Head: Kasia Radwańska



2012 DSc Habilitation in Neuroscience, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS
2005 PhD in Neuroscience, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS
1999 MSc in Biology, University of Warsaw


Research trainings:
2001, 2002, 2003 Laboratory of Neuronal Signaling and Gene Regulation, Dr Jocelyne Caboche, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France


Professional employments:
2013-present Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Behaviour, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS
2008-2013 Postdoctoral research fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology of Prof. Leszek Kaczmarek, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS
2006-2008 Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Analysis of Memory of Prof. Karl Peter Giese, Centre for the Cellular Basis of Behaviour, IoP, KCL, UK


Honors and fellowships:

2013 Award from Polish Prime Minister for the Outstanding Habilitation
2010 Foundation for Polish Science POMOST grant for women
2009 Marie Curie Reintegration Grant
2006 Marie Curie Intra-European  Fellowships for a post-doctoral training

Staff: Małgorzata Borczyk (PhD student), Ashish Gorule, Kacper Łukasiewicz (PhD student), Zofia Mijakowska, Maria Nalberczak-Skóra (PhD student), Agata Nowacka, Roberto Pagano (PhD student), Małgorzata Piechota, Kamil Tomaszewski (PhD student), Anna Trąbczyńska (PhD student), Magdalena Ziółkowska


Research profile:

Memory  processes,  including  memory  formation  or  extinction,  are  fundamental for  brain  function  and  they  are  affected  in  various  psychiatric  illnesses  such  as post-traumatic stress disorder or addiction. Currently, the molecular basis of memory processes is not sufficiently well understood to develop successful treatments for memory dysfunctions. Our team is studying alcohol addiction and cognitive impairments in laboratory animals. We apply both behavioral analysis of transgenic mice in the IntelliCage system as well as patch clamp electrophysiology, confocal (Fig. 1), electron (Fig. 1) and correlative 3D microscopy (Fig. 3) to study molecular, functional and structural alterations in different brain regions.

The long-term aim to our research is to develop insights for treatments for memory dysfunctions in psychiatric illnesses.


Current research activities:

  • The role of multi-innervates dendritic spines in memory formation. We use the tools of molecular biology and electron microscopy to study how and when multiinervated spines are formed. These are big dendritic spines innervated by at least 2 presynaptic  buttons. We ask  whether  they contribute  to memory  formation and which molecular processes underlie their formation. The role of CaMKII and PSD95 proteins is tested.
  • The role of silent synapses in alcohol addiction. We  use  the  tools  of  molecular  biology  and  whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology to check the function of silent synapses which miss functional AMPA receptors. We ask whether they contribute to development of alcohol addiction using recently developed model in the IntelliCages. We also test the molecular processes involved in generation of silent synapses, in particular the role of Arc protein.
  • The role of dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in alcohol seeking. We use the tools of molecular biology and chemogenetic approach to test the role of dentate gyrus and its projections in the regulation of alcohol seeking.



Selected recent publications:


Havekes R., Park A.J., Tudor J.C., Luczak V.G., Hansen R.T., Ferri S.L., Bruinenberg V.M., Poplawski S.G., Day J.P., Aton S.J., Radwańska K., Meerlo P., Houslay M.D., Baillie G.S., Abel T. ( 2016) Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippocampal area CA1. Elife, doi: 10.7554/eLife.13424.


Stefaniuk M., Beroun A., Lebitko T., Markina O., Leski S., Meyza K., Grzywacz A., Samochowiec J., Samochowiec A., Radwańska K., Kaczmarek L.  (2016)  Matrix  Metalloproteinase-9  and  Synaptic  Plasticity  in  the  Central  Amygdala  in  Control  of  Alcohol-Seeking  Behavior. Biol Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.12.026.


Łukasiewicz K., Robacha M., Bożycki Ł., Radwańska K. and Czajkowski R. (2016) Simultaneous two-photon in vivo imaging of synaptic inputs and postsynaptic targets in the mouse retrosplenial cortex. J Vis Exp, doi: 10.3791/53528.


Mijakowska Z., Łukasiewicz K., Ziółkowska M., Lipiński M., Trąbczyńska A., Matuszek Ż., Łęski S., Radwańska K. (2015) Autophosphorylation of alpha isoform of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II regulates alcohol addiction-related behaviors. Addict  Biol, doi: 10.1111/adb.12327.


Radwańska K., Schenatto-Pereira G., Ziółkowska M., Łukasiewicz K., Giese K.P. (2015) Mapping fear memory consolidation and extinction--specific expression of JunB. Neurobiol Learn Mem, 125:106-12.