Curriculum Vitae Piotr M. Skowron, Ph.D., Professor    

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  • 1981-1986 studied at the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences of Gdańsk University, Poland (specialisation: molecular biology)
  • 1986 received his M.S. (Honours) degree in biology at the Faculty of Biology of Gdańsk University, Poland
  • 1992 earned an interuniversity Ph.D. (Honours) degree in biology, in the area of new genetic engineering technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (supervisor: Prof. Wacław Szybalski) / Gdańsk University, Poland
  • 2011 - habilitation – in new genetic engineering technology, Gdańsk University, Poland
  • 2014 - Professor (title) , Faculty of Biology, University of Gdansk, Poland

Career History

  • 1985-1993 assistant professor, associate professor - Microbiology Department; Faculty of Biology, Geography and Oceanology; Gdańsk University; Poland
  • 1989-1991 Ph.D. student (scholarship) – McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • 1992-1994 expert on molecular cloning and protein expression, Department of Research and Development, Molecular Biology Resources Inc., USA (a molecular biotechnology company)
  • 1994-1998 head of a research team specialising in molecular cloning and protein expression, CHIMERx, USA (a branch of Molecular Biology Resources Inc.)
  • 1998-2001 – associate professor, Microbiology Department, Faculty of Chemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland
  • 1998-2007 Scientific Research Director, Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and co-owner of EURx Ltd. (a Polish-American company operating in the field of molecular biotechnology)
  • Since 2007 head and founder of the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology (a new department is currently being established), Faculty of Chemistry, Gdańsk University
  • Since 2009 manager of the scientific and industrial consortium Gdańsk University-POCH Joint-Stock Co.
  • Since 2010 Scientific Advisor at Vivantis Technologies Sdn Bhd / Revongen Corporation / BSTM Group Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • Since 2011 Research and Development Director, President of the Board of Directors, co-owner of BioVentures Institute Ltd. (a molecular biotechnology company)
  • Since 2012 professor, Faculty of Chemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland

Awards and Distinctions

  • 1978-1979 High School no. 9, Gdańsk – twice a laureate of the Polish National Chemistry Olympiad
  • 1982 bodybuilding champion of Gdańsk University (1st place in the triathlon)
  • 1991 President of Gdańsk University Award for scientific achievements
  • 1994-2002 awards from Molecular Biology Resources Inc., USA, for industrial research in the field of molecular biotechnology
  • August 2003 interviewed by Newsweek

Scientific Experience and Achievements

  • cloning, protein expression and engineering of about 100 genes and their variants of industrial significance
  • discovering and identifying a new subtype of DNA-cutting enzymes (restriction endonucleases) – “Thermus sp. family” – as well as cloning and characterising the genes responsible for their codification
  • designing the technology of cloning extremely toxic genes for a recombinant host
  • constructing a gene expression system based on a new mechanism of positive recombinant selection
  • partnership in designing two alternative technologies to PCR
  • developing genomic technologies of DNA rare-cutting by means of artificial endonucleases
  • designing a methodology for examining labile restriction endonucleases complexes from DNA

Business Experience and Achievements

  • 13 years of working in American molecular biotechnology industry, of which 5 in the USA and 11 as a director of industrial research
  • the first in the world to design the technology of isolating DNA in the popular microcolumn format (global market at the level of hundreds of millions of US dollars)
  • USA patent no. US005472872A, in the area of new genetic engineering technology (granted and implemented)
  • 72 reserved biotechnological projects (completed and, for the most part, implemented)
  • originator and the leading co-founder (on the Polish side) of EURx Ltd. – an American (95% of the shares) biotechnology company in Poland
  • leading participation in obtaining a subsidy from Molecular Biology Resources Inc., USA, during the years 1998-2007; total amount: roughly 4 mln USD
  • establishing the scientific and industrial consortium Gdańsk University-POCH Joint-Stock Co., obtaining a growth fund amounting to 1.8 mln PLN.
  • establishing the scientific and industrial consortium Gdańsk University-BoiVentures Institute Ltd.
  • co-founder of 4 joint-stock companies operating in the area of molecular biotechnology

Scientific Works

  • Patents
    1. Mead, D., Swaminathan, N., Van Etten, J., and Skowron, P.M. (1995) Recombinant CviJI restriction endonuclease. United States Patent Office no US005472872A, USA. (granted and implemented)
  • Publications from the Philadelphia List 23 publications, total Impact Factor 86,08
    1. Bielawski, K., Skowron, P.M., Kur, J., Konopa, G., Podhajska, A., and Taylor, K. (1987) Construction of a DNA-polymerase I overproducing plasmid and isolation of the enzyme. Acta Biochimica Polonica 34, 29-34.
    2. Kaczorowski, T., Skowron, P.M., and Podhajska, A.J. (1989) Purification and characterization of the FokI restriction endonuclease. Gene 80, 209-216.
    3. Piechula, S., Skowron, P.M., Piatyszek, M., and Podhajska, A. (1991) Isolation and identification of two new Synechococcus-derived restriction endonucleases, SleI and SspAI, isoschizomers of EcoRII. Nucleic Acid Res. 19, 2782.
    4. Fitzgerald, M.C., Skowron, P.M., Van Etten, J.L., Smith, L.M., and Mead, D.A. (1992) Rapid shotgun cloning utilizing the two base recognition endonuclease CviJI. Nucleic Acid Res. 20, 3753-3762.
    5. Skowron, P.M., Kaczorowski, T., Tucholski, J., and Podhajska, A. (1993) Atypical DNA-binding properties of class-IIS restriction endonucleases: evidence for recognition of the cognate sequence by a FokI monomer. Gene 125, 1-10.
    6. Skowron, P.M., Swaminathan, N., McMaster, K., George, D., Van Etten, J., and Mead, D. (1995) Cloning and application of the two/three-base restriction endonuclease R.CviJI from IL-3A virus-infected Chlorella. Gene 157, 37-41.
    7. Kim, S.C., Skowron, P.M., and Szybalski, W. (1996) Structural requirements for FokI-DNA interaction and oligodeoxyribonucleotide-instructed cleavage. J. Molecular Biology 258, 638-649.
    8. Rutkowska, S.M., Skowron, P.M., Bielawski, K., and Podhajska, A. (1995) SacNI, a novel BanII isoschizomer from Streptomyces achromogenes recognizing 5'-GRGCY/C-3'. Gene 157, 319-320.
    9. Rutkowska, S.M., Skowron, P.M., and Podhajska, A. (1995) Purification and characterization of the restriction endonuclease AvcI from Actinomyces cristalomycini. Gene 157, 317-318.
    10. Tucholski, J., Skowron, P.M., and Podhajska, A. (1995) MmeI, a class-IIS restriction endonuclease: purification and properties. Gene 157, 87-92.
    11. Swaminathan, N., Mead, D., McMaster, K., George, D., Van Etten, J.L., and Skowron, P.M. (1996) Molecular cloning of the three base restriction endonuclease R.CviJI from eukaryotic Chlorella virus IL-3A. Nucleic Acid Research 24, 2463-2469.
    12. Skowron, P.M., Harasimowicz, R., and Rutkowska, S.M. (1996) GCN4 eucaryotic transcription factor/FokI endonuclease mediated 'Achilles Heel Cleavage': quantitative study of protein-DNA interaction. Gene 170, 1-8.
    13. Lee, J.H., Skowron, P.M., Rutkowska, S.M., Hong, S.S., and Kim, S.C. (1996) Sequential amplification of cloned DNA as tandem multimers using class-IIS restriction endonucleases. Genetic Analysis: Biomolecular Engineering 13, 139-145.
    14. Swaminathan, N., McMaster, K., Skowron, P.M., and Mead, D.A. (1998) Thermal cycle labeling: zeptomole detection sensitivity and microgram probe amplification using CviJI* restriction-generated oligonucleotides. Analytical Biochemistry 255, 133-141.
    15. Kaczorowski T., Sęktas M., Skowron P.M., and Podhajska A.J. (1999) The FokI methyltransferase from Flavobacterium okeanokoites. Purification and characterization of the enzyme and its truncated derivatives. Molecular Biotechnology 13, 1-15.
    16. Rutkowska, S.M., and Skowron, P.M. (1999) Rapid screening of elution conditions prior to immunopurification of proteins. BioTechniques 27, 929-932.
    17. Żylicz-Stachula, A., Harasimowicz-Słowińska, R., Sobolewski, I., and Skowron, P.M. (2002) TspGWI, a thermophilic class-IIS restriction endonuclease from Thermus sp. recognizes novel asymmetric sequence 5'-ACGGA(N11/9)-3'. Nucleic Acid Research 30, e33.
    18. Skowron, P.M., Majewski, J., Żylicz-Stachula, A., Rutkowska, S.R. Jaworowska, I., and Harasimowicz-Słowińska, R. (2003) A new Thermus sp. class-IIS enzymes subfamily: isolation of a "twin" restriction endonuclease TspDTI, with a novel specificity 5'-ATGAA(N11/9)-3' related to TspGWI, TaqII and Tth111I. Nucleic Acid Research 31, e74.
    19. Żylicz-Stachula, A., Bujnicki, J.M., and Skowron, P.M. (2009) Cloning and analysis of bifunctional DNA methyltransferase/nuclease TspGWI, the prototype of a Thermus sp. family. BMC Molecular Biology 10, 52.
    20. Polska, K., Zielonka, J., Chomicz, L., Czerwicka, M., Stepnowski, P., Guzow, K., Wiczk, W., Smużyńska, M., Kasprzykowski, F., Żylicz-Stachula, A., Skowron, P.M., and Rak, J. (2010) Unexpected photoproduct generated via the acetone- sensitized photolysis of 5-Bromo-2’-deoxyuridine in a water/isopropanol solution: experimental and computational studies. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 114, 16902-16907.
    21. Żylicz-Stachula, A., Żołnierkiewicz, O., Jeżewska-Frąckowiak, J., and Skowron, P.M. (2011) Chemically-induced affinity star restriction specificity: a novel TspGWI/sinefungin endonuclease with theoretical 3-bp cleavage frequency. BioTechniques 50, 397-406.
    22. Sobolewski, I., Polska, K., Żylicz-Stachula, A., Jeżewska-Frąckowiak, J., Rak., J. i Skowron, P.M. (2011) Enzymatic synthesis of long double-stranded DNA labeled with the haloderivatives of nucleobases in a precisely pre-determined sequence. BMC Biochemistry, 12, 24
    23. Michalska, B., Sobolewski, I., Polska, K., Zielonka, J., Żylicz-Stachula, A., Skowron, P.M. i Rak, J. (2011) PCR synthesis of double stranded DNA labeled with 5-bromouridine. A step towards finding a bromonucleoside for clinical trials. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2011.07.036
    24. Orlikowska, M., Jankowska, E., Borek, D., Otwinowski, Z., Skowron P. and Szymanska, A. (2011) Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of V57 mutants of an amyloidogenic protein - human cystatin C. Acta Crystallographica Section F, F67, 1608-1611, doi:10.1107/S1744309111039741