StartUniversityNewsAcademic Year 2022/2023Professor Smoleński laureat...

Professor Smoleński laureate of the Gdańsk Nobel Prize



from left: Prof. Jerzy Blażejowski – president of the Gdańsk Scientific Society, chairman of the chapter in the category of humanities and social sciences, Prof. Jacek Zaucha, vice-president of Gdańsk Monika Chabior, Prof. Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński, Prof. Grzegorz Wegrzyn – chairman of the chapter in the category of natural and exact sciences, president of the Gdańsk Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences

For the 35th time, the City of Gdańsk has been awarded the Jan Hevelius Science Awards. During the ceremony, which was traditionally held on January 28, the anniversary of the birth of its patron, for outstanding scientific achievements in 2022, Deputy Mayor of Gdańsk Monika Chabior presented awards in two categories – natural and exact sciences and humanities and social sciences. The winner of the first was Prof. Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński, Head of the Department of Biochemistry of the MUG, Leader of Priority Research Area 3 | Biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology, awarded for his research on nucleotide metabolism in human diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases. The second statuette went to Prof. Jacek Zaucha, head of the Department of International Economics and Economic Development at UG, who was recognized for his work on developing a methodology for studying the spatial development of marine areas.

I am honored by this award, which comes at a time of an explosion of scientific opportunities in our city. Two Gdańsk universities have been included in the group of 10 research universities, and the combination of the potentials of Fahrenheit University will allow the creation of a unique academic center not only on a Polish scale, – Prof. Smoleński noted. – Very many people have contributed to the fact that I am standing here today, for which I would like to thank everyone. In medical science, research is not carried out by individuals, but by teams, and I am grateful to the staff of the Department of Biochemistry, with whom I have the honor of working.

The ceremony was attended by, among others, Prof. Edyta Szurowska, Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs, Prof. Ewa Słomińska, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Marcin Renke, Director of the University Centre for Maritime and Tropical Medicine in Gdynia, the winners of previous editions of the Jan Hevelius Award – Prof. Michał Wozniak and Prof. Krzysztof Narkiewicz, as well as Prof. Smoleński’s relatives and colleagues.


from left: Prof. Edyta Szurowska, Prof. Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński, Monika Chabior, Prof. Ewa Słomińska

Professor Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński is an internationally recognized specialist in medical biology, biochemistry, and physiology, particularly nucleotide metabolism, – Professor Grzegorz Wegrzyn, chairman of the chapter in the category of natural and exact sciences, emphasized at the beginning of the laudation. – His research contributes to a more accurate understanding of the mechanisms of cardiovascular, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as to the improvement of diagnostic methods and the search for new drugs.

Prof. Smoleński’s research is aimed at finding new drugs, or rather molecular targets of drug action in cardiovascular and cancer diseases. The concert on explaining why the development of these diseases occurs and searches for biomarkers or substances that could indicate the presence or progression of these pathologies. The results of these studies have led to the identification of AMP deaminase as a therapeutic target in heart disease and endothelial dysfunction. They also led to the discovery that inhibition of adenosine ecto-deaminase activity in vessel walls slows the atherosclerotic process and that increased ecto-5-nucleotidase activity inhibits rejection in interspecies grafts.


from left: prof. Jacek Zaucha, prof. Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński

The Jan Heweliusz Academic Award of the City of Gdańsk is the most important scientific award, established in 1987. It is awarded by a chapter composed of the presidents of the Gdańsk Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Gdańsk Scientific Society, the rectors of state universities in Gdańsk, a representative of the mayor of the city, previous winners and representatives of non-public universities in Gdańsk.


from left: Prof. Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński i wiceprezydent Gdańska Monika Chabior

Professor Ryszard Tomasz Smoleński has served as head of the Department of Biochemistry at the Medical University of Gdańsk since 2016. He is a 1986 graduate of the Faculty of Medicine of the then-Medical Academy in Gdańsk. He defended his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Julian Swierczynski in 1990. He received his postdoctoral degree in 2000 and his professorship in 2016. From 1997 to 2009, he headed the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group operating within the Heart Science Centre, Imperial College London headed by Prof. Magdi H. Yacoub. He has worked or interned at research centers in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United States. His main research areas are nucleotide metabolism and energy metabolism in the heart, the study of changes in these processes in pathology, and the development of new therapies. The spectrum of ongoing research work includes the development of new analytical methods based on LC/MS, research using genetic models of human diseases, clinical studies of disease mechanisms, and the identification of new biomarkers.

photo Joanna Śliwińska/MUG