Joanna Kowalska PhD, DSc

Division of Biophysics
Institute of Experimental Physics
University of Warsaw
Pasteura 5, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland

Phone: +48 22 55342
Research group website:
Author identifiers:ORCID, Researcher ID: J-4536-2014

Research interests

Chemical synthesis and studying properties of biologically important modified nucleotides. Nucleotides resistant to enzymatic degradation. Nucleotide-based probes and assays. Design and synthesis of mRNA 5' end (cap) analogs as reagents for preparation of mRNA molecules with applications in biotechnology and medicine. Design and synthesis of cap analogs as highly potent inhibitors of cap-dependent translation.

Education and professional experience

2002-2006 Undegraduate studies on College of Interfaculty Individual Studies in mathematics and Natural Sciences UW
July 2005 B. Sc. in Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology UW
June 2006 M. Sc. in Chemistry - Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry UW, (undergraduate research conducted in Division of Biophysics UW, under dr Jacek Jemielity's supervision)
2006 - 2010 Ph.D. studies in Division of Biophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw
2011 - Adjunct - Department of Biophysics, Institute of Experimental Physics, Warsaw University, Poland

Ongoing research support

  1. 2011-2016 "Conjugates of cap analogs with nanomaterials and biomolecules with potential applications in pharmacology or diagnostics". SONATA project (National Science Centre). Role: PI
  2. 2015-2017 "Qualitative and quantitative analysis of biologically important nucleotides and their medically relevant analogues using mass spectrometry". IUVENTUS PLUS project (Ministry of Science and Higher Education). Role: PI
  3. 2015-2017 "New high throughput methods for screening for inhibitors of therapeutically relevant pyrophosphatases based on fluorophosphate analogs of nucleotides". LIDER project (National Centre for Science and Development, LIDER/001/003/L-5/13/NCBR/2014). Role: PI. Team: Dr. Dorota Kubacka, Katarzyna Wnęk, Anna Nowicka, Marek Baranowski

Selected publications

To view all publications please visit my Google Scholar profile.

  1. Przemyslaw Wanat, Sylwia Walczak, Blazej A. Wojtczak, Monika Nowakowska, Jacek Jemielity, and Joanna Kowalska* Ethynyl, 2-Propynyl, and 3-Butynyl C-Phosphonate Analogues of Nucleoside Di-and Triphosphates: Synthesis and Reactivity in CuAAC. Org. Lett., 2015, 17 (12), pp 3062–3065
  2. Marek R Baranowski, Anna Nowicka, Anna M Rydzik, Marcin Warminski, Renata Kasprzyk, Blazej A Wojtczak, Jacek Wojcik, Timothy DW Claridge, Joanna Kowalska,* Jacek Jemielity* Synthesis of Fluorophosphate Nucleotide Analogues and Their Characterization as Tools for 19F NMR Studies J. Org. Chem., 2015, 80 (8),3982–3997
  3. Monika Zochowska, Anne-Christine Piguet, Jacek Jemielity, Joanna Kowalska, Ewa Szolajska, Jean-François Dufour, Jadwiga Chroboczek*. Virus-like particle-mediated intracellular delivery of mRNA cap analog with in vivo activity against hepatocellular carcinoma, Nanomedicine: NBM, 2015, 11, 67–76
  4. Joanna Kowalska, Anna Wypijewska del Nogal, Zbigniew M Darzynkiewicz, Janina Buck, Corina Nicola, Andreas N Kuhn, Maciej Lukaszewicz, Joanna Zuberek, Malwina Strenkowska, Marcin Ziemniak, Maciej Maciejczyk, Elzbieta Bojarska, Robert E Rhoads, Edward Darzynkiewicz, Ugur Sahin, Jacek Jemielity* Synthesis, properties, and biological activity of boranophosphate analogs of the mRNA cap: versatile tools for manipulation of therapeutically relevant cap-dependent processes, Nucleic Acids Res. 2014, 42 (16), 10245-10264.
  5. Kowalska J., Lewdorowicz M., Zuberek J., Grudzien-Nogalska E., Bojarska E., Stepinski J., Rhoads R.E., Darzynkiewicz E., Davis R.E., Jemielity J.*; Synthesis and Characterization of mRNA Cap Analogs Containing Phosphorothioate Substitutions that Bind Tightly to eIF4E and are Resistant to the Decapping Pyrophosphatase DcpS. 2008, RNA 14, 1119-1131.

Patents and patent applications

  1. Jemielity J., Grudzien-Nogalska E., Kowalska J., Darzynkiewicz E., Rhoads R.E "Synthesis and use of anti-reverse phosphorothioate analogs of the messenger RNA cap " US Patent 8, 153, 773, issued 10.04.2012.
  2. Kowalska J. Jemielity J., Darżynkiewicz E., Rhoads R.E., Lukaszewicz M., Zuberek J. "mRNA Cap Analogs" US Patent US8519110, issued 27.08.2013.
  3. Jemielity J., Grudzien-Nogalska E., Kowalska J., Darzynkiewicz E., Rhoads R.E. "Cząsteczka RNA oraz sposób otrzymywania peptydów lub białka". Patent nr P 214850 issued 26.02.2013 (Urząd Patentowy RP)
  4. Jemielity J., Grudzien-Nogalska E., Kowalska J., Darzynkiewicz E., Rhoads R.E "Synthesis and use of anti-reverse phosphorothioate analos of the messenger RNA cap" Australian Patent 2008265683 (issued 12.12.2013)
  5. Kowalska J. Jemielity J., Darżynkiewicz E., Łukaszewicz M., Żuberek J. "Nowe boranofosforanowe analogi dinukleozydów, ich zastosowanie, cząsteczka RNA, sposób otrzymywania RNA, oraz otrzymywania peptydów lub białka." Patent nr P 215513 issued 31.12.2013 (Urząd Patentowy RP)
  6. 4 patent applications


  1. Finalist of the Magazine "Polityka" competition for young scientists (September 2015)
  2. IS3NA Antonin Holy Poster Award at the International Symposium of Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (Poznań, August 2014)
  3. Individual Second Degree Prize of the Rector of the University of Warsaw for scientific achievements 2013
  4. Ministry of Science and Higher Education Scholarship for young scientists (2012-2014)
  5. Prof. Stefan Pienkowski Award for young scientists (2012).
  6. First prize in Innovator of Mazovia Competition (2011)
  7. L'Oreal for Women in Science (Polish Edition) prize for pre-doctoral research (2009)
  8. Rector Grzegorz Białkowski Award from Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw (shared with dr Joanna Żuberek, dr Jacek Jemielity) for "Designing and chemical synthesis of mRNA cap analogues and biophysical studies of their interaction with protein factors" (2008).
  9. Stipend "START" for young researchers from Foundation for Polish Science (2008 and continuation in 2009)
  10. "Travel Award" for conference abstract on "Joint Symposium of the 18th International Roundtable on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids and the 35th Symposium on Nucleic Acids Chemistry", Kyoto, Japan (2008)
  11. Scholarship of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2004-2005 and 2005-2006)
  12. Best Poster Presentation Award on "XIII Symposium on The Chemistry of Nucleic Acid Components", Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic (2005)

Participation in research projects

Role of 5' mRNA and 5' U snRNA cap structures in regulation of gene expression