Instytut Biologii Medycznej PAN

Labs > Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry

Group leader

Leśnikowski Zbigniew Jan

Zbigniew J. Lesnikowski received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies (CMMS) PAS in Lodz, Poland in 1981. After postdoctoral study at the University of Virginia (1981-1983), he continued work at CMMS. He received D.Sc. degree at the Technical University of Lodz in 1992 and the same year he moved as a Fulbright Scholar to the Emory University in Atlanta. He continued his work as a faculty at the Emory University and Veterans Administration Medical Center in Atlanta till 1996. In 1997 he joined the Center of Microbiology and Virology (CMV) PAS in Lodz where he was appointed head of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry. He was acting Director of the CMV PAS Lodz in 2002-2003. In 2004 he received the title of Professor of Chemical Sciences from the President of the Polish Republic. Since 2004 till 2008 he was v-ce Director of the Institute for Medical Biology (IMB) PAS (formerly: Center of Microbiology and Virology PAS) and from 2009 till 2012 Director of the Institute. He continues his association with IMB PAS as a  head of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry.


A major theme of his works in chemistry and modification of nucleic acids, nucleosides and nucleotides and their applications in molecular diagnostics and chemotherapy. The special focus is made on chemistry of conjugates with boron clusters, physicochemical and biological evaluation of the modified DNA/RNA-oligomers, use of the modified oligonucleotides as therapeutic nucleic acids and oligonucleotide probes and boron carriers for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy of cancers (BNCT). Nucleoside/nucleotide-boron cluster conjugates are studied as potential antiviral and anticancer agents (with a focus on cytomegalovirus infections and leukemias) and as modulators of purinergic receptors activity. He contributed also to the development methods for steroselective synthesis of P-chiral DNA/RNA-oligonucleotide analogues.


Professor Lesnikowski was Research Fellow at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, 1976; Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1981-1983; Visiting Scientist, Max-Planck Institut für Experimentele Medizin, Gottingen; 1987; Visiting Scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory; Heidelberg, 1990; Fulbright Scholar 1992-1993, then faculty 1994-1996, Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology, Emory University and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Atlanta, GA; Visiting Scientist (U.S. National Cancer Institute), Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, 2000; Visiting Scientist (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 2001; Gakushuin University Faculty of Science, Tokio, Japan, 2012.


He is Member of Polish Chemical Society (1981-pres., member of the Directorate of Lodz Branch of PChS, 2004-2010), Member of Polish Society of Microbiology (2002-), Societas Scientarum Lodziensis, 2007-pres.


Institute of Medical Biology PAS,
Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry,
106 Lodowa St., 93-232 Lodz,
tel.: (+48-42) 2723629 or (+48-42) 2723637,
fax: (+48-42) 2723630,
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Labs > Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry