Dioscuri Centre for Modelling of Posttranslational Modifications

Dioscuri Centres are innovative and internationally visible research groups led by outstanding scientists. Supported by partners from Germany, Dioscuri Centres are established at research institutions that offer an environment for cutting-edge research. Centres are funded for an initial five years with € 300,000 per annum and can be extended for a further five years after successful evaluation by external experts.

Leader of the Dioscuri Centre: Dr. Mateusz Sikora
Partner from Germany: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hummer, MPI of Biophysics 
Host Institution: Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University Krakow

The anti-pandemic efforts made it clear that computer simulations became indispensable in integrating and interpreting results of experiments and resolving molecular mechanisms and structures. Building on his previous experiences in simulating membrane protein complexes, Sikora and his team will set up a simulation platform tailored to resolve the role of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in protein-protein interactions. The Centre’s biocomputational approach will help illuminate the molecular mechanisms of PTMs, which remain largely unknown due to experimental difficulties and the characteristics of PTMs. Since PTMs are potent cancer biomarkers, play a role in metastasis and are crucial in development of anti-cancer and anti-viral vaccines, their findings might have a broader impact.

Mateusz Sikora, previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MPI for Biophysics (Frankfurt) also affiliated with the University of Vienna, first studied at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) and then earned his PhD at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. In 2012, he went to Austria as a postdoc at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria). Since 2017, Sikora had been working at the MPI for Biophysics in Gerhard Hummer's group for theoretical biophysics within the framework of an Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship abroad funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. From May 2023, Hummer will support Sikora as his German partner in the establishment of the Dioscuri Centre for Modelling of Posttranslational Modifications at the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology (at Jagiellonian University).

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