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Róża Szweda Research Group

Did you know that polymers can mimic functions displayed by natural macromolecules?

In nature, DNA and proteins with well-ordered structural skeletons can be recognized as sequence-defined macromolecules. DNA, composed of A, T, C, G nucleotides, is a natural polymer of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions. All essential informations to generate sequential protein chains from amino acids, by transcription and translation process, are encoded in the DNA sequence. Subsequently, the amino acid sequence determines three-dimensional structure of the protein and decides about their functions.

The synthesis of uniform macromolecules with defined monomer sequence, as displayed by natural polymers, is a challenge in modern polymer chemistry. In order to achieve full control over polymer structure, new synthesis strategies, based on iterative chemistry, has been recently developed. The accessibility of sequence-defined, uniform macromolecular structures enabled the design of polymeric materials beyond classical polymers applications, e.g. data storage. Furthermore, the monomer sequence regulation became an important parameter for the fine modulation of properties and functions of synthetic materials.

About Functional Macromolecules

Our goal

Our ambition is to develop life-like functions in synthetic polymers through regulation of monomer sequence for development of complex materials.

Work with us

We are always open for new, motivated people to join our team.

We are looking forward to collaborations with industrial partners to develop new technologies based on functional polymers.

Our work

Stay tuned about our research projects ranging from fundamental science to applied research and development. Follow us on social media and on our site to get updated on our progress.

Team
 
Field
 
Projects
 
Open positions
 
Cooperation
 
Róża Szweda – Principal Investigator
EDUCATION
Jan 2015 PhD in Chemistry
Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland. Thesis: “Polymer-peptide arrays for detection of proteolytic enzymes” in the field of polymer-peptide materials for bioapplications, defended with distinction
Sep 2009 MSc in Chemistry
Faculty of Chemistry, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland. Thesis: “ Study of the degradation process of high molecular weight polyglycidol” in the field of polymer science

WORK EXPERIENCE
Nov 2019 – present Head of Research
Laboratory of Functional Macromolecules, Siec Badawcza Lukasiewicz-PORT Polish Center for Technology Development, Wrocław, Poland
Apr 2019 – Dec 2019 Project manager
Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires, Strasbourg, France – managing of the ITN project “CReaNet” financed within MSCA Horizon 2020 programme, https://creanet.u-strasbg.fr/
Apr 2017- Apr 2019 Project manager
Institute Charles Sadron, The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Strasbourg, France – managing of the ITN project “Euro-sequences” financed within MSCA Horizon 2020 programme, http://www.eurosequences.com/
Nov 2015-Apr 2019 Post-doc researcher
Institute Charles Sadron, The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Strasbourg, France – researcher in scientific projects in the field of sequence-controlled polymers and polymeric materials (European Research Council grant “Sequence Barcodes”)
Nov 2015-Feb 2017 Assistant professor
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland – supervision of PhD students, consulting of research projects, writing the articles
Sep 2009-Nov 2015 Research assistant
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland – researcher in 3 scientific projects financed by EU or polish government in the field of polymer science, polymer-peptide conjugates, and (bio)materials; teaching assistant of Bachelor’s course of “Physical Chemistry”

Honours and awards
Grant SONATA awarded by Polish National Science Centre (2019)
Special prize for poster presented during 18th National Symposium Polymers (2016)
Award of the Gliwice and Opole Branch of the Polish Chemical Society for the best poster presenting research done within the framework of cooperation between Institutions (2016)
1st prize for the best poster presentation within the section: Chemistry of polymers and biopolymers at the 58th Congress of PTChem in Gdansk, Poland (2015)
Scholarships for the best PhD students awarded by the President of the Silesian University of Technology (2012-2014)
Scholarship DOKTORIS awarded by Marshal of the Silesia and Silesian University, project title:“ “Polymer-peptide arrays for detection of proteolytic enzymes” (Oct 2013-Dec 2014)
„Donation for young scientists 2011” for realization of the 10-month research project, awarded by Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials PAS , project title: “Polymer-peptide matrices for applications in clinical diagnostics” (July 2011- Apr 2012)
Scholarships RFSD 2, awarded by Networks of Centres of Excellence Bio-Tech-Med Silesia, project title:“ “Peptide arrays on polymeric substrates for applications in clinical diagnostics” (Oct 2009-Sept 2011)
Member of Polish Chemical Society (since 2014)

TEAM

Katarzyna Chomiak, PhD
Katarzyna obtained her MSc Eng. degree in Technology of Chemistry at the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. In 2010, she started her Ph.D. studies on Polymer and Carbonaceous Materials at her home university. She obtained her doctoral degree in November 2014 and worked for the next 3 years as a research assistant. Since April 2019, she is working as a research engineer in ŁUKASIEWICZ – PORT in Wroclaw.

 

 


Paulina Walencik, PhD
Paulina graduated from the University of Wrocław in 2014, and she pursued her PhD on thermodynamic stability and structure of copper complexes and their impact on redox activity in biological systems. She successfully defended her thesis in 2019. Since March 2020 she joined ŁUKASIEWICZ – PORT as an internship.

 

 

 


Niels Andre, MSc
In 2019, Mr. Niels André completed an international master’s degree at Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg and Strasbourg University in the field of chemistry. From November 2019, he began working as a process engineer at the ŁUKASIEWICZ – PORT in Wrocław.

Our expertise lies in the field of (bio)polymers synthesis and nanomaterials preparation. It involves:

  • synthesis of tailored polymers using controlled/living polymerization methods, purification and post-polymerization modification
  • solid-phase synthesis: synthesis of peptides and oligonucleotides, their modification and purification
  • synthesis of sequence-defined polymers using iterative chemistry approaches
  • surface chemistry: functionalization of surface, monolayer coatings by covalent attachment (peptides, polymers), layer-by–layer films, spin coating deposition of polymer films
  • preparative organic synthesis: synthesis of monomers, polymerization initiators
  • synthesis of polymer bioconjugates (polymer-peptide, polymer-oligonucleotide)


Analysis methods:

  • spectroscopy: NMR, UV-vis, FTIR (ATR, transmission), fluorescence, CD
  • chromatography: HPLC, GPC, preparative HPLC, Flash
  • tensiometry for characterization of surface philicity
  • ellipsometry
  • light, fluorescence and AFM microscopy
  • dynamic light scattering
  • mass spectrometry (MALDI, ESI, Tof-SIMS)

ConFOLD
Sequence-defined macromolecules of controlled folding

The natural, uniform macromolecules such as proteins and DNA of sequence-defined structures have been inspiring polymer chemists for years. The roles and functions that they can attain are determined by their three-dimensional arrangement that depends on monomer sequence. To reach for the diverse structures and complex properties, represented by native biological polymers, sequence programmability of the synthetic polymer and control of their 3D structure are required.

Róża Szweda RG - project ConFOLD

ConFold aims to investigate structural properties of sequence-defined synthetic polymers -polycarbamates. The general objective in this project is to gain control over the three-dimensional structure of polymers by monomer sequence evolution, as it is observed for natural proteins formed from sequences of amino acids.

 

ConFOLD will add a fundamental knowledge of synthesis and structural properties of synthetic sequence-defined polymers to fill a part of the large information gap concerning properties and displayed functions between synthetic polymers and native biological materials.. This understanding of sequence-structure relationships will enable to gain better control over polymers properties and will advance their application scope.

 

National Science Center logo
Project No 2018/31/D/ST5/01365 funded by Polish National Science Centre, budget 1 455 799,00 PLN

We are always open to new, motivated people to join our team. Especially, with a background in organic or polymer chemistry (but not only). If you are interested to join us write direct email to roza.szweda@port.org.pl and attach your CV.

Open positions

PhD in chemistry – details see here
Internship in chromatography analysis of polymers – details see here
Internship in polymer synthesis – details see here
Post-doc – details see here

Would you like to apply for your own fellowship and project? We will be happy to help you to get funding and to write competitive proposal. Contact us: roza.szweda@port.org.pl.

Open calls

POLS NCN https://www.ncn.gov.pl/eeanorwaygrants/calls/pols?language=en
Deadline 15 March 2020 –Research fellowship may last from 12 to 14 months, funding €200,000

Ulam https://nawa.gov.pl/en/scientists/program-im-ulama/call-for-proposals
Deadline: 15 April 2020 – Visiting scientists, period from 6 to 24 months

SONATINA NCN https://www.ncn.gov.pl/ogloszenia/konkursy/sonatina3
Deadline 15 March 2020

Fellowship Łukasiewicz https://nawa.gov.pl/studenci/studenci-zagraniczni/program-stypendialny-im-ignacego-lukasiewicza
Deadline 16 March 2020

Fellowship Banach https://nawa.gov.pl/studenci/studenci-zagraniczni/program-stypendialny-im-stefana-banacha
Deadline 30 March 2020

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Posted by Sieć Badawcza Łukasiewicz - PORT Polski Ośrodek Rozwoju Technologii, Posted on 30.10.2020
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