Bartek Wilczynski

Bartek Wilczynski, former Furlong Group postdoc and one of the 2011 EMBO Installation Grantees, tells Yvonne Kaul about his first year as Group Leader in Poland, at the Institute of Informatics in Warsaw University.

How was the first year back in Poland?
It was overwhelming. Senior colleagues had warned me about the challenges of starting a new lab, but I was astonished by the long list of things to consider: money, space, hiring, supervising, teaching. It’s improving though, and we’re getting our first results.

What’s your research?
It focuses on understanding gene expression regulation by using computational methods. We’d like to find out more about the role of chromatin and the way insulator proteins help define boundaries of regulatory domains in the chromatin.

Are you in touch with other EMBLers, past or present?
Absolutely. I had two papers with Eileen Furlong in 2012, and received an ERA-NET grant from the European Commission with Andreas Ladurner. I’m also organising a summer school in Poland, which this year includes some EMBL staff and alumni speakers.

Currently there’s few alumni here in Poland and the overlap between our research fields is limited. It seems I’ve more contact with EMBL alumni elsewhere than here – if Poland becomes an EMBL member state one day, there will hopefully be more.

How does it feel to be back home?
It’s good to be back and to bring with me what I’ve learnt elsewhere, and to help students become part of a larger science community rather than a solely Polish one.