Department of Molecular Probes and Prodrugs

Dr. Jacek Ł. Kolanowski

Head of Department

Francesca Canyelles MSc

PhD student

Anna Wychowaniec MSc

PhD student

Masroor Khan MSc

PhD student

PhD students:

Dr. Michał Gładysz

starszy specjalista chemik

Katarzyna Adrych-Rożek MSc

specjalista chemik

Technical Staff:

Adam Zarecki MSc


Dr. Dorota Kwiatek

Dr. Dorota Jakubczyk

Dr. Michał Jakubczyk


Prof.  Wojciech Markiewicz


Affiliated professors :

  • A Zarecki, JL Kolanowski, WT Markiewicz. Microwave-Assisted Catalytic Method for a Green Synthesis of Amides Directly from Amines and Carboxylic Acids. Molecules 2020, 26(8), 1761.

  • TJ Ozumerzifon, RF Higgins, JP Joyce, JL Kolanowski, AK Rappe, MP Shores. Evidence for Reagent-induced Spin-State Switching in Tripodal Fe(II) Iminopyridine Complexes. Inorganic Chemistry, 2019, 2(12), 7785. 

  • M Hu, KE Schulze, R Ghildyal, DC Henstridge, JL Kolanowski, EJ New, Y Hong, AC Hsu, PM Hansbro, PAB Wark, MA Bogoyevitch, DA Jans. Respiratory Syncytial Virus co-opts host mitochondrial function to favour infectious virus production. eLife 2019, 8, e42448.

  • P Brennecke, D Rasina, O Aubi, K Herzog, J Landskron, B Cautain, F Vincente, J Quintana, J Mestres, B Stechmann, B Ellinger, J Brea, JL Kolanowski, R Pilarski, M Orzaez, A Pineda-Lucena, L Laraia, F Nami, P Zielenkiewicz, K Paruch, E Hansen, JP von Kries, M Neuenschwander, E Specker, P Bartunek, S Simova, Z Lesnikowski, S Krauss, L Lehtio, U Bilitewski, M Bronstrup, K Tasken, A Jirgenson, H Lickert, MH Clausen, JH Andersen, MJ Vincent, O Genilloud, A Martinez, M Nazare, W Fecke, P Gribbon, EU-OPENSCREEN: A Novel Collaborative Approach to Facilitate Chemical Biology. SLAS Discovery 2019, 24(3), 298-413.

  • M Harris, JL Kolanowski, ES O’Neill, C Henoumont, S Laurent, TN Parac-Vogt, EJ New, Drawing on biology to inspire molecular design: a redox-responsive MRI probe based on Gd(III)-nicotinamide. Chemical Communications 2018, 54, 12986.

  • Z Lim, DG Smith, JL Kolanowski, RL Mattison, JC Knowles, S-Y Baek, W Chrzanowski, EJ New. A reversible fluorescent probe for monitoring Ag(I) ions. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 15, 20180346 (2018)

  • KL Chong, BA Chalmers, JK Cullen, A Kaur, JL Kolanowski, BJ Morrow, K Fairfull-Smith, MJ Lavin, NL Barnett, EJ New, MP Murphy, SE Bottle. Pro-fluorescent mitochondria-targeted real-time responsive redox probes synthesised from carboxy isoindoline nitroxides: Sensitive probes of mitochondrial redox status in cells. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 128, 97-110 (2018)

  • IJ Carney, JL Kolanowski, Z Lim, B Chekroun, TW Hambley, EJ New*A ratiometric iron probe enables investigation of iron distribution within tumour spheroids. Metallomics, 10(4), 553-556 (2018)

  • JL Kolanowski+, F Liu+, EJ New. Fluorescent probes for the simultaneous detection of multiple analytes in biology. Chemical Society Reviews, 47, 195-208 (2018)

  • JL Kolanowski, LJ Dawson, L Mitchell, Z Lim, ME Graziotto, WK Filipek, TW Hambley, EJ New. A fluorescent probe for investigating metabolic stability of active transplatin analogues.Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 255 (3), 2721-2724 (2018)

  • PJ Wright, JL Kolanowski, WK Filipek, EG Moore, S Stagni, EJ New, M Massi. Versatility of terpyridine functionalised aryl tetrazoles: photophysical properties, ratiometric sensing of zinc cations and sensitisation of lanthanide luminescence. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 44, 2560-2570 (2017)

  • A Wu+, JL Kolanowski+, BB Boumelhem, R Lee, A Kaur, ST Fraser, EJ New, LM Rendina. A New Carborane-Containing Fluorophore as a Stain of Cellular Lipid Droplets. Chemistry – An Asian Journal, 12, 1704-1708 (2017)

  • ES O’Neill, JL Kolanowski, PD Bonnitcha, EJ New. A cobalt(II) complex with unique paraSHIFT responses to anions. Chemical Communications, 53, 3571-3574 (2017)

  • K Yang, JL Kolanowski, EJ New. Mitochondrially targeted fluorescent redox sensors. Interface Focus 7, 20160105 (2017)

  • JL Kolanowski, C Shen, EJ New. Fluorescent probes for the analysis of labile metals in brain cells. Neuromethods, 124, Metals in the Brain pp 51-70 – invited book chapter. (2017)

  • C Shen, JL Kolanowski, CM-N Tran, A Kaur, MC Akerfeldt, MS Rahme, TW Hambley, EJ New. A ratiometric fluorescent sensor for the mitochondrial copper pool. Metallomics, 8, 915-919 – invited special issue. (2016)

  • ES O’Neill, JL Kolanowski, GH Yin, KM Broadhouse, SM Grieve, AK Renfrew, PD Bonnitcha, EJ New. Reversible Magnetogenic Cobalt Complexes. RSC Advances, 6, 30021-30027 (2016)

  • JL Kolanowski, A Kaur, EJ New. Selective and reversible approaches towards imaging redox signaling using small molecule probes. Antioxidants & Redox Signalling, April, 713-730 – invited (2016)

  • A Kaur, JL Kolanowski, EJ New. Reversible fluorescent probes of biological redox state. Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English, 55, 1602-1613 (2016)

Selected publications

  • 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

  • Masked bioluminogenic substrates for a selective imaging of the biochemical parameters of cancer. NSC – SONATA 13 

  • 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).

Research activity

  • 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

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)


Research area


Research Projects

Affiliated laboratories:

Bogna Rehlis
specjalista chemik

Media Społecznościowe

Strona zrobiona w kreatorze stron internetowych WebWave


Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry,
Polish Academy of Sciences
Z. Noskowskiego 12/14
61-704 Poznań
tel centrala: (+48) 61 852 85 03
fax: (+48) 61 852 05 32

Sekretariat Dyrektora, tel: 61 852 89 19