Dr Roman Szczęsny

I am convinced that the interdisciplinary approaches employed by the MITGEST consortium will shed more light on the mitochondrial genetic system. I believe that the consortium established by recognized scientists with different experiences and industrial partners constitutes an excellent platform for exchanging ideas and training.

Dr Roman Szczęsny is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Laboratory of RNA Biology at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, Poland.

The laboratory of Dr Szczęsny is interested in the mechanisms that control the quality, quantity, and processing of mitochondrial and nuclear RNAs in humans. The main goal is to decipher the molecular machinery responsible for RNA surveillance. In addition, Szczęsny and his colleagues are investigating the mechanisms that maintain and regulate mitochondrial genome expression. They want to know how these processes respond and help the cells adapt to various stress conditions. SzczesnyLab has already identified several key components of mitochondrial RNA degradation machinery and now aims to learn more about their regulation.

Dr Roman Szczęsny is supervising DC5 and co-supervising DC3 and DC8.

Accordion Content
  • Szewczyk M, et al. (2020), Human REXO2 controls short mitochondrial RNAs generated by mtRNA processing and decay machinery to prevent accumulation of double-stranded RNA. Nucleic Acids Res. 48, 5572-5590. Szczesny R. was a lead investigator of this study and co-supervisor of the first author PhD student. DOI
  • Pietras Z. et al. (2018), Dedicated surveillance mechanism controls G-quadruplex forming non-coding RNAs in human mitochondria. Nat Commun. 9, 2558. Szczesny R. was co-lead investigator of the study. DOI
  • Borowski L.S. et al (2013), Human mitochondrial RNA decay mediated by PNPase-hSuv3 complex takes place in distinct foci. Nucleic Acids Res. 41, 1223-40. Szczesny R. was co-lead investigator of this study and co-supervisor of the first author PhD student. DOI
  • Dhir A. et al. (2018), Mitochondrial double-stranded RNA triggers antiviral signalling in humans. Nature. 560, 238-242. Szczesny R. was co-lead investigator of the study. DOI
  • Kotrys A.V. et al. (2019), Quantitative proteomics revealed C6orf203/MTRES1 as a factor preventing stress-induced transcription deficiency in human mitochondria. Nucleic Acids Res. 47, 7502-7517. Szczesny R. was a lead investigator of this study and supervisor of the first author PhD student. DOI

Dr. Roman Szczesny graduated from the University of Warsaw in 2004 and joined a PhD programme at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, PAS. In his thesis, he showed that human RNA helicase SUV3 is an essential enzyme for decay and surveillance of mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA). He also described cell death pathways that are activated upon SUV3 silencing. During that time, he received several scholarships to work in France and Finland. After obtaining his PhD, he continued to work on mtRNA decay. He supervised a project that led to the identification of the long-sought mitochondrial ribonuclease – PNPase, and the discovery of new structures named D-foci where mtRNA degradation occurs. In 2009 he joined Andrzej Dziembowski’s laboratory where he studied mechanisms responsible for RNA surveillance. Having established his own group at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS in Warsaw he continues to investigate the metabolism of human mitochondrial RNA. His main focus is unravelling the mitochondrial gene expression regulation by identification and functional analysis of novel factors engaged in this process. In his research, he combines molecular biology, biochemistry, and high-throughput methods, including genome-wide siRNA screenings, which provide broad insight into the various steps of mitochondrial gene regulation. He is currently supervising three doctoral theses that are about to finish. Moreover, in the past, he also supervised or co-supervised another three doctoral students who successfully defended their PhD theses.