Developmental Biology Laboratory

Developmental Biology Laboratory









Developmental Biology Research Group Leader

Prof. Grażyna Ptak
Phone: +48 12 664 6044
Email: g.ptak[a.t]


Team Members (from the left): Michał Bochenek, PhD; Simona Bisogno, MS (PhD student); Grzegorz Sokołowski, MS; Julita Machlowska, MS; Roberta Arena MS (PhD student); Grazyna Ptak, PhD DSc; Łukasz Gąsior, MS (PhD student); Federica Zacchini, PhD; Joanna Rudnicka MS.



We are organizing international conference “Assisted Reproduction Technologies – long term perspectives” on September 7th-8th 2018 (within H2020-TWINN- ERAofART). More information can be found on the conference homepage:

The MCB will hold an Embryological workshop on September 3rd-12th 2018 hosted by the Developmental Biology Laboratory.


We are interested in understanding mechanisms underlying early developmental events in mammals, such as embryo implantation and placentation. Our investigation focuses on environmental influence on developing organism. The influence of Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) and of parental age on pregnancy progression and life-long health status (including behavioral normalcy) of the offspring  are within our primary interests. To study Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHAD) we employ sophisticated ART procedures and various molecular and structural biology methods. The use of different species and experimental models, such as in vitro produced mono- and bi-parental embryos and delayed implantation allows us to achieve our research objectives.


Horizon 2020 - TWINN-2015 GA 692185 - acronym ERAofART - PI: Grażyna Ptak - Title: Epigenetic Risk Assessment of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
National Science Centre  OPUS 2016/21/B/NZ3/03631 – PI: Grażyna Ptak – Title: Influence of intracellular lipids in the oocyte and embryo on the duration of the Embryonic Diapause (ED)

Job Opportunities

We are seeking for highly motivated Master, PhD or Postdoc candidates. Please contact us for further details (g.ptak[a.t]

Publications (2017):

1. Arena R, Zacchini F, Toschi P, Palazzese L, Czernik M, Ptak GE. Developmental peculiarities in placentae of ovine uniparental conceptuses. PLOS ONE (2017, accepted)
2. Zacchini F, Arena R, Abramik A, Ptak GE. Embryo biopsy and development: the known and the unknown. Reproduction. 2017 Nov;154(5):R143-R148. 
3. Sampino S, Stankiewicz AM, Zacchini F, Goscik J, Szostak A, Swiergiel AH, Drago G, Modlinski JA, Ptak GE. Pregnancy at Advanced Maternal Age Affects Behavior and Hippocampal Gene Expression in Mouse Offspring. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Oct 12;72(11):1465-1473. 
4. Anzalone DA, Sampino S, Czernik M, Iuso D, Ptak GE. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alter DNA methylation and genomic integrity of sheep fetal cells in a simplified in vitro model of pregnancy exposure. Toxicol In Vitro. 2017 Sep 28;46:39-46.
5. Zacchini F, Toschi P, Ptak GE. Cobalamin supplementation during in vitro maturation improves developmental competence of sheep oocytes. Theriogenology. 2017 Apr 15;93:55-61. 
6. Czernik M, Toschi P, Zacchini F, Iuso D, Ptak GE. Deregulated Expression of Mitochondrial Proteins Mfn2 and Bcnl3L in Placentae from Sheep Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) Conceptuses. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 11;12(1):e0169579.

Previous publications (selected)

1. Toschi P, Czernik M, Zacchini F, Fidanza A, Loi P, Ptak GE. Evidence of Placental Autophagy during Early Pregnancy after Transfer of In Vitro Produced (IVP) Sheep Embryos. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 21;11(6):e0157594.
2. Sampino S, Zacchini F, Swiergiel AH, Modlinski AJ, Loi P, Ptak GE. Effects of blastomere biopsy on post-natal growth and behavior in mice. Hum Reprod. 2014 Sep;29(9):1875-83.
3. Sampino S, Juszczak GR, Zacchini F, Swiergiel AH, Modlinski JA, Loi P, Ptak GE. Grand-paternal age and the development of autism-like symptoms in mice progeny. Transl Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 29;4:e386.
4. Ptak GE, Toschi P, Fidanza A, Czernik M, Zacchini F, Modlinski JA, Loi P. Autophagy and apoptosis: parent-of-origin genome-dependent mechanisms of cellular self-destruction. Open Biol. 2014 Jun;4(6):140027.
5. Fidanza A, Toschi P, Zacchini F, Czernik M, Palmieri C, Scapolo P, Modlinski JA, Loi P, Ptak GE. Impaired placental vasculogenesis compromises the growth of sheep embryos developed in vitro. Biol Reprod. 2014 Jul;91(1):21
6. Ptak GE, D'Agostino A, Toschi P, Fidanza A, Zacchini F, Czernik M, Monaco F, Loi P. Post-implantation mortality of in vitro produced embryos is associated with DNA methyltransferase 1 dysfunction in sheep placenta. Hum Reprod. 2013 Feb;28(2):298-305.
7. Ptak GE, Tacconi E, Czernik M, Toschi P, Modlinski JA, Loi P. Embryonic diapause is conserved across mammals. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33027.