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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


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

Adrian Rüfli MSc
specjalista chemik