Dr Pawel Grzechnik

Dr Pawel Grzechnik

School of Biosciences
Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow
Group leader

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Grzechnik joined the School of Biosciences in October 2016. His lab is supported by a Sir Henry Dale Career Development Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. Pawel is interested in various aspects of nuclear RNA biology with a special focus on transcriptional processes. His aim is to understand the role of RNA metabolism in regulation of gene expression in normal and diseased eukaryotic cells. 

Click here for the Grzechnik lab website


  • PhD in Molecular Biology – University of Warsaw
  • MSc in Biotechnology – University of Warsaw


Following completion of an MSc in Biotechnology Pawel joined Professor Joanna Kufel's group in the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Warsaw as a Wellcome Trust PhD student, where he performed detailed research on 3’ end processing and transcription termination of small nucleolar RNA in yeast. Pawel then was awarded with an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship to start his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Nicholas Proudfoot at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. During his time in Professor Proudfoot’s lab, Pawel investigated transcription termination and processing of coding and non-coding RNA in yeast, Archaea and humans. In 2016 Pawel was awarded with a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to establish his own group in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Prospective masters and PhD students interested in RNA biology are encouraged to contact Pawel directly. 


Grzechnik lab website

Our goal is to answer how gene expression is regulated and consequently controls cellular protein level. In particular, we aim to reveal novel roles for major gene expression regulators called CTD readers, which via interaction with the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA Polymerase II regulate all transcriptional events as well as RNA processing and stability. Elucidating how these factors "police" RNA synthesis and turnover will allow us to understand the basic principles of cancer and other genetic diseases.

We investigate roles for CTD readers in human cells and in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In our research we combine classical molecular biology methods with cutting-edge techniques employing next generation sequencing.

We are currently studying:

  • The landscape of RNA Polymerase II modifications
  • Oncoproteins in regulation of the transcriptional cycle
  • Degradation of stress-induced mRNA

Other activities

  • Member of the EMBO FellowsNet
  • Member of the Polish Biochemical Society
  • Reviewer for PLOS Genetics


  • Grzechnik P.*, Szczepaniak A.S., Dhir S., Adamska D., Matuszek Z., Mischo H., Proudfoot N.J.*, Kufel J.* Cap-associated proteins interfere with snoRNP synthesis in yeast. * joint corresponding authors. In preparation
  • Grzechnik P., Braglia P., Clouet-d`Orval B., Bell S. D., Proudfoot N.J. Archaeal aCPSF1 is associated with RNA Polymerase transcription termination and DNA damage response. RNA, under revision.
  • Grzechnik P., Gdula M. R., Proudfoot N.J. (2015) Pcf11 orchestrates transcription termination pathways in yeast. Genes Dev. 29, 849-61.
  • Grzechnik P., Tan-Wong S.M., Proudfoot N.J. (2014) Terminate and make a loop: regulation of transcriptional directionality. Trends Biochem. Sci. 39, 319-327. Review.
  • Skowronek E., Grzechnik P., Späth B., Marchfelder A., Kufel J. (2014) tRNA 3' processing in yeast involves tRNase Z, Rex1, and Rrp6. RNA 20, 115-30.
  • Mischo H.E., Gómez-González B., Grzechnik P., Rondón A.G., Wei W., Steinmetz L., Aguilera A., Proudfoot N.J. (2011) Yeast Sen1 helicase protects the genome from transcription-associated instability. Mol. Cell 41, 21-32.
  • Grzechnik P., Kufel J. (2008) Polyadenylation linked to transcription termination directs the processing of snoRNA precursors in yeast. Mol. Cell 32, 247-58.
  • Piwowarski J., Grzechnik P., Dziembowski A., Dmochowska A., Minczuk M., Stepien P. P. (2003) Human polynucleotide phosphorylase, hPNPase, is localized in mitochondria. J. Mol. Biol. 329, 853-7.