Bartlomiej (Bartek) Waclaw

Dioscuri Centre Leader

I obtained a PhD in theoretical physics from Jagellonian University in Krakow in 2007 (supervisor: Zdzislaw Burda). After 2 years in Leipzig as a post-doc in Wolfhard Janke’s group, I moved to Edinburgh, first as a postdoc working with Martin Evans, then an independent Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow. In 2013 I was awarded a Scottish Government Personal Research Fellowship co-funded by Marie Curie Actions. Around the same time I was made a proleptic lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Edinburgh. I was promoted to Reader in 2019.

My early research was in random matrix theory, complex networks, and driven diffusive systems (zero-range process, TASEP, and related models). I then moved to biological physics and worked on various theoretical and experimental projects in microbial evolution and cancer. In particular, I have published on how bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics, how growth and migration affect genetic heterogeneity of tumours, and the growth of bacterial colonies.

See here for a short bio.

Anna Jaśczak

Administrative Coordinator

I moved to Warsaw from King’s College London University where I worked as an Administration and Finance Manager for the electron microscopy unit.

In the Dioscuri Centre I support director in running the centre and manage non-scientific aspects of the Dioscuri, NAWA, POLS and OPUS-22 grants. Some of my responsibilities include managing project documentation, finances and purchasing.

Please feel free to contact me first with all the non-scientific matters.

Patrycja Kuźma

Laboratory Manager

I have a Master’s degree in Biological Chemistry (2017). Notwithstanding the foregoing, I was a postgraduate student of Project Management at SGH Warsaw School of Economics (2020) and my postgraduate thesis focused on design, project & lab managing for a specialistic chemical laboratory.
In addition, I have experience in work as a Lab Manager in prof. Robert Hołyst Team – Soft Condensed Matter Group IPC PAS. My management experience is also a monthly internship (2020) in the Scope Fluidics Group (President of the Board prof. Piotr Garstecki). There, I was focusing on learning about work management using the 5S methodology (workplace organization method).
As a specialist in the Dioscuri Centre, I will be responsible for lab management in the bacterial and cell laboratories – especially: purchasing lab supplies & chemicals, organize lab working (assistance in the preparation of certifications, keeping the laboratory clean and tidy, etc.), and support Dioscuri Team in experimental work.

Ilyas Djafer-Cherif

PASIFIC post-doctoral fellow

I am a physicist mainly trained on Active Matter using mainly simulations of microscopic models

During my PhD (2013-2017) in the group of Hugues Chaté in CEA Saclay I studied a generic active matter model for paticles with nematic symmetry at the microscopic level. In parallel I worked on developing a biological model of Neisseria Meningitidis aggregation in collaboration with the group of Guillaume Duménil at Institut Pasteur.

I then worked for my first postdoc at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Silke Henkes (2018-2020)  where I addressed myosin role during convergence-extension of epithelial tissue in the early development of the Chick embryo using an Active Vertex model. 

Magda Ziółkowska

Postdoctoral Researcher

I completed my PhD in Chemical Technology in 2017 at Professor Janina Milewska-Duda’s team at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland. Key area of my research was focused on capturing and kinematically describing adsorbate’s particle movement near an adsorbent’s solid wall, to investigate correlation between geometrical, structural, and energetic heterogeneity effects and their impact on adsorption mechanisms.

My early research was in synthesis and characterization of C60 fullerene hybrids with sugar addends via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions (POIG.01.01.02-14-102/09). Later, I moved on to complementary study on one-step mechanism of [2+3] cycloaddition reactions between (Z)-C-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-N-methylnitrone and selected (E)-2-substituted nitroethenes, where for the first time I incorporated quantum-chemical calculations (DFT) to investigate four competing regio- and stereoisomeric pathways.

After completing my PhD, I have acquired extensive experience in start-up and industrial environments, working in research and development departments and being involved in transfer of technology.

Magda’s personal website and blog

Elin Lilja

Postdoctoral Researcher Biological evolution of microbes, microbiology & molecular biology

Karolina Drabik

Postdoctoral Researcher

Experimental models of urinary infections

Dominik Kwiatkowski

Postdoctoral Researcher (microfluidics/optics/electronics)

I am trained as a geneticist. I received my doctorate (summa cum laude) in biochemistry after three years of study under the supervision of prof. Tomasz Śliwiński. The topic of my thesis was DNA base excision repair in Alzheimer’s disease. After graduation, I started working at the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research of PAS in the Department of Biosystems and Soft Matter, where I dealt with the use of microfluidic systems for the cultivation and research of microorganisms.

Apart from biology, my other passion is computer science and electronics. In particular, I am interested in the implementation of deep machine learning algorithms in the broadly understood drug design and modeling of polypeptide structures. In addition, I design and build electronic automation systems based on microcontrollers and FPGA system circuits.

Pragyesh Dixit

Postdoctoral Researcher

I work on the role of phenotypic heterogeneity in cancer chemotherapy.

I received my Ph.D. in Life Sciences from National Institute of Science Education and Research Bhubaneswar, India in 2021 (Dr. Asima Bhattacharyya’s lab). My doctoral study focused on the role of post-translational modifications of a protein involved in Helicobacter pylori-mediated gastric cancer.  After my Ph.D., I continued as a visiting researcher at Dr. Asima’s lab for a brief duration before moving to Dioscuri.


Joanna Materska

PhD student

I have a master’s degree in Applications of Physics in Biology and Medicine, major in Molecular Design and Bioinformatics (2019). As this lengthy title suggests, throughout my studies I had a taste of how the interplay chemistry, physics, molecular biology and programming is employed to aid scientific research.

My responsibilities at Dioscuri Centre are focused on computer modelling of intracellular bacterial colonies. Thus, I am now putting to good use the experience I have managed to gain during two summer internships – at Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Birte Höcker’s group (2015), and at Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique under the supervision of Karin John (2017) – where and when I was tasked with employing programming to assist biology-related research.

Side note: I also have BSc in Physics (2020) and a special fondness for quantum biology and noise-related phenomena in both molecular biology and mesoscopic physics.


Current visitors

Viktoria Blavatska (Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) – fellowship co-funded by PAS and NAS (U.S.A.)

Past visitors

Amanda Azavedo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Ploen, Germany)

Michael Raatz (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Ploen, Germany)