Professor Janusz J. Pętkowski

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Address: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone: 617 258 6910
E- mail: jjpetkow@mit.edu

EDUCATION
2006-2012 PhD degree in Biophysics
Interdisciplinary Program in Biophysics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA

2004-2006 MSc. degree in Biotechnology, specialty Molecular Biology
Department of Bioinformatics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

2001-2004 BSc. degree in Molecular Biology
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

SELECTED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
Sep. 2020 – present Deputy Principal Investigator on Venus Life Finder Missions Concept Study.

Oct. 2019 – present Research Scientist at MIT.
• Astrobiology research on exoplanets, biosignature gases and theoretical biochemistry
• Search for life in the Solar System and beyond

2015 – 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Sara Seager, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA
• Astrobiology research on exoplanets, biosignature gases and theoretical biochemistry
• Developing novel approaches in computer-assisted drug design and cheminformatics

2013 – 2015 Marie Curie ETH-Fellow at ETH-Zürich. Research on ribosome maturation and biogenesis.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Vikram Panse, Institute of Biochemistry, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH-Zürich); Zürich, Switzerland
• Research on the assembly and maturation of the eukaryotic ribosome

2006-2012 PhD degree in Biophysics
Thesis title: “NRMT – an α-N-methyltransferase
Principal Investigators: Prof. Ian G. Macara, Department of Microbiology Center for Cell Signaling; Prof. Wladek Minor, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
• Investigating the biological function and enzymology of α-N-terminal methylation of proteins in eukaryotic cells.
• Investigating the structural basis of a mechanism of uracil degradation by Rut operon constituents in E. coli.

2006 Experimental part of MSc. Thesis.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Wladek Minor, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
• Structural characterization of two orthologs of E. coli AHAS isozyme III small regulatory subunit by X-ray crystallography.

2004-2006 MSc. degree in Biotechnology, specialty Molecular Biology
Department of Bioinformatics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Thesis title: “Crystal structures of AHAS isozyme III small regulatory subunits from
T.maritma and N. europea”


2001-2004 BSc. degree in Molecular Biology.
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Thesis title: “DNA methyltransferases in mammals”

SELECTED OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Mar. 2020 – present Founding member of the Polish Astrobiological Society.
Nov. 2020 – Online educator at the “Silica School”, University of Brest, France.

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
2020-present Co-Investigator on John W. Jarve (1978) Seed Fund for Science Innovation 2015-2018 Co-Investigator on prof. Amar G. Bose Research Grant

2013-2015 ETH Zürich Postdoctoral Fellowship (ETH Fellows) and Marie Curie Actions for People COFUND Program

2012 US Human Proteomics Organization Travel Award

2006 MSc. Diploma Summa cum Laude (for outstanding MSc. Students)

2004-2006 MSc. Fellowship for outstanding students at the University of Warsaw 2004 BSc. Diploma Summa cum Laude (for outstanding BSc. Students)

2001-2004 BSc. Fellowship for outstanding students at the University of Warsaw