Nicola A. Grzeschik, PhD

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UMCG-sector O&O,
Department of Cell Biology,
Section Radiation and Stress Cell Biology,
Ant. Deusinglaan 1, Building 3215, 5th floor,
9713AV Groningen,
The Netherlands


I am a developmental geneticist with more than 10 years experience in developmental biology, human genetics and clinical research. In the past my research focused on using genetic model organisms, primarily the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, to understand genes that are involved in the establishment and maintenance of epithelial polarity and how their loss can perturb biological processes and ultimately lead to cancer. During my PhD the main focus of my thesis was crumbs, one of the genes involved in establishment and maintenance of apico-basal polarity and loss of which has, in mice and humans, been associated with a degenerative eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa (RP12). During my post-doc at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, I extended my interest in polarity to the regulation of the cell cycle and the development of cancer, specifically the analysis of the neoplastic tumour suppressor Lgl, which has been implicated in a variety of cancers. My analysis was the first one to show that the lgl- overgrowth phenotype, which had been known and well documented for a long time, is dependent on the newly discovered Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) pathway and that deregulation of other polarity regulators, such as Crumbs and the atypical protein kinase aPKC are equally able to affect SWH downstream targets. In September 2011 I joined the lab of Prof. Ody Sibon in Groningen, which is involved in the analysis of neurodegenerative diseases, one of them a condition known as PKAN, caused by mutation of the human PANK2/Drosophila fumble gene.

Research Experience

2011 – present Senior Postdoctoral Fellow (since September 2011) UMCG, Groningen, The NetherlandsResearch Interest: The role of Drosophila and Human PANK in neurodegeneration and cell cycle, .Supervisor: Prof. Ody Sibon

2005-2011 (Senior) Postdoctoral Fellow (promoted to senior 2009) Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia, ,Research Interest: Analysis of the neoplastic tumour suppressor gene Lethal Giant Larvae (lgl) during cancer development and its interaction with the Salvador-Warts-Hippo (SWH) pathway, Supervisor: Dr Helena Richardson

1998- 2004 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD awarded July 2003) Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany, Thesis title: Search for functional interaction partners of crumbs by means of a crumbs-induced rough eye phenotype., Supervisor: Prof Elisabeth Knust

Most important 5-10 publications

Siudeja, K., Grzeschik, N.A., Rana, A., de Jong, J. and Sibon, O.C. (2012) Cofilin/Twinstar phosphorylation levels increase in response to impaired coenzyme a metabolism. PLosS One. 2012;7(8)

Grzeschik, N.A., Parsons, L.M. and Richardson, H.E. (2010) Lgl, the SWH pathway and tumorigenesis - It’s a matter of context & competition! (Extra-view) Cell Cycle. 2010 Aug 15;9(16):3202-12

Froldi, F., Ziosi, M., Garoia, F., Pession, A., Grzeschik, N.A., Bellosta, P., Strand, D., Richardson, H.E., Pession, A. and Grifoni, D. (2010). The lethal giant larvae tumour suppressor mutation requires dMyc oncoprotein to promote clonal malignancy. BMC Biol. 2010 Apr 7;8:33

Grzeschik, N.A., Parsons, L.M., Allott, M.L., Harvey,K.F. and Richardson, H.E. (2010). Lgl, aPKC, and Crumbs Regulate the Salvador/Warts/Hippo Pathway through Two Distinct Mechanisms. Curr Biol. 2010 Apr 13;20(7):573-81.

Humbert, P.O., Grzeschik, N.A., Brumby, A.M., Galea, R., Elsum, I. and Richardson, H.E. (2008). Control of tumorigenesis by the Scribble/Dlg/Lgl polarity module. (Review), Oncogene, 2008, 27, 6888–6907.

Grzeschik, N.A., Amin, N., Secombe, J., Brumby, A.M. and Richardson, H.E. (2007) Abnormalities in cell proliferation and apico-basal cell polarity are separable in Drosophila lgl mutant clones in the developing eye. Dev Biol. 311(1):106-23.

Grzeschik, N.A. and Knust, E. (2005) IrreC-rst mediated cell sorting during Drosophila pupal eye development depends on proper localisation of DE-Cadherin. Development 132(9):2035-45.

Johnson, K., Grawe, F., Grzeschik, N.A. and Knust E. (2002) Drosophila Crumbs is required to inhibit light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. Curr Biol. 12(19):1675-80.