ERC Starting Grant for Adam Klosin

Dr. Adam Klosin, leader of the Spatial Epigenetics Laboratory at Nencki Institute, has been awarded a prestigious grant from European Research Council (ERC) funds under the Starting Grants 2022 competition.

The ERC Starting Grants competitions are designed for outstanding young scientists (2-7 years post-doctoral) proposing novel, ambitious, challenging, and risky projects in basic research, and Dr. Klosin is the only representative of the life sciences discipline in Poland to obtain this grant in this year's competition.

The funds received will allow the implementation of an OGRE project - Spatial organization of gene regulation in embryonic development. The aim of the project is to investigate the processes regulating the spatial organization of gene expression during embryonic development and stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. This small, transparent model organism is ideal for studying basic cellular processes due to the many available transgenic techniques and ease of culture and microscopic imaging. Transcription factors that regulate gene activity form local densities in the cell nucleus during embryonic development and in response to stress. Research over the last decade suggests that these types of structures are condensates formed by localized phase separation. The project will investigate the properties and functions of these condensates using confocal microscopy. It will identify their most important components using transgenic tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 and characterize their dynamics during the cell cycle and throughout embryonic development. The project includes functional research such as cell reprogramming and thermotolerance tests, as well as molecular research such as gene expression analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Dr. Klosin’s team will use RNA interference to carry out genome-wide screens that will identify novel genes regulating the spatial organization of transcription. Experiments on nematodes will be complemented by biochemical and biophysical studies on recombinant, purified proteins. We will also develop a new method to study the interactions of proteins with purified chromatin extracted from cells. Thanks to this research, they will discover the function of the organization of transcription factors into intranuclear condensates and deepen our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating gene expression during embryonic development and in response to stress

Dr. Adam Klosin, born in Gdynia, completed an international bachelor's program in biotechnology in Perugia, Italy, and a master's degree in molecular bioengineering at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany. In 2016, he defended his doctorate under the supervision of prof. Ben Lehner at the Center for Genomic Regulation, where he studied the mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. He then moved to Dresden to study biological phase separation in the laboratory of Prof. Tony Hyman at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. He is a co-author of eight publications in international scientific journals, including two articles in Science. In his research, he uses biochemical and biophysical methods to understand various aspects of gene regulation, such as transcriptional initiation and control of protein expression variability. His newly established Laboratory of Spatial Epigenetics at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology combines biochemical methods and functional studies in C. elegans to understand the mechanisms of gene regulation during animal development.

Date of publication
22 November 2022