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Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS
Lab Times online: Editorial - Scientific Careers in Poland
After spending some time abroad, Agnieszka Dobrzyn and Matthias Bochtler will, if they haven't done so already, soon be returning to Poland.
The Pole, Agnieszka Dobrzyn, is associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Cell Signaling and Metabolic Disorders at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw.
studied biology at Warsaw University-Bialystok and received her
PhD in the lab of Jan Górski at the Medical University of Bialystok
, in 2001.
Funded by a postdoctoral grant from the American Heart Association
joined the lab of James Ntambi at the University of Wisconsin
, Madison, USA.
Instead of pursuing her
career further in the States, she
decided to return to Poland in 2006.
In 2007, she became a group leader at the Nencki Institute and received an EMBO Installation Grant.
Last year, she
also succeeded in the TEAM programme, which is managed by the Foundation for Polish Science
and funded with EU Structural Funds.
is working on signalling events involved in lipid metabolism and human metabolic diseases.
Courtesy, Agnieszka Dobrzyn
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Beaming proudly, biochemist Agnieszka Dobrzyn
(pictured left) shows off her
newly renovated lab, including her
latest expensive toy, a gas chromatograph.She
has reason to be proud, and not just of her
lab.Hired as a lab director in 2006 at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw, Dobrzyn has won several prestigious grants in the past year, and her five-person lab is publishing their research on obesity-related diabetes regularly.
"I really believe that I will be able to do something" to contribute to the field, she
smile wide and self-assured. Dobrzyn
, 35, was not as confident two-and-a-half years ago, when she
took a gamble that could have scuttled her
career.After a successful postdoc at the University of Wisconsin
(UW), Madison , she
ignored several job opportunities in the United States to return to Poland, a country with significantly less funding and fewer top research positions.She
wanted to be part of the changes she
was seeing--or at least hoped she
was seeing--in the Polish scientific community, even if it meant taking on some career-related risk.
"I have this kind of patriotic thinking that if we won't come back and if we won't make a change, then who will?"--Agnieszka Dobrzyn
grew up in Bialystok, a city in the east of Poland.When she
was a child, her
father, a chemist, worked as a food-safety tester for the government, and she
learned to love science by visiting his
lab.Later, she attended Warsaw University's Bialystok campus and then earned her Ph.D. in 2001 at the Medical University of Bialystok , studying the effect of exercise on muscle metabolism.
EMBO Installation Grantees 2007
Nencki Institute (of Experimental Biology), Warsaw, PL
University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
Biochemist Agnieszka ...
Biochemist Agnieszka Dobrzyn's fears that she would never be allowed to head her own laboratory dissipated soon after her return to Poland.