Pawel Kozielewicz is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the January 2020 issue. Dr. Kozielewicz is a post-doctoral trainee at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. His mentor is Professor Gunnar Schulte. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned his selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “A NanoBRET-Based Binding Assay for Smoothened Allows Real-time Analysis of Ligand Binding and Distinction of Two Binding Sites for BODIPY-cyclopamine” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/mol.119.118158.
Dr. Kozielewicz’s area of research is the pharmacology of Frizzled family G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). These receptors are targeted by WNT proteins and are important during embryonic cell development and adult tissue homeostasis. Frizzled receptors are commonly associated with WNT/β-catenin signaling, but recent work by Dr. Kozielewicz and others from Prof. Schulte’s laboratory has demonstrated that they indeed also function as GPCRs. Dr. Kozielewicz focuses on exploring the pharmacology of Frizzled receptors employing structure-function analysis using mainly biophysical (BRET) and computational (molecular modeling) methods.
The anticipated impact of Dr. Kozielewicz’s research is that it will lead to a better understanding of ligand-induced Frizzled activation mechanisms. His research will hopefully provide the foundation for the discovery of Frizzled-targeting small molecule drugs with potential for anti-cancer therapy.
When not in the lab, Pawel enjoys spending time with his family and keeping track of all major sports results, particularly football. When possible, he also tries to stay in shape by going to the gym or playing squash.