Krzysztof Palczewski


Prof. Krzysztof Palczewski, Ph.D. hab., (born in 1957) is a biochemist and a world-famous expert in visual biochemistry. He began his scientific career in Wrocław, completing chemical studies at the University of Wrocław and earning his Ph.D. degree at the Wrocław University of Technology. His Doctoral thesis won awards from both the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education. Between 1986 and 1989 he was employed with the University of Florida in Gainesville, the United States, and between 1990 and 1992 with the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, the United States, where he launched his laboratory. For 13 years (between 1992 and 2005) he conducted scientific studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, the United States, combining scientific work with diversified managerial functions. Between 2005 and 2018 he managed the Pharmacology Department at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the United States, leading a research team of over twenty scientists. Currently, he is employed with the Medical School at the University of California in Irvine, the United States. Prof. Palczewski has authored more than 500 scientific papers published in the leading magazines, including “Science,” “Nature” and “Molecular Cell”, as well as over 10 patents and patent applications. His significant achievements include crystallizing and describing the structure and function of rhodopsin, as well as discovering the mechanisms leading to retinal degeneration and, in consequence, to vision loss. In 2012, in recognition of these discoveries, the Foundation for Polish Science granted him the FNP Award in the field of life and earth sciences. Prof. Palczewski has also received an array of American awards, including the Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists (2000), the Friedenwald Award (2014), Maurice Saltzman Award (2014) and Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research (2014). In 2011 he received the Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Since 2015 he has been a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.