Krzysztof Żak

krzysiek żak

I am interested in structural biology and biochemistry for both structure-based drug discovery and basic science applications. I obtained my PhD in Poland and have worked in Germany as a postdoctoral researcher. Now I am working on molecular basis of hypusination.

Scientific Awards and Fellowships

  • m4award 2019 supported by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, State Development and Energy for the project “Development of novel antibiotics for the treatment of infections with multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (FRAgment based antiBIOTICS – FRABIOTICS).“ (2019)
  • Principal Investigator of ETIUDA grant funded by National Science Center of Poland, title: “Structural studies on the interaction of the human PD-1/PD-L1 immune receptor complex and its inhibitors”. (2016)


  1. Structure and molecular recognition mechanism of IMP-13 beta-lactamase. Softley C*, Zak KM*, Bostock MJ*, Fino R, Zhou RX, Kolonko M, Mejdi-Nitiu R, Meyer H, Sattler M, Popowicz G. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 May 21;64(6):e00123-20. *equal author contribution
  2. Crystal Structure of Kluyveromyces lactis Glucokinase (KlGlk1). Zak KM, Kalińska M, Wątor E, Kuśka K, Krutyhołowa R, Dubin G, Popowicz GM, Grudnik P. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 28;20(19). pii: E4821.
  3. Structure and characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus lipase B with a unique, oversized regulatory subdomain. Huang W, Lan D, Popowicz GM, Zak KM, Zhao Z, Yuan H, Yang B, Wang Y. FEBS J. 2019 Jun;286(12):2366-2380.
  4. Small-molecule inhibitors of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint alleviate the PD-L1-induced exhaustion of T-cells. Skalniak L*, Zak KM*, Guzik K, Magiera K, Musielak B, Pachota M, Szelazek B, Kocik J, Grudnik P, Tomala M, Krzanik S, Pyrc K, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 7;8(42):72167-72181. *equal author contribution
  5. Bioactive Macrocyclic Inhibitors of the PD-1/PD-L1 Immune Checkpoint. Magiera-Mularz K, Skalniak L, Zak KM, Musielak B, Rudzinska-Szostak E, Berlicki Ł, Kocik J, Grudnik P, Sala D, Zarganes-Tzitzikas T, Shaabani S, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Oct 23;56(44):13732-13735.
  6. Structural Biology of the Immune Checkpoint Receptor PD-1 and Its Ligands PD-L1/PD-L2. Zak KM, Grudnik P, Magiera K, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. Structure. 2017 Aug 1;25(8):1163-1174.
  7. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the Programmed Cell Death-1/Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) Interaction via Transiently Induced Protein States and Dimerization of PD-L1. Guzik K, Zak KM, Grudnik P, Magiera K, Musielak B, Törner R, Skalniak L, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. J Med Chem. 2017 Jul 13;60(13): 5857-5867.
  8. A Unique Mdm2-Binding Mode of the 3-Pyrrolin-2-one- and 2-Furanone-Based Antagonists of the p53-Mdm2 Interaction. Surmiak E, Twarda-Clapa A, Zak KM, Musielak B, Tomala MD, Kubica K, Grudnik P, Madej M, Jablonski M, Potempa J, Kalinowska-Tluscik J, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. ACS Chem Biol. 2016 Dec 16;11(12):3310-3318.
  9. Structural basis for small molecule targeting of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Zak KM, Grudnik P, Guzik K, Zieba BJ, Musielak B, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. Oncotarget. 2016 May 24;7(21):30323-35.
  10. Structure of the Complex of Human Programmed Death 1, PD-1, and Its Ligand PD-L1. Zak KM, Kitel R, Przetocka S, Golik P, Guzik K, Musielak B, Dömling A, Dubin G, Holak TA. Structure. 2015 Dec 1;23(12):2341-2348.
  11. Mdm2 and MdmX inhibitors for the treatment of cancer: a patent review (2011-present). Zak K, Pecak A, Rys B, Wladyka B, Dömling A, Weber L, Holak TA, Dubin G. Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2013 Apr;23(4):425-48.


Address:   Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Gronostajowa st. 7a, 30-387 Krakow, Poland