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STC Hosting International Interns for Second Year Big Success

Albuquerque, NM – December 14, 2012 As part of its nascent international intern program, STC has hosted a second year visit of life science researchers from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland. The scientists’ trip was underwritten by ProRegio Foundation in Poznan, a non-governmental organization formed to support and promote the technology transfer process among Poland’s research universities and organizations and the business community.

This year’s group of talented researchers and inventors included:

Anna Jankowska Ph.D.

Dr. Jankowska is an Associate Professor and Director of the Unit of Molecular Biology in the Department of Cell Biology at Poznan University. She received her Ph.D. with honors in biotechnology from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Dr. Jankowska is the principal investigator of six grant awards from Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Her research area focuses on the expression of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy and by some cancerous tumors, as it relates to cell metastases in gynecological cancers. Contact: ajanko@ump.edu.pl.

Michal Cichocki, Ph.D.

Dr. Cichocki is a Postdoc in the Department of Pharmaceutical Biochemistry at Poznan University. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Poznan University. His research area includes the study of pharmoco-epigenetics, the study of the epigenetic basis for variations in drug response. Epigenetics is the study of changes in genes and gene expression from environmental influences. Dr. Cichocki is studying enzymes and other proteins that effect how genes respond to drugs and what compounds might change the gene’s response. Contact: cichocki@ump.edu.pl.

Blazej Rubis, Ph.D.

Dr. Rubis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics at Poznan University. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Poznan University. Dr. Rubis’ research area includes the study of compounds that are inhibitors of the human telomerase, an enzyme implicated in a cancer cell’s ability to proliferate and form tumors. Contact: blazejr@ump.edu.pl.

The international interns spent time at STC learning about UNM’s technology-transfer program and best practices. They attended commercialization seminars, UNM’s Economic Development Summit, toured the main campus and Health Sciences Center labs such as CHTM and the Molecular Discovery Center, and met with HSC researchers Drs. Larry Sklar, Graham Timmins, Pavan Muttil, David Vander Jagt, Jim Liu, Wenlan Liu, Marek Osinski, Angela Wandinger-Ness, and Michele Ozbun. The interns were impressed with the collaborations and relationships that many of the UNM researchers have with companies and start-ups and commented on how entrepreneurial scientists in Poland look to the U.S., Germany, France and Sweden as places where there are more new, smaller companies interested in collaborating with university researchers.