Maria Bednarczyk

Who I am:

I am a Molecular and Cellular Biophysics student at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. My main areas of interests include structure and function of proteins, microbiology and cancer biology. I am conducting my Master’s research in the Department of Molecular Biophysics at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology. It focuses on the effect of molecular crowding on electrochemical properties of bioenergetic proteins, with a focus on cytochrome c2 from Rhodobacter capuslatus. It utilizes various biochemical and spectroscopic techniques. As part of the BioLAB program, I am joining the research group of Professor David Cafiso at the University of Virginia. In my free time, I enjoy hiking in the mountains, reading books, and exploring new cities.

My BioLAB work in the lab focuses on:

In Cafiso’s lab, I will be studying the mechanisms of membrane transport in bacteria. In particular, I will focus on TonB-dependent transporters that are responsible for the active transport of nutrients in Gram-negative bacteria (associated with nutrient uptake in the human gut microbiota and the success of certain pathogens). To study this process, I will be employing various molecular biology and magnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques (such as pulse EPR).

I decided to apply for a BioLAB program because:

I decided to apply for a BioLAB program almost two years ago when I first heard about it, and later I confirmed my decision after I talked with BioLAB alumni, who sang their praises about it! Overall, I think it is one of the greatest opportunities that can happen to Master’s students, enabling to work in cutting-edge facilities with respected scientists. I believe participating in the BioLAB program will jumpstart my career in the field of life science.

After completing my BioLAB Program I would like to:

I plan on continuing my scientific career in an academic setting, at least for the first few years. Preferably, I would like to come back to Europe to pursue a PhD and then transition into industry. However, only time will tell where I will end up, and maybe everything will change after completing the BioLAB program.

  • University of Virginia
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