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The Organisation 

The Nencki Institute is the oldest and largest non-university biological research institution in Poland (funded 1918). Most of the research in the Institute is within the domain of neuroscience. There are more than 40 principal investigators, which are grouped into 5 departments. The total number of researchers is ca. 100, plus ca. 150 supporting staff, including administration and over 130 students enrolled into a very active PhD program. The Institute has a legal right to award PhD degrees. Nencki Institute is also an active member of the Network of European Neuroscience Institutes (ENI-NET).  

The Team

The research aim of our Laboratory of Neurobiology is to understand brain-mind connection. We believe that it is possible to localize specific mind functions into the brain and then reveal their molecular and cellular underpinnings. The window to understand mind is learning and memory that can be successfully studied in experimental animals. At the molecular and cellular levels, synaptic plasticity appears to provide plausible explanation for those phenomena. 

Over the last dozen years we have shown that MMP-9 (extracellular protease) is produced and released at the excitatory synapses in response to enhanced neuronal activity to play a paramount role in the synaptic plasticity, learning and memory as well as in neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, alcohol addiction, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Thus, our major research effort is presently focused on MMP-9 and its fundamental role in controlling morphological and functional plasticity of the excitatory synapse in learning and memory as well as such brain pathologies as epileptogenesis.

Contact Us

Scientific matters - Leszek Kaczmarek
Administrative matters - Bogusia Sudol


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