Dr Mariusz Skwarczynski

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
m.skwarczynski@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 69894

Overview

08.2015 – current

Senior Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Biological & Chemical Sciences,The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

07.2010 – 07.2015

UQ Strategic Fund Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Biological & Chemical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

04.2008 – 06.2010

Senior Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Biological & Chemical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

11.2006 – 4.2008

21st Century Center of Excellence researcher in the laboratory of Professor Yoshiaki Kiso,

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Center for Frontier Research in Medicinal Science, 21st Century COE Program,

Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Japan

11.2004 – 10.2006

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Yoshiaki Kiso,

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Center for Frontier Research in Medicinal Science, 21st Century COE Program,

Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Japan

04.2002 – 11.2004

Post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Yoshiaki Kiso, Department of Medicinal Chemistry,

Center for Frontier Research in Medicinal Science, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Japan

04.2000 -03.2002

Post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Mugio Nishizawa, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

Tokushima Bunri University, Tokushima, Japan

06.1995 – 11.1999

Doctorate, Organic Chemistry (22.11.1999)

(with 4 years competitive government scholarship)

Wroclaw University of Technology, Department of Chemistry,

(including 6-months stay at Ecole Nationale Superiure de Chimie de Montpellier, France)

Supervisor: Prof. Barbara Lejczak, Professor of Chemistry

Thesis: "Application of biocatalysts in enantioselective synthesis of phosphonates"

Research Interests

  • Nanomedicine
    Nanotechnology, Peptide Chemistry, Medicinal chemistry, Vaccine/Drug Delivery, Antimicrobial Agents, Prodrug Strategies, Macromolecules, Adjuvants

Research Impacts

My research focuses on self-assembly strategies for the development of immunostimulatory constructs. Along these lines, we initiated nanotechnology-based approaches in Prof Istvan Toth’s laboratory (SCMB), where I am currently working. This research has significant potential and practical implications for the development of novel vaccine delivery systems. In collaboration with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (Prof. Michael Monteiro) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research/Griffiths University (Prof. Michael Good), we have developed an exceptional nanotechnology-based vaccine delivery strategy against GAS infection, that is commonly associated with rheumatic heart disease and acute rheumatic fever. In this instance, peptide antigens were conjugated to the well-defined t-butyl polyacrylate dendrimers and self-assembled to form nanoparticles. Preliminary studies related to this research were published in the highest-ranked multidisciplinary journal for chemistry, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition. This work was also featured in the November 2010 issue of Chemistry in Australia. Furthermore, I demonstrated that not only polymer-antigen conjugates but also Lipid Core Peptide (LCP) antigen delivery systems can self-assemble to form particles. The auto-organization of peptide-polymer chimeras and LCP was able to induce the desired alpha helical confirmation of the incorporated peptide antigens, which is crucial to induce protective antibody production. We were also able to self-assemble polymer-peptide conjugates to form particles of different sizes and in collaboration with immunologists from Griffith University we demonstrated that smaller sized nanoparticles induced high titers of antibodies after immunization in mice and that these nanoparticles were able to produce a strong immune response without the help of any adjuvants.

More recently, we established a synthetic pathway to conjugate a peptide antigen derived from the human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 protein to a polyacrylate star-polymer to create a macromolecular vaccine candidate for the treatment of HPV-related cancers. As part of this project, we also developed a new microwave based synthesis for peptides with a “difficult sequence”. This delivery system overcomes the poor immunogenicity usually associated with peptide-based vaccines. Contrary, to many previously reported vaccine candidates, our conjugates demonstrated a therapeutic effect and were able to completely eradicate cancer in mice model after only a single immunization. This is the first report of a self-adjuvanting delivery system for a therapeutic peptide-based vaccine against cervical cancer. I have also produced peptide-based particles which showed potent immunostimulatory activity against diseases such as malaria, hookworm and schistosoma infections. This research on self-assembled antigenic particles resulted in several publications, including 3 book chapters and 18 articles published in well-recognized journals such as Angewandte Chemie, Nanomedicine (Future Medicine), Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med., Biomacromolecules. This work has also been presented at numerous conferences, including 6 invited talks (e.g. keynote speaker - 4th Modern Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis & Its Applications Symposium, Japan, 2013).

The ultimate goal of my reseach is developemnt of clinicallly relevant vaccine delivery systems.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Wroclaw University of Technology
  • Master of Science, Wroclaw University of Technology

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Hussein, Waleed M., Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2020). An isodipeptide building block for microwave-assisted solid-phase synthesis of difficult sequence-containing peptides. Peptide synthesis: methods and protocols. (pp. 139-150) edited by Waleed M. Hussein, Mariusz Skwarczynski and Istvan Toth. New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0227-0_9

  • Hussein, Waleed M., Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2020). Preface. Peptide synthesis: methods and protocols. (pp. v-v) edited by Waleed M. Hussein, Mariusz Skwarczynski and Istvan Toth. New York, NY, United States: Springer.

  • Nevagi, Reshma J., Toth, Istvan and Skwarczynski, Mariusz (2018). Peptide-based vaccines. Peptide applications in biomedicine, biotechnology and bioengineering. (pp. 327-358) Duxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing (Elsevier). doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100736-5.00012-0

  • Marasini, N., Ghaffar, K.A., Skwarczynski, M. and Toth, I. (2017). Liposomes as a vaccine delivery system. Micro and Nanotechnology in Vaccine Development. (pp. 221-239) edited by Mariusz Skwarczynski and Istvan Toth. Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-323-39981-4.00012-9

  • Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2017). Micro- and Nanotechnology in Vaccine Development - Introduction. Micro- and Nanotechnology in Vaccine Development . (pp. XVII-XVIII) edited by Skwarczynski, M. and Toth, I.. Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier Science.

  • Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2016). Introduction. Micro and nanotechnology in vaccine development: micro and nano technologies. (pp. xvii-xviii) edited by Mariusz Skwarczynski and Istvan Toth. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-323-39981-4.00027-0

  • Ahmad Fuaad, Abdullah A. H., Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2016). The use of microwave-assisted solid-phase peptide synthesis and click chemistry for the synthesis of vaccine candidates against hookworm infection. Vaccine design: methods and protocols: volume 1: vaccines for human diseases. (pp. 639-653) edited by Thomas, Sunil. New York, NY United States: Springer New York. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3387-7_36

  • Skwarczynskim, Mariusz, Zaman, Mehfuz and Toth, Istvan (2013). Lipo-peptides/saccharides in peptide vaccine delivery. Handbook of biologically active peptides. (pp. 571-579) edited by Abba J. Kastin. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Academic Press/Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385095-9.00078-6

  • Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Toth, Istvan (2011). Lipid core peptide system for self-adjuvanting synthetic vaccine delivery. Bioconjugation protocols: Strategies and methods. (pp. 297-308) edited by Sonny S. S. Mark. New York , U.S.A: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-151-2_18

  • Ziora, Zyta, Skwarczynski, Mariusz and Kiso, Yoshiaki (2011). Medicinal chemistry of a-hydroxy-b-amino acids. Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins in Organic Chemistry: Volume 4 - Protection Reactions, Medicinal Chemistry, Combinatorial Synthesis. (pp. 189-234) edited by Andrew B. Hughes. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH. doi: 10.1002/9783527631827.ch6

  • Zaman, Mehfuz, Skwarczynski, Marius and Toth, Istvan (2010). Toll-like receptor 2 mediated dendritic cell activation: Key target for lipopeptide vaccines design. Dendritic Cells: Types, Life Cycles and Biological Functions. (pp. 63-80) edited by Lorraine C. Welles. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Nova Science Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision