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HARC mission

Our mission is to support and advance healthy ageing through biomedical research, education and collaborative partnership at European, national and local levels.

The HARC Conference
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Research Themes

Research Theme 1

Influence of muscle power and nutritional status on functional capacities and well-being in the elderly

Leader: Prof. Tomasz KOSTKA of the Department of Geriatrics (MUL)

Prof. Kostka is an expert in the preventive geriatrics, physical disability, the role of muscle strength and power in maintaining independence in daily functioning, nutritional status and well-being in the elderly. His scientific interests include physiological and metabolic effects of physical activity in the elderly, muscle function, nutrition, antioxidant system, disability, frailty, rehabilitation and quality of life in older people.

Selected papers of Research Theme 1:

  • Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis as an auxiliary method in diagnosing of sarcopenia among hospitalized older patients – a preliminary report

M. Pigłowska, T. Gilbert, A. Guligowska, S. Ait, T. Kostka, M. Bonnefoy, European Geriatric Medicine 6 (2015) 422–426, IF – 1.326;

  • Physical Activity, Aerobic Capacity, and Total Antioxidant Capacity in Healthy Men and in Men with Coronary Heart Disease

Anna Gawron-Skarbek, Jacek Chrzczanowicz, Joanna Kostka, Dariusz Nowak, Wojciech Drygas, Anna Jegier, and Tomasz Kostka, Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015; 2015: 197307, doi:  10.1155/2015/197307

  • Quadriceps muscle power and optimal shortening velocity as determinants of functional abilities of older adults in a long-term care home: a one-year follow-up study

I. Kozicka, T. Kostka (Lodz, Poland); The Journal of Frailty & Aging, Volume 5, Supplement 1, 2016 



Research Theme 2

Nutritional status and body composition in the demented elderly as predictors of quality of life.

Leaders: Prof. Iwona Kloszewska and Prof. Tomasz Sobów Department of Old Age Psychiatry & Psychotic Disorders (MUL).

Professor I. Kloszewska’s main research interests are clinical and neurobiological aspects of the dementias, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. She has been involved in several international research projects to investigate clinical, biochemical and neuroimaging biomarkers in dementias, including biomarker studies and applications of novel technologies of images processing in MRI.

Professor T. Sobow is a head of Psychogeriatric Ward at the Department of Old Age Psychiatry & Psychotic Disorders and of The Department of Medical Psychology. His main research interests are clinical and neurobiological issues of the dementias, particularly Alzheimer’s disease) and Parkinson related dementias.

Selected papers of Research Theme 2:

  • Serotonergic drugs for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia

Radoslaw Magierski and Tomasz Sobow, 2016, VOL. 16, NO. 4, 375–387, IF – 2.578;



Research Theme 3

Neurodegenerative diseases as misfolded protein disorders

Leaders: Prof. Pawel P. Liberski and Assoc. Prof. Beata Sikorska from the Department of Molecular Pathology (MUL)

The main target of our proposal is the study of neurodegenerative diseases, which result in dementia and movement disorders. Neurodegenerative diseases are now regarded as conformational diseases or misfolded protein disorders. Pathologic similarities with prion disease suggest that the formation and spread of these proteinaceous aggregates might involve a common molecular mechanism—corruptive protein templating. Experimentally, cerebral beta-amyloidosis can be exogenously induced by exposure to dilute brain extracts containing aggregated A-beta seeds. Pathological alpha-synuclein inclusions were detected in grafted cells in brains of Parkinson’s disease patients and in skin nerve fibres. This data suggest that amyloids other than prion protein may propagate in a similar way. The most recent hypothesis suggest that PrP is an aggregate “capturer” as evidenced from the above data and it mediates impairment of synaptic plasticity by its amyloid misfolded isoform. Thus, the likeness between prion diseases, Alzheimer disease and other “prionoids” should be studied as complex interwoven disease processes.

Selected papers of Research Theme 3:

  • Tau pathology in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease revisited

Kovacs GG, Rahimi J, Strobel T, Lutz MI, Regelsberger G, Streichenberger N, Perret-Liaudet A, Hoftberger R, Liberski PP, Budka H, Sikorska B, Brain Pathol. 2016 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12411 (IF-5.256)

  • Isolation and partial characterization of a highly divergent lineage of hantavirus from the European mole (Talpa europaea)

Gu SH, Kumar M, Sikorska B, Hejduk J, Markowski J, Markowski M, Liberski PP, Yanagihara R; Sci Rep 2016, 6:21119, Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 21119 (2016), doi:10.1038/srep21119 (IF-5,228);


Research Theme 4

Telemonitoring: A new proposal of a complex approach to COPD management in the elderly.

Leader: Professor Pawel Górski, Division of Pneumology and Allergy (MUL).

Professor Gorski major research interests are: pathogenesis and management of COPD, bronchial asthma, allergy and mechanisms of immunotherapy.
Prof. Adam Antczak’s major interest is internal medicine and pulmonology medicine. He focuses his research interests on COPD, asthma and lung cancer.
Assoc. Prof. Piotrowski’s research activity concentrates on sarcoidosis and COPD.

Selected papers of Research Theme 4:

  • Underrecognized comorbidities of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Joanna Miłkowska-Dymanowska, Adam J Białas, Anna Zalewska-Janowska, Paweł Górski, Wojciech J Piotrowski, Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1331—1341, DOI , IF-3.046.

Research Theme 5

Molecular and immunological determinants of increased susceptibility to respiratory infections in elderly patients with chronic respiratory diseases

Leader: Prof. Marek L. Kowalski, Department of Immunology, Reumatology and Allergy, Chair of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology (MUL)

Prof. Kowalski’s major research interests include immunology of bronchial asthma, rhinosinusitis and hypersensitivity to NSAIDs and the role of infective factors (bacterial enterotoxins and viruses) to the pathophysiology of severe airway inflammation.

State- of -the- art

Respiratory infections are major cause of exacerbations of chronic airway disorders ( eg. COPD, bronchial asthma) in the elderly. Exacerbations of asthma and COPD related to respiratory infections are associated with increased requirement for hospitalization, have an important economic impact and results in increased mortality in elderly patients. Ageing is associated with increased susceptibility to infections and several impairments of the systemic immunity have been documented including decrease in naïve T-cell number and repertoire or impairment of T-regulatory cells and B-cell function. However little is know on the immune response of elderly patients with chronic respiratory disorders.

Selected papers of Research Theme 5:

  • Comorbidities in elderly patients with asthma: Association with control of the disease and concomitant treatment

Wardzyńska A, Kubsik B, Kowalski ML; Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2015 Jul;15(7):902-9. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12367 . Epub 2014 Sep 20, IF-2.229;

  • Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) induces production of IFNγ and RANTES in human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs)

Anna Lewandowska-Polak, Małgorzata Brauncajs, Edyta Paradowska, Marzanna Jarzębska, Marcin Kurowski, Sylwia Moskwa, Zbigniew J Leśnikowski and Marek L Kowalski, Journal of Inflammation (2015) 12:16, DOI 10.1186/s12950-015-0054-7

  • Angiopoietin‑2 concentration in serum is associated with severe asthma phenotype

Joanna S. Makowska, Małgorzata Cieślak, Marzanna Jarzębska, Anna Lewandowska‑Polak and Marek L. Kowalski, Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol (2016) 12:8, DOI 10.1186/s13223-016-0112-6  

  • Gene–disease association with human IFNL locuspolymorphisms extends beyond hepatitis C virus infections

S Chinnaswamy; Genes and Immunity (2016) 17, 265–275


Research Theme 6

Hampering the progression of chronic kidney disease and subclinical organ damage as a prevention of cardiovascular complications in elderly people with and without hypertension.

Leaders: Prof. Jacek Rysz and Prof. Maciej Banach Department of Nephrology, Hypertension and Family Medicine (MUL).

Prof. Jacek Rysz is focusing on pathogenesis and management of kidney diseases (nephroprotection, pharmacotherapy, dialysis therapy, and molecular basis of kidney diseases), hypertension and correlation between atherosclerosis and renal diseases.
Prof. Maciej Banach main area of scientific interests concerns hypertension aspects (risk stratification, prehypertension, new biomarkers, optimal level of BP - J-curve phenomenon, pharmacotherapy/combined therapy, prevention, complications), lipid disorders (risk stratification, new biomarkers, diagnosis, rare diseases), dyslipidemia therapy (statins, new drugs combined treatment), new drugs in CVD therapy.

Selected papers of Research Theme 6:

  • Markers of increased atherosclerotic risk in patients with chronic kidney disease: a preliminary study

Gluba-Brzózka A, Michalska M, Franczyk-Skóra B, Nocuń M, Toth P, Banach M, Rysz J; Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Feb 3;15:22. doi: 10.1186/s12944-016-0191-x, IF-2.137;

  • Efficacy of Statin Therapy in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Rysz-Górzynska M, Gluba-Brzózka A, Sahebkar A, Serban MC, Mikhailidis DP, Ursoniu S, Toth PP, Bittner V, Watts GF, Lip GY, Rysz J, Catapano AL, Banach M; Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 22;6:30060. doi: 10.1038/srep30060.


Research Theme 7

Modulation of vascular endothelial cell senescence in ageing - integrins in endothelial cell senescence.

Leader : Prof. Jolanta Niewiarowska Head of Laboratory of Molecular Angiogenesis, Department of Molecular and Medical Biophysics; Prof. Czeslaw Cieniewski (†), Member of PAS. Department of Molecular Medicine and Biophysics (MUL).


Prof. MU Jolanta Niewiarowska, Head of Laboratory of Molecular Angiogenesis, Department of Molecular and Medical Biophysics.

Academic qualification: MS in molecular biology (1978 University of Lodz);  Ph.D. in biochemistry (1984); habilitation in medical biology (2002) Medical Academy in Lodz; Employment and experience: Coagulotion Disorders Laboratory (1978-1981) Medical Academy in Lodz; Research worker (1981-1983); Superior assistant (1983-1985); Assistant professor (1985-2006), professor position in Medical University in Lodz (2006-); all in Department of Biophysics, Medical University (UMED) in Lodz; Research Dean of Health Science Faculty, UMED (2006-010). Foreign training: Laboratoire d'Hématologie, Hôtel-Dieu, Paris, France (1983, 6 m.): Postdoctoral fellow: Laboratoire de la Virologie Moléculaire, INSERM u.233, Lille, France (1986 – 1988).

Research interest: Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis. Lowering of cancer progression by inhibition angiogenesis and metastasis. Author and coauthor of 36 scientific papers published in international journals, cited 238 times giving the H factor of 8.  

Scientific awards: seven Io Scientific Award of Minister (Ministry of Health and Social Welfare), two Io Scientific Award of the Rector of Medical University of Lodz


Professor Cierniewski (†) has been studied molecular mechanisms regulating adhesion and migration of endothelial cells during angiogenesis induced by different agents. Other research topics included the role of metalloproteinases and integrins in cancer progression and cancer angiogenesis. Currently, his research is focused on identifying early changes in colon cancer cells and endothelial cells undergoing the Epithelial to Mesenchemal Transition induced by Snail during metastasis and fibrosis, respectively. 

Selected papers of Research Theme 7:

  • Senescent Endothelial cells: potential modulator of immunosenescence and ageing?

Pantsulaia I. Ciszewski W.M.; Niewiarowska J.; Ageing Research Reviews 2016, Aug;29:13-25, IF-7.526,

Research Theme 8

Department of Structural Biology
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Postgradual Education
Prof. dr. Lucyna A. Woźniak, PhD, DSc. Head of Department
Dr. Marzena Wójcik, PhD
Dr. Małgorzata Bukowiecka Matusiak, PhD.
Dr. Andrzej Zieleniak
Izabela Burzynska-Pędziwiatr
PhD students:
Katarzyna Mac-Marcjanek
Iga Turek
Malgorzata Chmielewska-Kassassir

Selected papers of Department of Bioorganic Chemistry

  • Bukowiecka-Matusiak M., Turek I.A., Woźniak L.W. Natural and synthetic antioxidants - polyphenols of plant origin, Chapter in: Systems Biology of Free Radicals and Antioxidants. Ed. I.Laher, Springer Verlag GmbH 2014
  • M. Wojcik, A. Zieleniak, K. Mac-Marcjanek, L.A. Wozniak, K. Cypryk.The elevated gene expression level of the A2B adenosine receptor is associated with hyperglycemia in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, Diab/Metab Res Rev.,2014.
  • Wójcik M., Cypryk K., Woźniak L.A. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetes Prevention by Structurally Diverse Antioxidants, Chapter in: Nutritional and Therapeutic Intervention of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Ed. D.Bagchi, S. Nair; Elsevier/Academic Press, 2012
  • Michelini M.C., Russo N., Alcaro S., Woźniak L.A. Theoretical and structural studies on mechanism of the Stec reaction. Tetrahedron 2012: 5554-5563
  • Wójcik M., Zieleniak A., Woźniak L.A. The role of A1 adenosine receptors in diabetes. Current Pharm. Design, 2010 , 38 (16): 4237-4242
  • Wójcik M., Burzyńska-Pędziwiatr I., Woźniak L.A. A review of natural and synthetic antioxidants important for health and longevity. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2010, 17 (28): 3262-3288
  • Woźniak L.A., Bukowiecka-Matusiak M., Burzyńska-Pędziwatr I., Stec W.J. The Michael type base catalyzed stereospecific addition to dinucleoside (3’,5’)-H-Phosphonates. Tetrahedron Letters, 2010, 50: 2620–2623
  • Wójcik M., Mac-Marcjanek K., Woźniak L.A. Physiological and pathophysiological functions of SIRT1. Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 2009, 9 (3): 386-394
  • Metabolomic Insight into Lipid and Protein Profile in Diabetes Using Mass Spectrometry

Bukowiecka-Matusiak M, Chmielewska-Kassassir M, Szczesna D, Wozniak LA; Mini Rev Med Chem. 2016;16(14):1167-74, IF-2.841; DOI: 10.2174/1389557516666160722133534

Partners of the department in HARC:

Professor Jyotti Chattopadhyaya Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Biomedical Center, University of Uppsala, Sweden The major research areas of the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry is elucidation of Bioorganic Mechanisms using synthetic physical and structural (NMR) chemistry to model transition state or the intermediate of biochemical reactions, such as splicing, RNA catalysis, and DNA/RNA-ligand  interactions. The structural studies encompassing both high-field NMR and computational chemistry are being used to shed light on the general principles of stereoelectronic make-up, electrostatics, hydrogen-bonding,

Dr. Chryssostomos Chatgilialoglu, Centro Nationale della Richerca, Bologna, Italy, Director of the Institute of Technology and Nanoscience, Athens, Greece
Director of research at CNR (Bologna) since 1991. He was the winner of the Fluka Prize “Reagent of the Year 1990”. His research interests lie in free radical reactions increasingly addressed in the last decade to applications in biomimetic chemistry and biomarkers discovery. Author and editor of 6 books, author and co-author of over 240 papers, and invited speaker over 200 times at congresses and institutions. He is President and co-founder of the spin-off company Lipinutragen.


Dr. Peter W. Szlosarek
Queen Mary University of London, Barts Cancer Center, London, UK
Metabolomic studies in cancer treatment.
Joint project: UPLC-MS and NMR metabolomic analyses of mesothelioma cells
after L-arginine degradation by arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20)

VITRUAL LAB: Mass Spectrometer
AB Sciex TripleTOF 4600 (start July 2014)
Dr. Dorota Szczęsna – researcher responsible for MS lab

  • Possible applications (main fields)
  • Chemical analysis of mixtures of products including natural products extracts
  • Metabolomics– small molecules (metabolites) analysis
  • Proteomcs – peptides and proteins analysis
  • Lipidomics- lipids and membranes analysis
  • Pharmacology

Current fields of activity:

  1. Changes and modifications of lipid bilayer in ageing process- oxidative stress consequences and modifications- personalized medicine
  2. Lipidomics studies (new project with CNR Bologna, Italy)
  3. DNA and synthetic P-chiral analogues – small molecules interactions 
  4. Metabolomics (also as reference laboratory for studies with the Barts Cancer Centre, London, UK) 
  5. Courses and workshops on MS applications in biomedical sciences
  6. Colllaboration with other groups in the relevant fields

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