Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Virology


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


Irena Horwacik, PhD
room: B139 (3.0.32), phone: +48 12 664 63 69, e-mail:

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

Elżbieta Boratyn, MSc
room: B141 (3.0.30), phone: +48 12 664 63 60, e-mail:

Iwona Nowak, MSc
room: B101 (3.0.36), phone: +48 12 664 63 76, e-mail:

PhD students

Elżbieta Boratyn, room: B141 (3.0.30), phone: +48 12 664 63 60
Iwona Nowak, 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 specialistic equipment

  • DNA microarrays and proteomic arrays
  • Quantitative RT-PCR
  • Western blotting
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluoresence microscopy
  • Apparatus for qRT-PCR, Illumina

Current projects

  1. Małgorzata Durbas: Function of autophagy in neuroblastoma cell death evoked by GD2 ganglioside-recognizing monoclonal antibodies. (2016-2018). PRELUDIUM 10, National Science Centre (NCN).

Selected publications

  1. 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, 118, 1741-1755. DOI 10.1002/jcb.25832. 
  2. 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. May;50(5):1899-1914. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.3959. 
  3. 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, doi: 10.3892/ijo.2016.3572.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Horwacik I, Durbas M, Boratyn E, Sawicka A, Węgrzyn P, Krzanik S, Górka A, Drożniak J, Augustyniak E, Kowalczyk A, Rokita H. (2015) Analysis of genes involved in response to doxorubicin and a GD2 ganglioside-specific 14G2a monoclonal antibody in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells. Acta Biochim Pol, 62(3), 423-433.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Horwacik I, Gaik M, Durbas M, Boratyn E, Zając G, Szychowska K, Szczodrak M, Kołoczek H, Rokita H. (2015) Inhibition of autophagy by 3-methyladenine potentiates sulforaphane-induced cell death of human neuroblastoma BE(2)-C cell line. Mol Med Rep, 12(1), 535-542.
  10. Skalniak A, Boratyn E, Tyrkalska SD, Horwacik I, Durbas M, Łastowska M, Jura J, Rokita H. (2014) Expression of the monocyte chemotactic protein-1-induced protein 1 decreases human neuroblastoma cell survival. Oncol Rep, 31 (5), 2385-2392.
  11. 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.
  12. Kowalczyk A, Gil M, Horwacik I, Odrowąz Z, Kozbor D, Rokita H. (2009) The GD2-specific 14G2a monoclonal antibody induces apoptosis and enhances cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells. Cancer Lett 281, 171-182.

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

Requirements for candidates

  • Knowledge on biochemistry, molecular biology and English language