Maria Górna

Maria Górna, Ph.D.

Head of the Structural Biology Group

I graduated from the interdisciplinary MISMaP programme at the University of Warsaw, combining biotechnology and chemistry. Next, I trained in structural biology during PhD studies at the University of Cambridge and a short research stay at SGC at the University of Oxford. Over the course of my postdoctoral work at CeMM in Vienna, I collaborated with systems, chemical and computational biologists and medical geneticists on a number of projects related to innate immunity, leukemia and some rare genetic conditions. In 2015, I returned to structural biology and Poland to help establish a protein crystallography laboratory at the newly opened BCRC and our Department of Chemistry. Since then, I visited USA and UK for short sabbaticals/training in cryoEM and membrane protein crystallography as a Fulbright and EMBO fellow. I established the Go!RNA Structural Biology Group which leads both applied and basic research projects thanks to funding from multiple international and national funding bodies. I also helped establish our Crystallography and Biophysics Core Facility, as well as served as an expert for industry and on the MCAA Board.

My broad interest is in using three-dimensional structural models to explain protein function: e.g. the molecular mechanisms in RNA metabolism from viruses or bacteria to humans, or identifying the role of mutations underlying human diseases. I have also developed a passion for trying to translate my research findings into useful inventions through drug development or protein engineering and repurposing.

Research positions and degrees

Current positions:

Since 2016 Leader of the Structural Biology Group, Biological and Chemical Research Centre, University of Warsaw;

Since 2015 Assistant Professor (Adiunkt), Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw;

Past research experience:

10.2018-03.2021 Expert, WPD Pharmaceuticals, Warsaw, Poland

01-02.2020 Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Jean-Paul Armache laboratory, Eberly College of Science, Pennsylvania State University, USA

05-07.2015 Visiting researcher (EMBO ASTF), Membrane Protein Laboratory, Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus, UK

2010-2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Giulio Superti-Furga group, CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

04-05.2010 Visiting collaborator, Stefan Knapp group, Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford, UK

Education and degrees:

2006-2010 PhD student in Biochemistry and Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher (EU FP6), Ben Luisi group, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK;

2002-2006 Master's in Biotechnology (and Theoretical Chemistry), College of Inter-faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MISMaP), University of Warsaw, Poland;

2004/2005 Socrates-Erasmus exchange student, Georg-August Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany;

2001-2004 Bachelor in Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw;

1997-2001 Experimental mathematics class (Matex A) , XIV Liceum im. Staszica, Warsaw

Awards & grants

2023, Rector's Distinction for scientific achievements, University of Warsaw

2023, Rector's Award for scientific achievements (individual, III degree), Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw

2023, WEAVE UNISONO grant, National Science Centre, Poland

2022, OPUS 21 grant, National Science Centre, Poland

2021, listed by Kobiety Forbes Women 2021 among the top 100 inspiring women in Poland

2021, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science scholarship award 2020, L’Oréal Poland

2019, Fulbright STEM Impact Award, Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission

2018, FIRST TEAM 5/2018 grant, Foundation for Polish Science

2017, Fellowship for outstanding young scientists, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, #0707/E-343/STYP/12/2017

2015, EMBO Installation Grant

2015, LIDER VI grant, National Centre for Research and Development, Poland

2015, SONATA 8 grant, National Science Centre, Poland

2015, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship, H2020

2015, 2016 Grant for young researchers (DSM), University of Warsaw

2015, EMBO Advanced Short-Term Fellowship, #235-2015

2015, FEBS Journal Poster Prize, Conference "Multi-Pole Approach to Structural Science", Warsaw, PL

2009, Clare Hall Bursary, University of Cambridge, UK

2009, General Travel Grant and publication of a Traveller's Tale, The Biochemical Society, UK

2008, Qiagen Poster Prize, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK

2006, Cambridge European Trust Honorary Scholar

2006, Marie Curie Host Fellowship for Early Stage Researchers within ChemBioCam RTN (EU FP6), Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK

2006, BBSRC PhD studentship (declined in favour of the above)

2004, 2005, 2006 (annually), Studentship of the Polish Minister of Science/Education for outstanding achievements in study

Other selected activities

Since 2023, Associate Editor of the European Review (published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Academia Europaea)

2022, 2023 TopMinds Mentor, Top 500 Innovators/Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission

2021 - 2028 Member of the Young Academy of Europe

2021 - 2024 Member of the University of Warsaw Scientific Council for Biological Sciences

2018 - 2020 Board Member, Marie Curie Alumni Association, EC-funded non-profit

2016, Founding Chair of the Polish Chapter of the Marie Curie Alumni Association

2009, Participation in the 4th SciFoo coorganized by Nature, Google and O'Reilly Media, at Googleplex, Mountain View, CA, USA

2005/2006, President of the Student Society of Genetics and Epigenetics (KNGiE), Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw (2003/2004, co-founder and vice-president)

Since 2020, Remote Evaluator, European Commission expert number: EX2015D236921

Since 2020, Collaboration on behalf of the MCAA Policy Working Group and EMBO with the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE), e.g. contribution to discussions about Horizon 2020, Widening Countries, ISE position papers on Horizon Europe (2021) (2023), ISE recommendations towards FP10 (2023) - member of the Horizon Europe Working Group

Publication metrics on Scopus

Maria Górna – publication list

  1. Kramer S Karolak NK Odenwald J Gabiatti B Castañeda Londoño PA Zavřelová A Freire ER Almeida KS Braune S Moreira C Eder A Goos C Field M Carrington M Holetz F Górna MW Zoltner M 2023 A unique mRNA decapping complex in trypanosomes. Nucleic Acids Res 51147520-7540
  2. Danazumi AU Ishmam IT# Idris S# Izert MA Balogun EO Górna MW 2023 Targeted Protein Degradation Might Present a Novel Therapeutic Approach in the Fight Against African Trypanosomiasis. Eur J Pharm Sci 186106451
  3. Pinto SM Subbannayya Y Kim H Hagen L Górna MW Nieminen AI Bjørås M Espevik T Kainov D Kandasamy RK 2023 MultiOMICs landscape of SARS-CoV-2-induced host responses in human lung epithelial cells. iScience 261105895
  4. Aminu S Danazumi AU Alhafiz ZA Gorna MW Ibrahim MA 2023 β-Sitosterol could serve as a dual inhibitor of Trypanosoma congolense sialidase and phospholipase A2: in vitro kinetic analyses and molecular dynamic simulations. Mol Divers 2741645-1660
  5. Budniak UA Karolak NK Kulik M Młynarczyk K Górna MW Dominiak PM 2022 The Role of Electrostatic Interactions in IFIT5-RNA Complexes Predicted by the UBDB+EPMM Method. J Phys Chem B 126459152-9167
  6. Nowacka M# Latoch P# Izert MA Karolak NK Tomecki R Koper M Tudek A Starosta AL Górna MW 2022 A cap 0-dependent mRNA capture method to analyze the yeast transcriptome. Nucleic Acids Res 5022e132
  7. Danazumi AU Iliyasu Gital S Idris S Bs Dibba L Balogun EO Górna MW 2022 Immunoinformatic design of a putative multi-epitope vaccine candidate against Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Comput Struct Biotechnol J 205574-5585
  8. Merski M Macedo-Ribeiro S Wieczorek RM Górna MW 2022 The Repeating, Modular Architecture of the HtrA Proteases. Biomolecules 126793
  9. Klimecka MM Antosiewicz A# Izert MA# Szybowska PE Twardowski PK Delaunay C Górna MW 2021 A Uniform Benchmark for Testing SsrA-Derived Degrons in the Escherichia coli ClpXP Degradation Pathway. Molecules 26195936
  10. Izert MA Szybowska PE Górna MW Merski M 2021 The Effect of Mutations in the TPR and Ankyrin Families of Alpha Solenoid Repeat Proteins Front Bioinform 1696368
  11. Izert MA Klimecka MM Górna MW 2021 Applications of Bacterial Degrons and Degraders - Toward Targeted Protein Degradation in Bacteria. Front Mol Biosci 8669762
  12. Blanco N Stafford K Lavoie MC Brandenburg A Górna MW Merski M 2021 A Simple Model for the Total Number of SARS-CoV-2 Infections on a National Level. Epidemiol Infect 149e80
  13. Brunner JS Vogel A Lercher A Caldera M Korosec A Pühringer M Hofmann M Hajto A Kieler M Garrido LQ Kerndl M Kuttke M Mesteri I Górna MW Kulik M Dominiak PM Brandon AE Estevez E Egan CL Gruber F Schweiger M Menche J Bergthaler A Weichhart T Klavins K Febbraio MA Sharif O Schabbauer G 2020 The PI3K pathway preserves metabolic health through MARCO-dependent lipid uptake by adipose tissue macrophages. Nat Metab 2121427-1442
  14. Merski M Skrzeczkowski J Roth JK Górna MW 2020 A Geometric Definition of Short to Medium Range Hydrogen-Mediated Interactions in Proteins. Molecules 25225326
  15. Merski M# Młynarczyk K# Ludwiczak J Skrzeczkowski J Dunin-Horkawicz S Górna MW 2020 Self-analysis of repeat proteins reveals evolutionarily conserved patterns. BMC Bioinformatics 211179
  16. Kutner J# Shabalin IG# Matelska D Handing K Gasiorowska O Sroka P Gorna MW Ginalski K Wozniak K Minor W 2018 Structural, biochemical, and evolutionary characterization of glyoxylate/hydroxypyruvate reductases shows their division into two distinct subfamilies. Biochemistry 576963-977
  17. Byrgazov K Kastner R Gorna M Hoermann G Koenig M Lucini CB Ulreich R Benesch M Strenger V Lackner H Schwinger W Sovinz P Haas OA van den Heuvel-Eibrink M Niemeyer CM Hantschel O Valent P Superti-Furga G Urban C Dworzak MN Lion T 2017 NDEL1-PDGFRB fusion gene in a myeloid malignancy with eosinophilia associated with resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Leukemia 311237-240
  18. Dikoglu E Alfaiz A Gorna M Bertola D Chae JH Cho TJ Derbent M Alanay Y Guran T Kim OH Llerenar JC Jr Yamamoto G Superti-Furga G Reymond A Xenarios I Stevenson B Campos-Xavier B Bonafé L Superti-Furga A Unger S 2015 Mutations in LONP1, a mitochondrial matrix protease, cause CODAS syndrome. Am J Med Genet A 16771501-9
  19. Dölker N# Górna MW# Sutto L Torralba AS Superti-Furga G Gervasio FL 2014 The SH2 domain regulates c-Abl kinase activation by a cyclin-like mechanism and remodulation of the hinge motion. PLoS Comput Biol 1010e1003863
  20. Bonafé L# Liang J# Gorna MW# Zhang Q Ha-Vinh R Campos-Xavier AB Unger S Beckmann JS Le Béchec A Stevenson B Giedion A Liu X Superti-Furga G Wang W Spahr A Superti-Furga A 2014 MMP13 mutations are the cause of recessive metaphyseal dysplasia, Spahr type. Am J Med Genet A 164A51175-9
  21. Vladimer GI Górna MW Superti-Furga G 2014 IFITs: Emerging Roles as Key Anti-Viral Proteins. Front Immunol 594
  22. Unger S# Górna MW# Le Béchec A Do Vale-Pereira S Bedeschi MF Geiberger S Grigelioniene G Horemuzova E Lalatta F Lausch E Magnani C Nampoothiri S Nishimura G Petrella D Rojas-Ringeling F Utsunomiya A Zabel B Pradervand S Harshman K Campos-Xavier B Bonafé L Superti-Furga G Stevenson B Superti-Furga A 2013 FAM111A mutations result in hypoparathyroidism and impaired skeletal development. Am J Hum Genet 926990-5
  23. Abbas YM Pichlmair A# Górna MW# Superti-Furga G Nagar B 2013 Structural basis for viral 5'-PPP-RNA recognition by human IFIT proteins. Nature 494743560-4
  24. Bandyra KJ Said N Pfeiffer V Górna MW Vogel J Luisi BF 2012 The seed region of a small RNA drives the controlled destruction of the target mRNA by the endoribonuclease RNase E. Mol Cell 476943-53
  25. Górna MW Carpousis AJ Luisi BF 2012 From conformational chaos to robust regulation: the structure and function of the multi-enzyme RNA degradosome. Q Rev Biophys 452105-45
  26. Pichlmair A Lassnig C Eberle CA Górna MW Baumann CL Burkard TR Bürckstümmer T Stefanovic A Krieger S Bennett KL Rülicke T Weber F Colinge J Müller M Superti-Furga G 2011 IFIT1 is an antiviral protein that recognizes 5'-triphosphate RNA. Nat Immunol 127624-30
  27. Goncalves A Bürckstümmer T Dixit E Scheicher R Górna MW Karayel E Sugar C Stukalov A Berg T Kralovics R Planyavsky M Bennett KL Colinge J Superti-Furga G 2011 Functional dissection of the TBK1 molecular network. PLoS One 69e23971
  28. Górna MW Pietras Z Tsai YC Callaghan AJ Hernández H Robinson CV Luisi BF 2010 The regulatory protein RraA modulates RNA-binding and helicase activities of the E. coli RNA degradosome. RNA 163553-62
  29. Worrall JA# Górna M# Crump NT Phillips LG Tuck AC Price AJ Bavro VN Luisi BF 2008 Reconstitution and analysis of the multienzyme Escherichia coli RNA degradosome. J Mol Biol 3824870-83
  30. Worrall JA Górna M Pei XY Spring DR Nicholson RL Luisi BF 2007 Design and chance in the self-assembly of macromolecules. Biochem Soc Trans 35Pt 3502-7

#Equal contribution




(excl. autocitations)