Stefan Szedlacsek, Dr.

Stefan Szedlacsek
Group: Enzymology
Department: Enzymology

Head of Department

Research interests: TBA, Researcher | Teaching staff | Scientific reviewer | Manager | Consultant.

Currently working on

Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy , Bucharest.
Department of Enzymology .


Prof. Dr. Stefan Szedlacsek is the Head of the Enzymology Department at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy. He holds a PhD degree in Biotechnology from Polytechnical University of Bucharest as well as a MSc in Organic Synthesis (Polytechnical University, Bucharest) and MSc in Mathematics (University of Bucharest). As a visiting scientist, he performed research in the field of cholesterol metabolism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), where he succeeded to evidence a new pathway in the metabolism of oxysterols. 

He is an “Alexander von Humboldt” fellow and worked in Germany, in the Institute of Biochemistry (Kiel University), Max-Plack Institute for Physiological Chemistry (Dortmund) and Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics (Frankfurt).

Between August 2022-February 2023, he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at MD Anderson Cancer Center- University of Texas, Department of Leukemia, where his research title was “Biochemical and cellular investigations regarding the potential use of affibodies in leukemia therapy” (Grant no:779/06.06.2022).

He has supervised numerous PhD and master’s theses. Together with his group, he participated as Principal Investigator/Group Leader in the Marie Curie Research Training Networks - PTPNET; MRTN-CT- 2006-035830 (FP6), financed by the European Community. Also, he received a „P-CUBE TNA Project” Fellowship (FP 7- EU) from Oxford University (United Kingdom). Professor Szedlacsek was Project Coordinator for research consortia within a number of projects financed by the Romanian Research Authority.

Together with his group, he is dedicated to the study of structure-function relationships in the enzymes involved in cell signaling, especially in the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTP). He succeeded to solve the first crystal structure of a member of KIM-containing family of PTP,  evidenced that MAM domain of receptor PTPμ promotes lateral dimerization, identified molecular determinants of PRL3, a molecular marker of various cancer forms and solved the crystal structure of xylulose-5 phosphate phosphoketolase. Several years ago, he reported identification of WDR1 as a novel substrate of EYA3 PTP and proved that WDR1 dephosphorylation modulates the actin cytoskeleton.


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Compound for inhibition of certain signaling processes related to the evolution of the cognitive processes 2017-2018
Acronym: Ctr.327/27.03.2017/Company CRU SRL, Medical Services Company/ Dunakesz, Hungary
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The main idea of this project was that by inhibiting at least one of these two interactions of GluA2, the internalization of AMPAR will be reduced and therefore the synapse resistance will be increased, thus leading to improved cognitive functions.

Compound for inhibition of certain signaling processes related to the evolution of the cognitive processes
Novel radiolabeled affibodies for targeted imaging and therapy 2019-2022
Acronym: Bilateral agreement no.3698/13.09.2018 Romanian Academy- Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The project is agreed as a bilateral collaboration between IBAR and ATOMKI, and the University of Debrecen and IFIN-HH participate in this project voluntarily.

Radiolabelling of affibody for tumor diagnostic and theranostic application in the nuclear medicine 2022-2024
Acronym: Bilateral agreement no.2886/15.09.2021 Romanian Academy- Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The project is agreed as a joint collaboration among IBAR, ATOMKI and UD, the latter being a cost free participant. There are two main directions envisaged by the proposed project: - receptors mapping and therapy, using an affibody against HER2 receptors, combined with an adequate radioisotope. In this respect, the specific objectives are: a) expression and purification of affibodies; b) establishing labelling procedures; c) ex vivo and/or in vivo testing of optimal compounds.

Biochemical and cellular investigations on the potential use of affibodies in leukemia therapy 2022 - 2023
Acronym: LEUKEMIA. Grant no.779/14.06.2022
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Affibody molecules are highly promising therapeutic candidates due to their advantageous features like: small size, efficient delivery, straightforward engineering towards improved formats, site-directed conjugation of payloads, possibility of GMP production by chemical synthesis or inexpensive bacterial production leading to low product costs.

Biochemical and cellular investigations on the potential use of affibodies in leukemia therapy
Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases: Structure, regulation and biological function 2007 - 2011
Acronym: PTPNET
Budget: Total € 2.965.480/ Cost for IBAR € 145.231
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Project Funded under: Human resources and Mobility in the specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration "Structuring the European Research Area" under the Sixth Framework Programme 2002-2006. PTPNET was a Training Network for young scientists in the field of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) research.

Reconstruction of Ancestor of Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Catalytic 2011 - 2016
Acronym: PTPs
Budget: 1.499.990 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Proteins are essential players of all biological processes and they are involved in practically every function performed by a living cell.

Structural insights into three domains of PTP-Basophil-like protein tyrosine phosphatase 01.10.2005 - 30.09.2009
Acronym: PTP-BL
Budget: 50.000 €
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between foreign and German researchers at the highest level. Each year, the Foundation awards more than 700 research fellowships and awards to support researchers from abroad who come to Germany to work on a research project together with German researchers at a host institute. The research topic is chosen by the applicant.

Structural and Kinetic analysis of the functional complex between protein tyrosine phophatase SL (PTP-SL) and Erk2 MAP kinase 2002 -2004 / 2004 - 2008
Acronym: PTP-SL
Budget: 100.000 €
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is the most important independent research funding organisation in Germany. It supports both scientific and humanistic studies and aims to promote top-level research in various disciplines at universities and research institutions. The main focus is on funding projects proposed by the scientific community, with an emphasis on knowledge-driven research.

Determination of tridimensional structure for some interesting proteins, by X RAY difraction. 2007 - 2010
Acronym: X RAY
Budget: 1.000.000 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Proteins are the most important functional units of living matter: all cellular processes are governed by specific proteins possessing highly specialized functional roles. Understanding the intimate mechanisms of cell functions necessitates a detailed knowledge of the 3D-structure of proteins.

Laboratory for determination of the three-dimensional structure of proteins using x-ray diffraction 2008 – 2010
Budget: 1.428.000 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

One of the most powerful techniques in modern biomedical research is the determination of the three dimensional structure of proteins. This project proposes to establish a laboratory for 3D protein structure determination using X-ray diffraction experiments.

Evaluation of the substrate specificity of several protein tyrosine phosphatases involved in diseases 2008 – 2010
Budget: Total 2.000.000 lei/ Cost for IBAR: 1.700.000 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are fundamental regulatory enzymes that dephosphorylate phosphotyrosine residues and are essential components of intracellular signalling pathways in both normal and pathological conditions. There is experimental evidence that disruption of the phosphatase activity of many PTPases is involved in the pathogenesis of several congenital or acquired diseases, including diabetes, cancer, infections, autoimmune, neuronal and cardiovascular diseases.

Enzymatic caracterization and identification of potential native substrates for Eyes absent, protein responsible for Branchio-Oto-Renal syndrome 2006 - 2008
Acronym: BOR
Budget: 247.294 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

The project focuses on characterizing the branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome, an autosomal dominant genetic disorder caused by mutations in the EYA gene. The goal is to enzymatically analyze the conserved C-terminal domain of the Eya3 protein and identify physiological substrates to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in this syndrome.

Molecular Analysis of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Involvement PRL-3 in Metastasis of Colorectal Cancer 2004-2006
Budget: Total 500.000 lei / Cost for IBAR: 300.000 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

Cancer causes 1.5 million deaths a year in Europe, accounting for a quarter of all deaths. The incidence of cancer is increasing, with 20 million new cases and 10 million deaths expected in the next 20 years. Approximately 90% of deaths are due to metastases rather than primary tumours. Genetic mutations and genomic instability allow tumour cells to invade and form metastases.

Molecular optimization of a central enzyme in the metabolic pathway of the xylose conversion. Optimized reactor for the enzymatic transformation of the xylose originating from cellulosic wastes. 2005-2008
Acronym: OMEXIL
Budget: Total 1.712.800 lei/ Cost for IBAR: 1.298.000 lei
Project director: Stefan Szedlacsek

This project aims to develop a highly efficient enzyme for the conversion of xylose from cellulosic wastes into high-value biosynthetic intermediates. By optimising the catalytic efficiency of phosphoketolase and designing an enzymatic reactor, the project aims to provide a sustainable method of utilising lignocellulosic residues.