Dominika Lewandowska

Research Scientist
Cell and Molecular Sciences
T: +44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

Employment History

  • February 2008 - present – part-time research-scientist webmaster
  • 2006 - present – part-time post-doctoral molecular biologist
  • 2003 - 2005 - Post-doctoral researcher SCRI, Marie Curie International Fellowship
  • 2003 - PhD, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
  • 1999 - MSc in Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
  • My present research focuses on the regulatory function of alternative splicing in plants and is a part of a European Alternative Splicing Network of Excellence, Eurasnet. The key objective of the project is to establish an informative and reproducible RT-PCR based panel to study the alternative splicing in many plant genes simultaneously and use it to monitor changes in alternative splicing during tissue, developmental and environmental responses.
  • Studying the Polypyrimidine Tract Binding (PTB) – Like proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana. PTB is a well established negative regulator of splicing in humans. I am interested in its role in plant splice site selection.
  • I am also a scientific webmaster, responsible for running the official website promoting the European Alternative Splicing Network of Excellence, Eurasnet.

Past research

2003 – 2005
Marie Curie Individual Fellowship in Professor John Brown’s laboratory, SCRI
Project title: Comparative proteomics of Arabidopsis and human nucleoli

The aim of the project was to carry out a proteomic analysis of nucleolus in Arabidopsis thaliana. The nucleolar preparation was purified from Arabidopsis suspension cell cultures and analysed by mass spectrometry. We identified 217 proteins and compared them with the human nucleolar proteome. It revealed that 65% of Arabidopsis proteins (141) have homologues in the human nucleolus. We found 26 plant-specific proteins and 10 proteins of unknown function which were conserved and present in both plant and animal nucleoli. The nucleolar localisation of 75 identified proteins was confirmed by the expression of GFP: protein fusions in transiently transformed Arabidopsis cells. One of the unexpected results was the presence of 6 proteins involved in the Exon Junction Complex (EJC) in plants. We have been examining the function of all EJC proteins in Arabidopsis by localisation and also by TAP-tagging.

1999 – 2003
PhD done in Professor Artur Jarmolowski’s laboratory in The Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Biology Department, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
PhD thesis title: Splicing of plant U12-dependent introns

The main goal of the PhD work was to analyse intronic sequences and other factors that contribute to the splicing efficiency of AT-AC introns in plants. Most of the information regarding AT-AC introns has come from in vitro studies of a few known animal introns of this class. Splicing analysis of plant introns is especially difficult because of the lack of plant in vitro splicing system. Therefore, in this study an established in vivo transient expression assay system using tobacco leaf mesophyll protoplasts was used to analyse the processing of pre-mRNAs that contain U12 intron sequences. Three plant U12-dependent introns derived from three different Arabidopsis thaliana genes were chosen for the splicing analysis. U12-dependent introns from AtCBP20 (coding cap binding protein), Atgsh2 (coding glutathione synthetase) and AtLD (coding LUMINIDEPENDENS protein) were selected on the basis of their splice site and branch point sequences, characteristic for U12-dependent introns.

Journals

Conference papers

  • Artz, R.R.E.; Lewandowska, D.; Dodd, N. (2012) Forest-to-bog restoration at RSPB Forsinard:Kite-based image analysis., Flow Country Scientific Conference, Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, 23-25 October 2012.

Conference posters

  • Schreiber, M.; Barakate, A.; Uzrek, N.; Colas, I.; Lewandowska, D.; Macaulay, M.; Mittmann, S.; Arrieta, M.; Clavijo, B.; Wright, J.; Ramsay, L.; Waugh, R. (2018) Developing bioinformatics resources to study meiosis in the barley cultivar Golden Promise., Plant and Animal Genome, Sa Diego, USA, 13-17 January 2018.
  • Barakate, A.; Schreiber, M.; Stephens, J.; Davidson, D.; Uzrek, N.; Macaulay, M.; Colas, I.; Lewandowska, D.; Sourdille, A.; Arrieta, M.; Mittmann, S.; Ramsay, L.; Waugh, R. (2018) Targeted mutagenesis of meiotic genes in barley (Hordeum vulgare): Understanding and manipulating meiotic crossovers., Monogram 2018, Norwich, UK, 24-26 April 2018.