Human Genome Variation Research Group & Genomics Centre

Group leader

Professor Wojciech Branicki

T: +4812 664 6111 






Team members


  • Agata Jarosz – technician
    T. 12664 6113
  • Magdalena Kukla-Bartoszek – PhD student
    T. 12664 6113
  • Ewelina Pośpiech – PostDoc
    T. 12664 6113


The HGVR Group focuses on genetic and epigenetic human genome variation defining phenotypic features and the influence of biological aging on phenotype progression. Development of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies has opened up the possibility of studying human genome variation on an enormous scale. Consequently, it enabled development of complex prediction tools based on analysis of large number of markers. The generated DNA variation data are used in mathematical modelling aimed at accurate risk assessment, prediction and prognosis in medical genetics, and predictive DNA analysis in forensics. The HGVR Group provides analyses that can be used to trace unknown individuals by DNA-based prediction of biogeographic ancestry, appearance traits and age.


Future plans

The HGVR Group plans to continue working on predictive DNA analysis in forensics and anthropology by developing more accurate prediction models that shall combine information about ancestry, appearance and age. We plan to extend the use of massively parallel sequencing technology to study human genome variation including DNA methylation and tighten collaboration with the newly formed Bioinformatics group at MCB.


  • NCN SONATA 2014/15/D/NZ8/00282 – PI: Ewelina Pośpiech
  • NCBiR DOB-BIO7/17/01/2015 – PI: Wojciech Branicki
  • UE H2020 no 740580; Topic: SEC-08-FCT-2016 Call: H2020-SEC-2016-2017 (SECURITY). PI: Wojciech Branicki

Genomics Core Facility

The HGVR Group offers services in genomics, transcriptomics and forensic genetics. Please, see the offer of the core facility – Genomics Centre MCB

Selected publications

  • Spólnicka M, Piekarska RZ, Jaskuła E, Basak GW, Jacewicz R, Pięta A, Makowska Ż, Jedrzejczyk M, Wierzbowska A, Pluta A, Robak T, Berent J, Branicki W, Jędrzejczak W, Lange A, Płoski R. Donor age and C1orf132/MIR29B2C determine age-related methylation signature of blood after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Clin Epigenetics. 2016; 8: 93. doi: 10.1186/s13148-016-0257-7.
  • Pośpiech E, Karłowska-Pik J, Ziemkiewicz B, Kukla M, Skowron M, Wojas-Pelc A, Branicki W. Further evidence for population specific differences in the effect of DNA markers and gender on eye colour prediction in forensics. Int J Legal Med. 2016; 130(4): 923-34. doi: 10.1007/s00414-016-1388-2.
  • Walsh S, Pośpiech E, Branicki W. Hot on the Trail of Genes that Shape Our Fingerprints. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2016, 136: 740-742. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2015.12.044.
  • Santos C, Fondevila M, Ballard D, Banemann R, Bento AM, Børsting C, Branicki W, Brisighelli F, Burrington M, Capal T, Chaitanya L, Daniel R, Decroyer V, England R, Gettings KB, Gross TE, Haas C, Harteveld J, Hoff-Olsen P, Hoffmann A, Kayser M, Kohler P, Linacre A, Mayr-Eduardoff M, McGovern C, Morling N, O'Donnell G, Parson W, Pascali VL, Porto MJ, Roseth A, Schneider PM, Sijen T, Stenzl V, Court DS, Templeton JE, Turanska M, Vallone PM, van Oorschot RA, Zatkalikova L, Carracedo Á, Phillips C; EUROFORGEN-NoE Consortium. Forensic ancestry analysis with two capillary electrophoresis ancestry informative marker (AIM) panels: Results of a collaborative EDNAP exercise. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2015, 19: 56-67.
  • Tagliabue E., Concetta Fargnoli M., Gandini S., Maisonneuve P., Liu F., Kayser M., Nijsten T., Han J., Kumar R., A. Gruis N., Ferrucci L., Branicki W., Dwyer T., Blizzard L., Helsing P., Autier P., García-Borrón J., A. Kanetsky P., Teresa Landi M., Little J., Newton-Bishop J., Sera F., Raimondi S. MC1R gene variants and non melanoma skin cancer: a pooled-analysis from the M-SKIP project”. British Journal of Cancer, 2015, 113(2): 354-63.
  • Zbieć-Piekarska R, Spólnicka M, Kupiec T, Agnieszka Parys-Proszek A, Żanetta Makowska Ż, Pałeczka A, Kucharczyk K, Płoski R, Branicki W. Development of a forensically useful age prediction method based on DNA methylation analysis. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2015, 17: 173-179.
  • Marcińska M, Pośpiech E, Abidi S, Dyrberg Andersen J, van den Berge M, Carracedo Á, Eduardoff M, Marczakiewicz-Lustig A, Morling N, Sijen T, Skowron M, Söchtig J, Syndercombe-Court D, Weiler N, The EUROFORGEN-NoE Consortium; Schneider P, Ballard D, Børsting C, Parson W, Phillips C, Branicki W. Evaluation of DNA variants associated with androgenetic alopecia and their potential to predict male pattern baldness. PLoS ONE 2015, 10(5): e0127852.
  • Pośpiech E., Karłowska-Pik J., Marcińska M., Abidi S., Andersen JD., van den Berge M., Carracedo Á., Eduardoff M., Freire-Aradas A., Morling N., Sijen T., Skowron M., Söchtig J., Syndercombe-Court D., Weiler N., Schneider PM., Ballard D., Børsting C., Parson W., Phillips C., Branicki W., EUROFORGEN-NoE Consortium. Evaluation of the predictive capacity of DNA variants associated with straight hair in Europeans. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2015, 19: 280-8.
  • Kosiniak-Kamysz A, Marczakiewicz-Lustig A, Marcińska M, Skowron M, Wojas-Pelc A, Pośpiech E, Branicki W. Increased risk of developing cutaneous malignant melanoma is associated with variation in pigmentation genes and VDR, and may involve epistatic effects. Melanoma Res. 2014, 24(4): 388-96.
  • Pośpiech E., Wojas-Pelc A., Walsh S., Liu F., Maeda H., Ishikawa T., Skowron M., Kayser M., Branicki W., The common occurrence of epistasis in the determination of human pigmentation and its impact on DNA-based pigmentation phenotype prediction. Forensic Sci Int Genet., 2014, 11: 64-72.
  • Kosiniak-Kamysz A., Pośpiech E., Wojas-Pelc A., Marcińska M., Branicki W. Potential association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in pigmentation genes with the development of basal cell carcinoma. The Journal of Dermatology, 2012, 39: 693-698. 
  • Pośpiech E., Draus-Barini J., Kupiec T., Wojas-Pelc A., Branicki W. Prediction of eye color from genetic data using Bayesian approach. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2012, 57: 880-886.
  • Pośpiech E., Draus-Barini J., Kupiec T., Wojas-Pelc A., Branicki W. Gene-gene interactions contribute to eye colour variation in humans. Journal of Human Genetics, 2011, 56: 447-55.
  • Branicki W, Liu F, van Duijn K, Draus-Barini J, Pośpiech E, Kupiec T, Wojas-Pelc A, Kayser M. Model-based prediction of human hair color using DNA variants. Hum Genet. 2011, 129(4): 443-54.
  • Bogdanowicz W, Allen M, Branicki W, Lembring M, Gajewska M, Kupiec T. Genetic identification of putative remains of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009, 106(30): 12279-82.