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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Virology


Prof. dr hab. Hanna Rokita
room: B140 (3.0.31), phone: +48 12 664 63 37, e-mail:


Dr​ hab. Irena Horwacik
room: B139 (3.0.32), phone: +48 12 664 63 69, e-mail:

Dr. Małgorzata Durbas
room: B141 (3.0.30), phone: +48 12 664 63 60, e-mail:

Dr. Beata Bugara
room: B141 (3.0.30), phone: +48 12 664 63 60, e-mail:

Mgr inż. Anna Gontarska
room: B141 (3.0.30), phone: +48 12 664 63 76

PhD students

Mgr Iwona Nowak, room: B101 (3.0.36), phone: +48 12 664 63 76M
Mgr Maja Kudrycka, room: B101 (3.0.36), phone: +48 12 664 63 76

Research topics

  • Chemoimmunotherapy of cancer of neuroectodermal origin
  • Structural basis of recognition of GD2 ganglioside and its peptide mimics by monoclonal antibody 14G2a
  • Molecular mechanisms of neuroblastoma cell death induced by GD2 ganglioside-recognizing monoclonal antibody 14G2a
  • Role of MCPIP1 in neuroblastoma

Methods and specialized equipment


  • DNA microarrays and proteomic arrays
  • Quantitative RT-PCR
  • Western blotting
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluoresence microscopy
  • Gene overexpression and gene silencing 


  • Apparatus for qRT-PCR, Illumina

Current projects


  1. Hanna Rokita: Contribution of PHLDA1 to response of neuroblastoma cells to clinical and experimental treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma. (2019-2022). OPUS 15, 2018/29/B/NZ7/01564, National Science Center
  2. ​Iwona Nowak: Role of ribonucleolytic activity of MCPIP1 protein in inhibition of neuroblastoma growth (2018-2021). PRELUDIUM 13, 2017/25/N/NZ1/01254, National Science Center

Selected publications

  1. Mistarz A, Komorowski MP, Graczyk MA, Gil M, Jiang A, Opyrchal M, Rokita H, Odunsi KO, Kozbor D. (2019) Recruitment of intratumoral CD103+ dendritic cells by a CXCR4 antagonist-armed virotherapy enhances antitumor immunity. Molecular Therapy Oncolytics, 14, 233-245.
  2. Durbas M, Pabisz P, Wawak K, Wiśniewska A, Boratyn E, Nowak I, Horwacik I, Woźnicka O, Rokita H. (2018) GD2 ganglioside-binding antibody 14G2a and specific Aurora A kinase inhibitor MK-5108 induce autophagy in IMT-32 neuroblastoma cells. Apoptosis, 23 (9-10), 492-511.
  3. Boratyn E, Nowak I, Durbas M, Horwacik I, Sawicka A, Rokita H. (2017) MCPIP1 exogenous overexpression inhibits pathways regulating MYCN oncoprotein stability in neuroblastoma. J Cell Biochem, 2017, 118, 1741-1755. DOI 10.1002/jcb.25832. 
  4. Horwacik I, Rokita H. (2017) Modulation of interactions of neuroblastoma cell lines with extracellular matrix proteins affects their sensitivity to treatment with the anti-GD2 ganglioside antibody 14G2a. Int J Oncol. 2017 May;50(5):1899-1914. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.3959. 
  5. Durbas M, Horwacik I, Boratyn E, Rokita H. (2016) Downregulation of the PHLDA1 gene in IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells increases levels of Aurora A, TRKB and effects proteins involved in apoptosis and autophagy pathways. Int J Oncol, 49, 823-837. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2016.3572.
  6. Boratyn E, Nowak I, Horwacik I, Durbas M, Mistarz A, Kukla M, Kaczówka P, Łastowska M, Jura J, Rokita H. (2016) Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1-induced protein 1 overexpression modulates transcriptome including microRNA in human neuroblastoma cells, J Cell Biochem, 117, 694-707.
  7. Horwacik I, Golik P, Grudnik P, Koliński M, Zdzalik M, Rokita H, Dubin G. (2015) Structural basis of GD2 ganglioside and mimetic peptide recognition by 14G2a antibody. Mol Cell Proteomics, 14 (10), 2577-2590.
  8. Horwacik I, Rokita H. (2015) Targeting of tumor-associated gangliosides with antibodies affects signaling pathways and leads to cell death including apoptosis. Apoptosis, 20(5), 679-688.
  9. Durbas M, Horwacik I, Boratyn E, Kamycka E, Rokita H. (2015) GD2 ganglioside specific antibody treatment down-regulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling network in human neuroblastoma cell lines, Int J Oncol, 47(3), 1143-1159.
  10. Horwacik I, Durbas M, Boratyn E, Węgrzyn P, Rokita H. (2013) Targeting GD2 ganglioside and aurora A kinase as a dual strategy leading to cell death in cultures of human neuroblastoma cells. Cancer Lett, 341, 248-264.

Batchelor/master thesis topics

  • Studies on mechanisms of activity of monoclonal antibodies in cultured neuroblastoma cells
  • Studies on activity of chemotherapeutics on cultured neuroblastoma cell lines
  • Analysis of authophagy in human neuroblastoma cell lines
  • Analysis of types of cell death in neuroblastoma cells treated with a therapeutic antibody recognizing GD2 ganglioside and small molecular weight kinase inhibitors

Requirements for candidates

  • Knowledge on biochemistry, molecular biology and English language