Department of Molecular Probes and Prodrugs

dr Jacek Ł. Kolanowski

Dr. hab. Jacek Ł. Kolanowski

Head of Department
ext. 1165


Dr. Michał Jakubczyk

Dr. Mariia Dekaliuk

Dr. Magdalena Derbis

Research activity

Research area

The main aim is to develop low-molecular weight chemical tools to image, study and control biological systems through mapping and subsequently modifying interactions between biochemical targets in live cells (figure). In particular:

  • Fluorescent and bioluminescent molecular probes for sensing pairs of analytes to associate biochemical changes inside cells with the development of disease (e.g. lung and prostate cancer).
  • Non-genetic methods for in situ tagging of endogenous proteins to visualise endogenous proteins and study their interactions in live cells.
  • Multiplexing assays (based on small molecules) for high-throughput screening to improve the identification of most promising small molecule drug candidates and deciphering their mechanism of action (also within the ERIC EU-Openscreen consortium and POL-Openscreen initiative)
  • molecular tools for super-resolution new generation fluorescent nanoscopy (resolution approx.. 1 nm) in live biological models
  • development of molecular tools and assays to study mechanisms of infection and searching for therapy against COVID-19

These tasks encompass, among others:

  • Organic synthesis of probes (low molecular weight fluorophores and bioluminophores)
  • Comprehensive spectroscopic analysis (in cuvettes and on microplates)
  • Assay development and fluorescent imaging of live cells with confocal microscopy (e.g. FRET and FLIM) and super-resolution nanoscopy (e.g. STED and MINFLUX)
  • molecular probes
  • fluorescence
  • bioluminescence
  • microscopy
  • chemical biology
  • biological chemistry
  • live-cell imaging
  • cell lines
  • assays
  • HTS
  • high throughput screening
  • free radicals
  • metal ions
  • proteins/enzymes
  • biomarkers
  • prodrugs
  • FRET
  • FLIM
  • COVID-19

Affiliated laboratories:

Laboratory of Molecular Assays and Imaging

Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry

Research Projects

  • Preliminary research on chemical programming of fungi using Ramularia collo-cygni as a model. Miniatura 4 by National Science Centre (NCN),No: 2020/04/X/NZ1/01959
  • MultiGATE: dual-analyte responsive fluorescent probes for a real-time multi-parametric sensing in cellular models. FPS - HOMING 4 and additional FPS funding for research on COVID-19.
  • Synthesis and characterisation of conjugates of pH-responsive probes and triplex-forming oligonucleotides. NSC – MINIATURA 3
  • Small molecule tools to investigate local microenvironment of proteins. NSC OPUS-15 (no: 2018/29/B/ST4/01498)
  • Masked bioluminogenic substrates for a selective imaging of the biochemical parameters of cancer. NSC – SONATA 13 (no: 2017/26/D/NZ1/01234)
  • EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE: Ensuring long-term sustainability of excellence in chemical biology within Europe and beyond. H2020 - H2020-INFRADEV-2018-2020
  • Project of Polish Platform of Screening Infrastructure for Chemical Biology (POL-OPENSCREEN) which is a part of European consortium EU-OPENSCREEN (European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology European Research Infrastructure Consortium). Funding from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW)
  • POIR.04.02.00-00-C004/19 NEBI – National Centre for Imaging in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. POIR – action 4.2. Development of modern research infrastructure for science (H2020).
  • Preliminary studies on the development of a general strategy for residence time prolongation and selectivity enhancement of known, broad-spectrum activity inhibitors as exemplified for cycline-dependent kinases (CDK). Miniatura 5 by National Science Centre (NCN),No: 2021/05/X/NZ7/01440
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