Dr. Kasia Radwanska Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Behaviour – The Nencki Institute at Warsaw

Radwanska Narrow

  • Young Investigator

Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology

About Dr. Kasia Radwanska

Memory processes, including memory formation or extinction, are fundamental for brain function and they are affected in various psychiatric illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder or addiction. Currently, the molecular basis of memory processes is not sufficiently well understood to develop successful treatments for memory dysfunctions. Our team is studying molecular basis of memory processes. For our experiments we are using transgenic mice, which allows to combine molecular and morphological analyses with behavioral studies. In particular we are interested in modeling alcohol addiction and cognitive impairments in laboratory animals. Toward this end we apply both behavioral analysis of transgenic mice in the IntelliCage system as well as confocal microscopy to study molecular and structural alterations in different brain regions.
The long-term aim to our research is to develop insights for treatments for memory dysfunctions in psychiatric illnesses.

Current research activities include:

Do multi-innervated spines store memory?
In this project we analyze the molecular mechanisms which regulate formation of multi-innervated spines, a rare type of synapse that is characterized by several presynaptic terminals contacting the same postsynaptic spine. The aim of this project is to understand the role of these synapses in memory formation and storage.

Alpha CaMKII autophosphorylation as a mechanism to regulate alcohol consumption
In this project we use CaMKII-T286A mutant mice to investigate the role of CaMKII autophosphorylation in the regulation of alcohol-induced actin remodeling, structural plasticity of dendritic spines, alcohol-related behaviors as well as alcohol consumption and preference.

Please see also: http://en.nencki.gov.pl/laboratory-of-molecular-basis-of-behavior

5 Selected Publications

Radwanska K., Kaczmarek L. (2012) Characteristics of the addiction prone phenotype in mice. Addict. Biol., 17 (3) : 601-12.

Radwanska K., Medvedev NI., Pereira GS., Engmann O., Thiede N., Moraes MF., Villers A., Irvine EE., Maunganidze NS., Pyza EM., Ris L., Szymanska M., Lipinski M., Kaczmarek L., Stewart MG., Giese KP. (2011). Mechanism for long-term memory formation when synaptic strengthening is impaired. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 108 (45) : 18471-5.

Radwanska K., Nikolaev E., Kaczmarek L. (2010). Central noradrenergic lesion induced by DSP-4 impairs the acquisition of avoidance reactions and prevents molecular changes in the amygdala. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem., 94 (3) : 303-11.

Radwanska K., Tudor-Jones AA., Mizuno K., Pereira GS., Lucchesi W., Alfano I., Łach A., Kaczmarek L., Knapp S., Giese KP. (2010).  Differential regulation of CaMKII inhibitor beta protein expression after exposure to a novel context and during contextual fear memory formation. Genes Brain Behav., 9 (6) : 648-57.

Radwanska K., Wrobel E., Korkosz A., Rogowski A., Kostowski W., Bienkowski P., and Kaczmarek L. (2010). Alcohol relapse induced by discrete cues activates components of AP-1 transcription factor and ERK pathway in the rat basolateral and central amygdala. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33 (8) : 1835-46.

Awards, Fellowships and Honours

2013        Polish Prime Minister award for the habilitation
2010        POMOST grant, Foundation of Polish Science
2009        Marie Curie Reintegration Grant
2008        FEBS & Foundation for Polish Science long-term fellowships
2006        Marie Curie Intra-European postdoctoral fellowships (until 2008)
2003        FEBS & CNRS-PAN grants (collaboration with Dr Jocelyne Caboche laboratory, UPMC, France)

Technical Expertise

  • State-of-the-art behavioral tests on mice, e.g. fear conditioning, open field, rota-rod, elevated mazes, Porsolt’s forced swim test, place preference
  • IntelliCage-based analysis of mice behavior, e.g. alcohol addiction-related behaviors
  • Pharmacological approaches to study the molecular basis of behavior
  • Immunohistochemistry, fluorescent immunostaining, histology, electron microscopy,
  • Diolistic labelling for morphological analysis of dendritic spines in vivo