About me

Dr Joanna Zawacka-Pankau joined the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine as senior researcher in 2021.

She completed her postdoctoral training in the field of p53 tumor biology and targeted therapies in the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology, Karolinska Institute.

In 2007, she was awarded Assistant Professor position at the University of Gdansk, and in 2012 she was recruited to the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology, Karolinska Institute as Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator. 

Research description

Our goal is to identify effective, specific, and selective treatments for TP53-mutated acute myeloid leukemia and other cancers that can be rapidly translated into clinical practice.

Towards that goal, we use repurposed drugs shown to reactivate p53 proteins, p53 and p73, the standard of care and unique pre-clinical models which include primary human cancer cells and humanized mouse models.  

We also strive to understand the mechanisms by which p53 affects longevity by performing comparative proteins' sequence analysis in short- and long-lived species to understand which critical nodes in the p53 pathway are responsible for longevity in the Animal Kingdom. We hope, in the future, this knowledge could be translated to modulate physiological aging in humans.



Matilde Fregni, Erasmus student


Teaching portfolio

Lecturer - Medical Biochemistry

Course leader - Molecular diagnostics


2005-2006       Postdoc (2 years), Karolinska Institute       

2005                 PhD in biochemistry, University of Gdansk

2001                 MSc in biotechnology, University of Gdansk

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Cathrine Everts Forskningsstiftelse 2021;

Åke Wibergs stiftelse;

National Science Centre, Poland (research grant)