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Prof. Józef Dulak amongst the winners of the STEM Impact Award 2023-24

Prof. Józef Dulak amongst the winners of the STEM Impact Award 2023-24

The Polish-American Fulbright Commission has completed the selection process for the STEM Impact Award 2023-24 and has announced the list of researchers that will be receive funding within the framework of this grant. Amongst them is Prof. Józef Dulak from the JU Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, who will carry out his project at the University of Washington in Seattle (USA).

The Fulbright STEM Impact Award is a short-term grant for researchers representing STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) who manage research projects and have a supervisory role over researchers at Polish higher education and research institutions. The grant allows them to spend 2–6 weeks at a host institution in the U.S. doing research and/or teaching projects, and learning about the commercialisation of science and development of successful grant applications.

This year’s call for applications closed on 26 May 2023. The competition procedure included a formal verification process, a substantive evaluation of eligible projects prepared by 3 independent experts and an interview with selected candidates whose applications received the highest scores. Aside from Prof. Józef Dulak, five other recipients of the Award include: Dr hab. Magdalena  Baborska-Narożny (Wrocław University of Science and Technology), Prof. Przemysław  Biecek (Warsaw University of Technology), Dr hab. Agata  Daszkowska-Golec, Prof. UŚ (University of Silesia), Dr hab. Maciej Dołęga, Prof. IM PAN (Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Science and Prof. Piotr  Szymczak (University of Warsaw).

‘The project will focus on investigating the potential of DMD therapy with microdystrophins delivered by viral vectors (AAV), developed by Prof. Jeff Chamberlain’s team at University of Washington Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Research Center. We will consider the combined microdystrophin delivery with  genes modulating DMD, identified by my team at the Department of Medical Biotechnology of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, for prevention of DMD cardiomyopathy. We will elaborate on the combination of gene with cell therapy, in which the induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes will be genetically improved to express the modulatory genes. I will share with American researchers the results of our investigations on DMD and I will learn from scientists at University of Washington their experience in research design, administration and commercialisation’, reads the press release prepared by Prof. Józef Dulak.

Prof. Józef Dulak is the head of the Department of Medical Biotechnology of the JU Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology. He is an active member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and Academia Europaea. He is an honorary doctor of the University of Orléans. His research interests include stem cells, vascular biology and medicine, gene and cell therapy as well as pathological mechanisms of inflammation and oxidative stress. He carried out post-doctoral internships at the Free University of Amsterdam, University of Münster and Stanford University. For two years, he worked at the University of Innsbruck (1999–2001). He was a member of the Commission for the Evaluation of Science (2011–2019), Polish Academy of Science Biotechnology Committee (2011–2015, 2016–2019) and Polish Academy of Sciences Biochemistry and Biophysics Committee (2011–2015). He was the president of the Kraków branch of the Polish Biochemical Society (2005–2008) and European Vascular Biology Organisation (2013–2017). He coordinated the Laboratoire International Associé (LIA) of the Jagiellonian University and CNRS CMB in Orleans (2013–2020). He is currently the vice-president of the Polish Academy of Science Biotechnology Committee (for the 2020–2023 term).

He supervised the doctoral theses of 21 students. He organised or co-organised numerous national and international conferences. He has received the Argentine Scientific Society Prize and is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), American Heart Association (AHA), European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ESCGT) and International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). He is a member of the editing boards of several international specialist journals and the co-author of 260 publications and one patent. He is among the 2% most cited researchers in the world.

 Source: Fulbright Poland

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