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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
141 Chalmers Hall
1711 Claflin Rd.
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-7278 fax

Biotechnology Core Facility
206 Burt Hall
785-532-6297 fax

Biomolecular NMR Facility
37 Chalmers Hall

Michal Zolkiewski, Ph.D., Professor
Department Head

Image of Michal Zolkiewski, Ph.D.Image of Dr. Michal Zolkiewksi explaining research results with lab staff.

Research Video

Contact information

Office: 141 Chalmers Hall
Phone: 785-532-6121
Fax: 785-532-7278
E-mail: michalz@ksu.edu


B.S., University of Warsaw, Poland
M.S., University of Warsaw, Poland
Ph.D., Institute of Physical Chemistry, Warsaw, Poland

Areas of specialty

  • Protein structure and function
  • Protein folding, misfolding and aggregation
  • AAA+ ATPases in cellular physiology and pathogenesis
  • Molecular chaperones
  • Development of novel antimicrobials

Nearly every process in a living cell is carried out by protein complexes with highly organized structure and undergoing dynamic transformations. Our research is focused on the AAA+ superfamily of proteins. AAA stands for "ATPases associated with a variety of cellular activities", which implies that these proteins use energy from ATP and perform a variety of functions. Our laboratory performs basic research oriented towards understanding molecular mechanisms underlying the biological function of AAA+ proteins. We use a combination of biological, biochemical and biophysical experimental approaches to study interactions between proteins, protein localization inside living cells, and structural changes in proteins and protein complexes.

Selected publications

Ranaweera, C. B., Glaza, P., Yang, T., and Zolkiewski, M.: “Interaction of substrate-mimicking peptides with the AAA+ ATPase ClpB from Escherichia coli”, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 655, 12-17, 2018.

Kuczynska-Wisnik, D., Cheng, C., Ganta, R. R., and Zolkiewski, M.: ”Protein aggregation in Ehrlichia chaffeensis during infection of mammalian cells”, FEMS Microbiol. Lett., 364 (6): fnx059, 2017.

Zhang, T., Kedzierska-Mieszkowska, S., Liu, H., Cheng, C., Ganta, R. R. and Zolkiewski, M.: “Aggregate-reactivation activity of the molecular chaperone ClpB from Ehrlichia chaffeensis”, PLoS ONE 8(5): e62454, 2013.

Nagy, M., Guenther, I., Akoyev, V., Barnett, M. E., Zavodszky, M. I., Kedzierska-Mieszkowska, S. and Zolkiewski, M.: “Synergistic cooperation between two ClpB isoforms in aggregate reactivation”, J. Mol. Biol. 396, 697-707, 2010.

Zolkiewski, M.: “A camel passes through the eye of a needle: protein unfolding activity of Clp ATPases”, Mol. Microbiol. 61, 1094-1100, 2006.

Complete Publications List