Anna Zolkiewska, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Advisor

Anna Zolkiewska, Ph.D.

Contact information

Office: 177 Chalmers Hall
Phone: 785-532-3082
Fax: 785-532-7278



M.S. 1984, University of Warsaw, Poland
Ph.D. 1988, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw, Poland

Areas of specialty

  • Molecular mechanisms of human disease
  • Triple negative breast cancer
  • Tumor immune microenvironment
  • ADAM metalloproteases

Research in our laboratory is currently focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for immunosuppression in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) restricts anti-tumor immune responses and contributes to immunotherapy resistance. In particular, we are interested in the role of cell surface metalloproteases from the ADAM family in the assembly of the immunosuppressive TME in TNBC. We use multi-disciplinary approaches that span biochemistry, molecular/cellular biology, and mouse models of human TNBC to discover the mechanisms controlling immune cell infiltration into breast tumors. We hope to use this knowledge to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies for TNBC, including the immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

Selected publications

Wang G, Romero Y, Thevarajan I, and Zolkiewska A (2023) ADAM12 abrogation alters immune cell infiltration and improves response to checkpoint blockade therapy in the T11 murine model of triple-negative breast cancer. OncoImmunology, 12:1, 2158006, DOI: 10.1080/2162402X.2022.2158006.

Thevarajan, I., Zolkiewski, M., and Zolkiewska, A. (2020) Human CLPB forms ATP-dependent complexes in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 127, 105841

Romero, Y., Wise, R., and Zolkiewska, A. (2020) Proteolytic processing of PD-L1 by ADAM proteases in breast cancer cells. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 69:43-55

Wise, R., and Zolkiewska A. (2017) Metalloprotease-dependent activation of EGFR modulates CD44+/CD24- populations in triple negative breast cancer cells through the MEK/ERK pathway. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 166: 421-433

Duhachek-Muggy, S., Qi, Y., Wise, R., Alyahya, L., Li, H., Hodge, J., and Zolkiewska, A. (2017) Metalloprotease-disintegrin ADAM12 actively promotes the stem cell-like phenotype in claudin-low breast cancer. Molecular Cancer, 16:32

Wise, R., Duhachek-Muggy, S, Qi, Y. Zolkiewski, M., and Zolkiewska, A. (2016) Protein disulfide isomerases in the endoplasmic reticulum promote anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res. Treat., 157(2):241-252

Duhachek-Muggy S, Zolkiewska A. (2015) ADAM12-L is a direct target of the miR-29 and miR-200 families in breast cancer. BMC Cancer, 15:93

Complete Publications List