3 March 2020

Associate Professor Jan Żylicz will join DanStem in mid-March 2020

associate professor

A new Associate Professor to join the DanStem in mid- March 2020.

Associate Professor Jan Żylicz will establish a research group aiming to understand how metabolic and epigenetic mechanisms cooperate to regulate transcription during early development. The group will explore in particular how metabolism regulates histone modifiers, and how these in turn affect lineage choice and embryo growth at around the time of implantation.

Jan has a background in molecular, stem cell and developmental biology, his undergraduate training consisted of Biochemistry studies at the Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland) and at the Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Afterwards, he joined a Wellcome Trust PhD program in Stem Cell Biology at the University of Cambridge (UK).

”At the time of my PhD I was already fascinated by chromatin modifications and their role in regulating gene expression. I joined the lab of Azim Surani, to put this regulatory mechanism in the context of rapidly developing embryos. Interestingly, I saw that there is striking dynamics in the landscape of enhancers at around the time of implantation. Many such molecular switches become turned on but others are inactivated. My work revealed that such rapid enhancer silencing was aided by a histone modifier: G9a. This enzyme turns out to be vital for development, embryo’s growth but also lineage choice.  At DanStem I plan to expand on this work and continue investigating the dynamic chromatin regulation of mouse development and stem cell lineage choice. Now I want to go a step beyond epigenetics and put it in the context of rapidly evolving metabolic states of the embryo. Indeed, activity of chromatin modifiers is influenced by metabolism, however we know very little how these two processes are coordinated to allow for successful development” / Associate Professor Jan Żylicz

As a postdoctoral researcher Jan was awarded a prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship to study chromatin regulatory pathways promoting gene inactivation during X chromosome inactivation. His work in the team of Edith Heard at Institut Curie (Paris, France) revealed an epigenetic roadmap for inactivating one of the two X chromosomes in female cells.

“Jan Żylicz and his research group will strengthen the Center by adding unique expertise in how chromatin regulatory pathways shape transcriptional states in stem cells and developing mouse embryos. His future plans to study how metabolism controls epigenetics in stem cells will nicely complement DanStem’s research portfolio”/ Professor Henrik Semb, Executive Director, DanStem

“I decided to join DanStem because of its amazing collaborative stem cell community. Becoming a Group Leader is a daunting experience and I felt that a friendly and open environment of DanStem will help me establish an exciting research program. I’m thrilled to be joining this institute and I can’t wait to get involved in its cutting-edge research.”/ Associate Professor Żylic

About the Żylicz Group at DanStem https://danstem.ku.dk/research1/zylicz/