Andrzej Jerzmanowski,                  

Born November 13, 1946 in Warsaw, Poland, married, 2 children

Nationality:   Polish

Research interests:

Structure of chromatin and its function in control of plant development; Protein and nucleic acids interactions; Posttranslational modifications of proteins; Molecular evolution.


Academic training:  Warsaw University, Poland (1964-1969)

Graduation: Dept. of Biochemistry, Warsaw University, 1969

Degrees:   Master of Sciences (Biochemistry) Warsaw Univ. 1969

                 PhD (Biochemistry) Warsaw Univ. 1974

                 Habilitation (Dozent degree) Warsaw Univ. 1985

                 Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Warsaw Univ. 1991


Postdoctoral Training:

Biophysics Laboratory, Portsmouth Polytechnic  U.K. 07.1976-07.1977

Dept. of Forest Botany, Univ. of Goettingen, Germany, 08.1980- 11.1981

Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Univ. California Berkeley, 09.1988- 07.1991

Institute de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire du CNRS (Strasbourg, France) 04.-06.1985, 08. – 10.1987.



Professional positions:


·         International Scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA – 2000 - 2005

·         Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Head of the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, Institute of Experimental Plant Biology, Warsaw University             1991 – present

·         International Scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA - 1995 – 2000                                                                         

·         Professor and Group  Leader, Plant Molecular Biology Group at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences                                                       1994 - present

·         Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Dept. of Biochemistry, Warsaw Univ.  1985 - 1991

·         Associated Researcher, Dept. of Biochemistry Warsaw Univ.                         1976 – 1985

·         Research Associate, Dept. of Biochemistry, Warsaw Univ.                             1971 - 1976

·         Junior Research Associate, Dept. of Biochemistry, Warsaw Univ.                  1969 - 1971



External Activities:


·         Elected Member of Life and Earth Sciences Division of the State Committee of the Scientific Research  - 2004 - current

·         Vice-President of the Scientific Council of Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences: 1998-present.

·         Member of the Scientific Council of the UNESCO Cell and Molecular Biology Institute in Warsaw – 1996-2001.

·         Chairman of the Study Section for grants in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the State Committee for Scientific Research – 1996, 1998, 1999.

·         Member of the Scientific Council of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology - 1994-1996.







Membership of Editorial Boards




List of selected recent  publications


·         Prymakowska-Bosak, M., Przewłoka, M., Iwkiewicz, J., Egierszdorff, S., Kuraś, M.,

      Chaubet, N., Gigot, C., Spiker, S. and Jerzmanowski, A. (1996) Histone H1 overexpressed to

      high level in tobacco affects certain developmental programs but has limited effect on basal

      cellular functions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 10250-10255.


·         Tomaszewski, R. and Jerzmanowski A. (1997)  The AT-rich flanks of the oocyte-type 5S RNA gene of Xenopus laevis act as a strong local signal for histone H1-mediated chromatin reorganization in vitro. Nucleic Acids Research 25, 458-465.


·         Tomaszewski, R., Mogielnicka, E. and Jerzmanowski, A. (1998) Both the 5S rRNA gene and the AT-rich flanks of Xenopus laevis oocyte-type 5S rDNA repeat are required for histone H1-dependent repression of transcription of pol III-type genes in in vitro reconstituted chromatin, Nucleic Acids Res. 26, 5596-5601.


·         Brzeski, J., Podstolski, W., Olczak, K. and Jerzmanowski, A. (1999) Identification and analysis of the Arabidopsis thaliana BSH gene, a memeber of the SNF5 gene family. Nucleic Acids Res. 27, 2393-2399.


·         Prymakowska-Bosak, M., Przewłoka, M., Ślusarczyk, J., Kuraś, M., Lichota, J., Kiliańczyk, B. and Jerzmanowski, A. (1999) Linker Histones Have a Role in Male Meiosis and the Development of Pollen Grains in Tobacco. The Plant Cell 11, 2317-2329.




·         Jerzmanowski, A., Przewłoka, M., Grasser, K. (2000) Linker Histones and HMG1 Proteins of Higher Plants. Plant Biology 2, 586-597.


·         Kaczanowski, S. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2001) Evolutionary Correlation Between Linker Histones and Microtubular Structures. J. Mol. Evol. 53, 19-30.


·         Przewloka, M.R., Wierzbicki, A.T, Ślusarczyk, J ,Kuraś, M. Grasser, K.D., Stemmer, C. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2002) The ‘drought-inducible’ histone H1s of tobacco play no role in male sterility linked to alterations in H1 variants. Planta 215, 371-379.


·         Sarnowski, T.J., Świeżewski, S., Pawlikowska, K., Kaczanowski, S. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2002)  AtSWI3B, an Arabidopsis homolog of SWI3, a core subunit of yeast Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling complex, interacts with FCA, a regulator of flowering time. Nucleic Acids Res. 30, 3412-3421.


·         Brzeski, J. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2003) Deficient in DNA Methylation 1 (DDM1) defines a novel family of chromatin remodeling factors. J. Biol. Chem. 278, 823-828.

·         Brzeski, J., Dyczkowski, J., Kaczanowski, S., Zielenkiewicz, P. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2003)    Plant chromatin - learning from similarities and differences. Adv. in Botanical Res. 40, 107-142.

·         Jerzmanowski, A. (2004) The linker histones. in Chromatin Structure and Dynamics: State-of-the-Art. J. Zlatanova and S.H. Leuba (Eds), Elsevier B.V.

·         Brzeski,J. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2004) Plant chromatin – epigenetics linked to ATP-dependent remodeling and architectural proteins. FEBS Lett. 567, 15-19.

·         Wierzbicki, A.T. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2005) Suppression of histone H1 genes in Arabidopsis thaliana results in heritable developmental defects and stochastic changes in DNA methylation. Genetics 169, 997-1008.

·         Sarnowski, T., Rios, G., Jasik, J., Świeżewski, S., Kaczanowski, S., Kwiatkowska, A., Pawlikowska, K., Koźbiał, M., Koźbiał, P., Koncz, C. and Jerzmanowski, A. (2005) SWI3 subunits of putative SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex play distinct roles during Arabidopsis development. The Plant Cell 17, 2454-2472.

·         Reyes, J.C., Brzeski, J. and Jerzmanowski, A.  (2007) Chromatin remodeling and histone variants in transcriptional regulation and in maintaining DNA Regulation of Transcription in Plants (Klaus D. Grasser, Ed.) Annual Plant Reviews Vol. 29 (Blackwell Publishing) 112-135.

·         Jerzmanowski, A. (2007) SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling and linker histones in plants. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1769, 330-345.

·         Świeżewski, S., Crevillen, P., Liu, F., Ecker, J.R., Jerzmanowski, A. and Dean, C. (2007) Small RNA-mediated chromatin silencing directed to the 3’ region of the Arabidopsis gene encoding the developmental regulator, FLC. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 3633-3638.











Activities in communication in the life sciences


My activity in the area of popularization and communication of life sciences really began in the early nineties; since then I have been involved in it at a more or less regular frequency. The initial impulse to start talking and writing about science to those beyond the scientific community was the realization of how difficult it was for the general public in Poland to grasp what really happened in biology with the advent of genetic engineering. There were many reasons of that situation like traditionally low level of public interest in science, almost no communication from those who worked in laboratories and the obsolescence of school biology textbooks. In effect there was a spread of often incompetent and misleading information. I came to the conclusion that in Poland where the position and esteem of life sciences was never as high as in some western European countries, a scientist should spent some of his/her time on explaining what is going on in laboratories at least to convince the public that it not so stupid to invest in basic research.


Since 1993 I wrote 5 full size articles, 13 larger commentaries and gave numerous short comments  concerning  different aspects of molecular biology and genetics for Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest Polish daily (circulation ca 500 000). I have been giving interviews and writing commentaries for other newspapers and weekly magazines and reviewing on a regular basis popular science books in the monthly “New Books" (12 reviews). In 1997 I initiated for the largest Polish editor of school textbooks WSiP (School and Pedagogical Editorial House) the modern series of school textbooks and teaching programs for biology beginning from the level of Gymnasium and going up to the level of advanced High School, which for the first time included the presentation of contemporary genetics and molecular biology. The books have been in use since then with several new and updated editions.

In 1994 appeared my first book entitled “Genes and people” about modern genetics and genetic engineering as well as about people who were involved in revolutionizing biology. The book was well received and in 1995 won me the Hugo Steinhaus Award for the best Polish book popularizing sciences.

In 2001 appeared my second book “Genes and life” in which I discussed the relation between organismal and molecular biology in the context of contemporary evolutionary synthesis and reflected on the general aims as well as limits of biological explanations. As could be judged from published reviews and many private  letters the book was found inspirational not only by the general readers but also by professional biologists.


Since 1994 I participated in numerous radio talks and interviews and took part in several television recordings. These broadcasts were mostly devoted to important and often controversial problems arising at the boundary of modern life science and society, like GMO, the nature vs nurture, genetic diagnostics and counseling, therapeutical cloning, the impact of modern biology on human relations and religion and many others.