Department of Virology and Immunology


dr hab. Roman Paduch, prof. UMCS

ul. Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin
room 314A, tel. 81 537 59 44


Staff members:

prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska
dr hab. Roman Paduch, prof. UMCS
dr hab. Barbara Zdzisińska, prof. UMCS
dr Magdalena Mizerska-Kowalska
dr Małgorzata Pac-Sosińska
dr Katarzyna Sawa-Wejksza
dr Mateusz Pięt

dr Magdalena Kopycińska                 
Renata Obara

Retired staff members:

prof. dr hab. Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń
dr Józef Kaczor

Doctoral students:

mgr Paulina Pieniądz
mgr Monika Sztandera-Tymoczek


The establishment of the Department of Virology and Immunology dates back to 1962, when the Department of Systematic Microbiology headed by doc. dr hab. Kazimierz Matusiak emerged from the Department of General Microbiology. In 1965, the Department was supervised by prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Kawecki, who held the position for 22 years until 1987 and created the Laboratory of Virology and Immunology. In 1970, the Department was transformed into the Department of Applied Microbiology and became part of the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry established at that time. In 1987, the function of the Department Head was held by prof. dr hab. Zdzisław Ilczuk. In 1995, after moving to a new building, the Department was divided into two separate units: the Department of Virology and Immunology and the Department of Industrial Microbiology. The newly created Department of Virology and Immunology was managed by prof. dr hab. Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń for 21 years. In 2016, prof. dr hab. Wojciech Rzeski was appointed the Head of the Department and served the function until 2019. As a result of the reform of the higher education system implemented in 2019, the Department of Virology and Immunology became part of the Institute of Biological Sciences with dr hab. Roman Paduch as the Head.

Current research topics

  • Interrelationships between the tumour environment and the metastasis process;
  • Antitumour activity of natural and synthetic substances;
  • Investigation of mechanisms responsible for limitation of migration and drug resistance of colorectal cancer cells by ursolic (UA) and oleanolic (OA) acids in combination therapy with camptothecin-11 (CPT-11);
  • Alpha-ketoglutarate and synthetic neutral endopeptidase inhibitors as compounds with potential use in targeted cancer therapy;
  • Signalling pathways associated with the control of cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and tumour cell migration;
  • Microscopic phytopathogenic fungi as a potential source of allergens
  • The Cell Culture Laboratory (BSL2) is part of the Chair of Virology and Immunity.

Research projects

  1. Miniatura 2 (NCN) (2018-2019) „Ocena wpływu alfa-ketoglutaranu (AKG) na poziom i aktywność neutralnej endopeptydazy (NEP) w komórkach nowotworowych” [Assessment of the effect of alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) on the level and activity of neutral endopeptidase (NEP) in cancer cells].  Head of the project: dr Magdalena Mizerska-Kowalska
  2. SONATA 5 (NCN) (2014-2017) „Wpływ czynników wydzielanych przez komórki raka jelita grubego na różnicowanie się makrofagów” [Effect of factors secreted by colorectal cancer cells on macrophage differentiation]. Head of the project: dr Katarzyna Sawa-Wejksza
  3. OPUS 6 (NCN) (2014-2017) „Alfa-ketoglutaran (AKG) jako stymulator aktywności kościotwórczej i regulator funkcji osteoblastów in vitro” [Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) as a stimulator of osteogenic activity and regulator of osteoblast function in vitro]. Head of the project: prof. dr hab. Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń
  4. OPUS 4 (NCN) (2013-2017) „Rola neutralnej endopeptydazy (NEP) i jej inhibitora, sialofaryny, w biologii komórek raka jelita grubego” [The role of neutral endopeptidase (NEP) and its inhibitor sialopharin in the biology of colorectal cancer cells]. Head of the project: prof. dr hab. Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń


  1. Patent No. PL 233572 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2019
    „Method for obtaining skin treatment and care preparation”. Inventors: Sławomir Dresler, Roman Paduch, Maciej Strzemski
  2. Patent No. PL 232011 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2018
    “Medical application of kynurenic acid and its salts”. Inventors: Anna Woźniak, Waldemar Turski, Tomasz Żarnowski, Robert Rejdak, Mirosław Czuczwar, Mirosław Łańcut, Paweł Piwowarczyk, Monika Turska, Roman Paduch.
  3. Patent No. PL 225869 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2016
    „Laccase enzyme isolated from the Cerrena unicolor fungus for application in cervical carcinoma treatment”. Inventors: Anna Matuszewska, Magdalena Jaszek, Grzegorz Janusz, Monika Osińska-Jaroszuk, Justyna Sulej, Dawid Stefaniuk, Jerzy Rogalski, Magdalena Mizerska-Kowalska, Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń
  4. Patent No. PL 218715 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2015
    „Method for separation and identification of compounds in complex mixtures of plants’.
    Inventors: Grażyna Matysik, Anna Woźniak, Roman Paduch, Bronisław Kocjan, Helena Donica
  5. Patent No. PL 216264 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2014
     „8-(4-methoxyphenyl)-4-oxo-4 ,6,7,8-tetrahydroimidazo [2,1-c] [1,2,4] triazin-3-formic acid hydrazide used as a drug for liver diseases”. Inventors: Martyna Kandefer-Szerszeń, Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, Krzysztof Sztanke, Kazimierz Pasternak
  6. Patent No. EP 2409987 (European Patent Office – EPO); 2013
    “Ribosomal P protein complex from Plasmodium falciparum as an antigen in vaccines against malaria”. Inventors: Marek Tchórzewski, Dawid Krokowski, Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, Nikodem Grankowski, Leszek Wawiórka
  7. Patent No. PL 212249 (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej); 2011
    „Ribosomal P protein complex of Plasmodium falciparum as an antigen of malarial pathogen and the process for preparation of this antigen and expression cassette, especially for this process”. Inventors: Marek Tchórzewski, Dawid Krokowski, Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, Nikodem Grankowski, Leszek Wawiórka.

Research cooperation

The Department of Virology and Immunology cooperates with the following units of Lublin universities: Medical University (Clinic of Otolaryngology and Laryngological Oncology, Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Clinic of General Ophthalmology, Chair and Department of Clinical Immunology, Chair and Department of Pharmacognosy with Laboratory of Medicinal Plants), University of Life Sciences (Chair of Biotechnology, Human Nutrition and Food Commodities). We also cooperate with the following national research centres: Medical University of Białystok (Department of Pharmacognosy of the Faculty of Pharmacy with the Division of Laboratory Medicine), Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine in Gdańsk, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz (Department of Chemical Technology of Pharmaceuticals), Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Faculty of Pharmacy).

The Department of Virology and Immunology cooperates with the following foreign research institutions: Omics Research Group (MORG) in Lublin and University of Rostock, University Eye Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, Rostock (Germany).

Awards and distinctions

  • Dr Mateusz Pięt - Bolesław Skarżyński Award for the best article in the quarterly “Postępy Biochemii” (2017)
  • Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska - Laureate of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education competition “TOP 500 INNOVATORS Science Management Commercialization” - Stanford University (2013)
  • Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska - 3rd place in the “Dr Bares Award” international competition for the best paper in gastroenterology and hepatology: “Zinc supplementation attenuates ethanol- and acetaldehyde-induced liver stellate cell activation by inhibiting reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and by influencing intracellular signalling” Biochemical Pharmacology 2009, 78, 301-314. (2011)
  • Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, prof. dr. hab. Marek Tchórzewski, prof. dr hab. Nikodem Grankowski, dr Dawid Krokowski, dr Leszek Wawiórka  - 3rd place in the category “Scientific discovery of the year” in the National Geographic Traveler competition for their research on malaria antigen (2011)
  • Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, prof. dr. hab. Marek Tchórzewski, prof. dr hab. Nikodem Grankowski, dr Dawid Krokowski, dr Leszek Wawiórka  - 3rd place in the category “Hope” in the competition “Focus Lens 2011” for their research on malaria antigen (2011)
  • Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, prof. dr. hab. Marek Tchórzewski, prof. dr hab. Nikodem Grankowski, dr Dawid Krokowski, dr Leszek Wawiórka - “Maria Curie” Award for “"Ribosomal P proteins from Plasmodium constituting the antigen of malaria pathogen - the most important element in vaccine production”

Major publications

  • Matuszewska A., Stefaniuk D., Jaszek M., Pięt M., Zając A., Matuszewski Ł., Cios I., Grąz M., Paduch R., Bancerz R.: Antitumor potential of new low molecular weight antioxidative preparations from the white rot fungus Cerrena unicolor against human colon cancer cells. Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, 1975, 1-10.
  • Fiołka M. J., Czaplewska P., Macur K., Buchwald T., Kutkowska J., Paduch R. Kaczyński Z., Wydrych J., Urbanik-Sypniewska T.: Anti-Candida albicans effect of the protein-carbohydrate fraction obtained from the coelomic fluid of earthworm Dendrobaena veneta. PLoS ONE, 2019, 14(3): e0212869.
  • Matysik-Woźniak A., Turski W. A., Turska M., Paduch R., Łańcut M., Piwowarczyk P., Czuczwar M., Jünemann A., Rejdak R.: Examination of kynurenine toxicity on corneal and conjunctival epithelium: In vitro and in vivo studies. Ophthalmic Research, 2019, 1-12, DOI: 10.1159/000499021.
  • Kozioł E., Luca S. V., Marcourt L., Nour M., Hnawia E., Jakubowicz-Gil J., Paduch R., Mroczek T., Wolfender J. L., Skalicka-Woźniak K.: Efficient extraction and isolation of skimmianine from New Caledonian plant Medicosma leratii and evaluation of its effects on apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy. Phytochemistry Letters, 2019, 30, 224-230.
  • Pięt M., Paduch R.: Ursolic and oleanolic acids as potential anticancer agents acting in the gastrointestinal tract. Mini-Reviews in Organic Chemistry, 2019, 16, 1,78-91.
  • Paduch R.: Polyphenols and cancer immunology. Chapter 5 in: “Plants that Fight Cancer” Second Edition, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, USA; Edited by S.E. Kintzios, M.G. Barberaki, E.A. Flampouri, 2019, 107 – 133. 
  • Szuster-Ciesielska A., Zwolak A., Daniluk J., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Metformin inhibits both oleic acid-induced and CB1R receptor agonist-induced lipid accumulation in Hep3B cells: The preliminary report. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 2019, 33, DOI: 10.1177/2058738419832714.
  • Szuster-Ciesielska A., Wawiórka L., Krokowski D., Grankowski N., Jarosz Ł., Lisiecka U., Tchórzewski M.: Immunogenic Evaluation of Ribosomal P-Protein Antigen P0, P1, and P2 and Pentameric Protein Complex P0-(P1-P2)(2) of Plasmodium falciparum in a Mouse Model. Journal of Immunology Research, 2019, DOI: 10.1155/2019/9264217.
  • Mizerska-Kowalska M., Kreczko-Kurzawa J., Zdzisińska B., Czerwonka A., Sławińska-Brych A., Maćkiewicz Z., Nidzworski D., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inhibitors – thiorphan, sialorphin, and its derivatives exert anti-proliferative activity towards colorectal cancer cells in vitro. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 2019, 307, 105-115.
  • Mizerska-Kowalska M., Sławińska-Brych A., Kaławaj K., Żurek A., Pawińska B., Rzeski W., Zdzisińska B.: Betulin Promotes Differentiation of Human Osteoblasts In Vitro and Exerts an Osteoinductive Effect on the hFOB 1.19 Cell Line Through Activation of JNK, ERK1/2, and mTOR Kinases. Molecules, 2019, 24(14), 2637.
  • Sławińska-Brych A., Zdzisińska B., Czerwonka A., Mizerska-Kowalska M., Dmoszyńska-Graniczka M., Stepulak A., Gagoś M.: Xanthohumol exhibits anti-myeloma activity in vitro through inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis via the ERK and JNK-dependent mechanism, and suppression of sIL-6R and VEGF production. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 2019, 1863(11):129408.
  • Żurek A., Mizerska-Kowalska M., Sławińska-Brych A., Kaławaj K., Bojarska-Junak A., Kandefer-Szerszeń M., Zdzisińska B.: Alpha ketoglutarate exerts a pro-osteogenic effect in osteoblast cell lines through activation of JNK and mTOR/S6K1/S6 signaling pathways. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2019, 374, 53-64.
  • Okła K., Czerwonka A., Wawruszak A., Bobiński M., Bilska M., Tarkowski R., Bednarek W., Wertel I., Kotarski J.: Clinical Relevance and Immunosuppressive Pattern of Circulating and Infiltrating Subsets of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs) in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Front. Immunol. 10, 2019, 1–13. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00691.
  • Sowa I., Paduch R., Strzemski M., Zielińska S., Rydzik-Strzemska E., Sawicki J., Kocjan R., Polkowski J., Matkowski A., Latalski M., Wójciak-Kosior M.: Proliferative and antioxidant activity of Symphytum officinale root extract. Natural Product Research, 2018, 32, 5, 605-609.
  • Grudzinski W., Pięt M., Luchowski R., Reszczynska E., Welc R., Paduch R., Gruszecki W. I.: Different molecular organization of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, in human colon epithelial cells and colon adenocarcinoma cells. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 2018, 188, 57–63.
  • Paduch R., Matysik-Woźniak A., Maciejewski R., Jünemann A.G., Rejdak R.: Paracrine interactions between the conjunctival and corneal epithelial cells regulate microenvironmental homeostasis during artificially induced inflammation. Current Eye Research, 2018, 43, 611-620.
  • Grela E., Pięt M., Luchowski R., Grudziński W., Paduch R., Gruszecki W. I.: Imaging of human cells exposed to an antifungal antibiotic amphotericin B reveals the mechanisms associated with the drug toxicity and cell defence. Scientific Reports, 2018, 8, 14067, 1-7.
  • Trytek M., Paduch R., Pięt M., Kozieł A., Kandefer-Szerszeń M., Szajnecki Ł., Gromada A.: Biological activity of oxygenated pinene derivatives on human colon normal and carcinoma cells. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 2018, 33, 428-437.
  • Szuster-Ciesielska A., Urban-Chmiel R., Wernicki A., Mascaron L., Wasak M., Bousquet E.: Evaluation of the ability of colistin, amoxicillin (components of Potencil®), and fluoroquinolones to attenuate bacterial endotoxin – and Shiga exotoxin-mediated cytotoxicity – in vitro studies. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2018, 1-19. DOI:10.1111/jvp.12710.
  • Okła K., Surówka J., Frąszczak K., Czerwonka A., Kaławaj K., Wawruszak A., Kotarski J., Wertel I.: Assessment of the clinicopathological relevance of mesothelin level in plasma, peritoneal fluid, and tumor tissue of epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Tumor Biology, 2018,
  • Czerwonka A., Kaławaj K., Sławińska-Brych A., Lemieszek M. K., Bartnik M., Wojtanowski K. K., Zdzisińska B., Rzeski W.: Anticancer effect of the water extract of a commercial Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) product on the human lung cancer A549 cell line. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 2018, 106, pp. 292-302.
  • Matysik-Woźniak A., Paduch R., Turski W. A., Maciejewski R., Jünemann A. G., Rejdak R.: Effects of tryptophan, kynurenine and kynurenic acid exerted on human reconstructed corneal epithelium in vitro. Pharmacological Reports, 2017, 69, 722-729.
  • Matysik-Woźniak A., Jünemann A., Turski W. A., Wnorowski A., Jóźwiak K., Paduch R., Okuno E., Moneta-Wielgoś J., Chorągiewicz T., Maciejewski R., Rejdak R.: The presence of kynurenine aminotransferases in the human cornea: Evidence from bioinformatics analysis of gene expression and immunohistochemical staining. Molecular Vision, 2017, 23, 364-371.
  • Bartnik M., Sławińska-Brych A., Żurek A., Kandefer-Szerszeń M., Zdzisińska B.: 8-methoxypsoralen reduces AKT phosphorylation, induces intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways, and suppresses cell growth of SK-N-AS neuroblastoma and SW620 metastatic colon cancer cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2017, 207:19-29.
  • Bochniarz M., Zdzisińska B., Wawron W., Szczubiał M., Dąbrowski R.: Milk and serum IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and amyloid A concentrations in cows with subclinical mastitis caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci. Journal of Dairy Science, 2017, 100(12):9674-9680.
  • Zdzisińska B., Żurek A., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Alpha-Ketoglutarate as a Molecule with Pleiotropic Activity: Well-Known and Novel Possibilities of Therapeutic Use. Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Expermentalis, 2017, 65:21-36.
  • Szymona K., Zdzisińska B., Karakuła-Juchnowicz H., Kocki T., Kandefer-Szerszeń M., Flis M., Rosa W., Urbańska E. M.: Correlations of Kynurenic Acid, 3-Hydroxykynurenine, sIL-2R, IFN-α, and IL-4 with Clinical Symptoms During Acute Relapse of Schizophrenia. Neurotoxicity Research, 2017, 32:17-26.
  • Chojnacki M., Zając A., Pięt M.: Udział metaloproteinaz macierzy zewnątrzkomórkowej w rozwoju i progresji chorób nowotworowych [Role of extracellular matrix metalloproteinases in the development and progression of cancer diseases]. Postępy Biochem, 2017; 63(4):277-286.
  • Paduch R., Trytek M., Król S. K., Kud J., Frant M., Kandefer-Szerszeń M., Fiedurek J.: Biological activity of terpene compounds produced by biotechnological methods” Pharmaceutical Biology, 2016, 54, 6, 1096-1107.
  • Paduch R.: The role of lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis in tumor metastasis. Cellular Oncology, 2016, 39,397-410.
  • Mizerska-Kowalska M., Bojarska-Junak A., Jakubowicz-Gil J., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Neutral endopeptidase (NEP) is differentially involved in biological activities and cell signaling of colon cancer cell lines derived from various stages of tumor development. Tumour Biolog, 2016, 37(10):13355-13368.
  • Sławińska-Brych A., Zdzisińska B., Dmoszyńska-Graniczka M., Jeleniewicz W., Kurzepa J., Gagoś M., Stepulak A.: Xanthohumol inhibits the extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway and suppresses cell growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Toxicology, 2016, 357-358: 65-73.
  • Paduch R., Wiater A., Locatelli M., Pleszczyńska M., Tomczyk M.: Aqueous extracts of selected Potentilla species modulate biological activity of human normal colon cells. Current Drug Targets, 2015, 16, 13, 1495-1502.
  • Wiater A., Paduch R., Choma A., Stączek S., Pleszczyńska M., Tomczyk M., Locatelli M., Szczodrak J.: (1→3)-α-D-glucans from Aspergillus spp.: Structural characterization and biological study on their carboxymethylated derivatives. Current Drug Targets, 2015, 16, 13, 1488-1494.
  • Paduch R.: Theories of cancer origin. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2015, 24,1,57-67.
  • Zwolak A., Szuster-Ciesielska A., Daniluk J., Słabczyńska O., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Hyperreactivity of Blood Leukocytes in Patients with NAFLD to Ex Vivo Lipopolysaccharide Treatment Is Modulated by Metformin and Phosphatidylcholine but Not by Alpha Ketoglutarate. PLOS One, 2015, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143851.
  • Mizerska-Dudka M., Jaszek M., Błachowicz A., Rejczak T. P., Matuszewska A., Osińska-Jaroszuk M., Stefaniuk D., Janusz G., Sulej J., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Fungus Cerrena unicolor as an effective source of new antiviral, immunomodulatory, and anticancer compounds. Int Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2015; 79:459-68.
  • Sławińska-Brych A., Król S. K., Dmoszyńska-Graniczka M., Zdzisińska B., Stepulak A., Gagoś M.: Xanthohumol inhibits cell cycle progression and proliferation of larynx cancer cells in vitro. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 2015, 240:110-118.
  • Mizerska-Dudka M., Kandefer-Szerszeń M.: Opioids, Neutral Endopeptidase, its Inhibitors and Cancer: Is There a Relationship among them? Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis (Warsz), 2015 Jun;63(3):197-205.