome Trust Infection and Immunity Programme at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, where she completed her PhD. Post her PhD, Patrycja was awarded Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the Institute Curie in Paris and the Broad Institute, US.
At the LMB, she also aims to understand how dendritic cell functions are modulated by danger signals associated with infection or tumour environment. She hopes better knowledge of dendritic cell biology will help to identify novel immunotherapeutic strategies that could elicit potent and long-lasting tumour-specific immune responses.
About the LMB, Patrycja says, “The supportive atmosphere, excellent facilities, as well as the enthusiasm and passion for science I have encountered here are key factors that make work and life so appealing at the LMB.”