Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Polish researcher among women who can change the world

Dr. hab. Joanna Sulkowska of Warsaw University has been ranked among women who can change the world – "2017 International Rising Talents". She was recognized for solving the mysteries of entangled proteins.

Ranking "International Rising Talents" is being developed since 2014 as part of a program called L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science. Spośród of its grantees each year an additional 15 researchers are identified, whoóre are the future of science. -"These young women have the power to change the world. International recognition will help them realize this potential" – UNESCO proclaims.

Women indicated in the ranking "International Rising Talents" are selected from among theód researchers from around the world and awarded in five categories on m.In. work research mózgu, developing new medical therapies. Dr. hab. Joanna Sułkowska from the University of Warsaw was recognized for her search for new sources ofóde³ drugóin, and specifically for "solving the secretóin the entangled proteins".

Dr. Sulkowska works at the UW Department of Chemistry. Wspóhe researcher is working with centers in the United States: University of California at San Diego, Scripps Research Institute and Rice University. Her work focuses on learning more about the function of junctional proteins, which can helpóc understand the causes of Parkinson’s disease, AIDS and leukemia.

– The protein resembles a chain with open ends, it is a bit like our stringówki – explained in an interview with PAP the researcher. – We know from everyday life that they bind all kinds of cables, headphones to the phone, and even our hair. Knots are something common and tie spontaneously,” she described. They occur róalso in our bodies, e.g. in DNA structures. It also has about 2 percent of. protein structures, deposited in a special global protein database. – That’s pretty low. However, it is unclear whether there are actually only so many, or just a knot ofów on the remaining proteins, no one has so far been able to identify the – emphasized the researcher.

– Just a little over 10 years ago, scientists about the existence of nodes ofów on proteins knew nothing. We now know that convoluted structures exist in several hundred proteins. Amongód of them are the proteins responsible for Parkinson’s disease. At present, we expect that poor protein knotting may be responsible for the development of the disease, but we do not know exactly how theób – said rozmóPAP contributor.

It is also known that the convoluted structure is formed by a protein called leptin, whichóre can also lead to obesity. – In the simplest terms, it can be said that, depending on the form in which it is present, it can inhibit or stimulate the sending of impulseów to mózg about whether we are full or hungry – módr. Sulkowska.

She found the m.in. the most complex node on a protein. Her team’s research has shown that it actually consists of several small knotsóIn interconnected loop. They managed to rów also perform simulations thatóre shown in turn how the smallest knotted protein could be formed. – Using computer simulations, we were able to observe the binding process of this protein almost under realistic conditions. It allowed us to understand anything about the puzzle of knotted proteins – explained the researcher.

She has received numerous awards for her research. It has received m.in. European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) grant, L'Oreal grant, Foundation for Polish Science grants.

The list of International Rising Talents winners can be found on the UNESCO website.