Piotr Szwedziak

Group Leader

Laboratory of Structural Cell Biology



Dream profession of your childhood?

Seeing the invisible, which is looking at tiny things in tiny organisms.

Your dream profession - now?

Not much changed.

What melody do you hum when working in the lab?

Can not multitask, so stay 100% focused on my experiments.

Your favourite joke about scientists?

Never heard any :) 



Dr. Piotr Szwedziak received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Cambridge for his work on the bacterial cytoskeleton conducted under the supervision of Jan Löwe at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge. As a bridging postdoc with Jan (2012-2015), Piotr elucidated the molecular mechanism of bacterial cell division using cryoEM as his major technique. Then he joined Martin Pilhofer’s lab at ETH Zürich to study a highly dynamic secretion system in pathogenic bacteria. From May 2019 Piotr has been a group leader at the ReMedy Unit and his Laboratory of Structural Cell Biology is additionally supported by an EMBO Installation Grant.



Laboratory of Structural Cell Biology

The overarching goal of the Laboratory of Structural Cell Biology is to understand cellular organization and architecture at the macromolecular level in health and disease. For that we employ a multiscale approach, combining biochemistry with cryoEM, predominantly electron cryotomography of whole cells. By uncovering molecular details of fundamental cellular processes, we want to better understand human disease.




  • Cambridge European Trust Bursary



  • Boehringer Ingelheim PhD Fellowship


  • EMBO Installation Grant - 2020-2023




  • Tian Y, Liang R, Kumar A,  ✉︎ Szwedziak P, Viles JH (2020) 3D-visualization of amyloid-β oligomer and fibril interactions with lipid membranes by cryo-electron tomography. bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/2020.07.21.214072,



  • Szwedziak P and ✉Pilhofer M (2019) Bidirectional contraction of a type six secretion system. Nature Communications 10.1038/s41467-019-09603-1,



  • *Kooger R, *Szwedziak P, Böck D, ✉Pilhofer M (2018) CryoEM of bacterial secretion systems. Curr Opin Struct Biol 52:64-70,

  • *Hussain S, *Wivagg CN, Szwedziak P, Wong F, Schaefer K, Izore T, Renner LD, Holmes MJ, Sun Y, Bisson-Filho AW, Walker S, Amir A, Löwe J, ✉Garner EC (2018) MreB filaments align along greatest principle membrane curvature to orient cell wall synthesis. eLife 10.7554/eLife.32471,



  • ✉Szwedziak P, Ghosal D (2017) FtsZ-ring architecture and its control by MinCD. Subcell Biochem 84:213-244,

  • A chapter in the book: Prokaryotic Cytoskeletons: Filamentous protein polymers active in the cytoplasm of bacterial and archaeal cells,

  • Lariviere PJ, Szwedziak P, Mahone CR, Löwe J, ✉Goley ED (2017) FzlA, an essential regulator of FtsZ filament curvature, controls constriction rate for Caulobacter division. Mol Microbiol 107:180-197.



  • *Szwedziak P, *Wang Q, Bharat TAM, Tsim M, ✉Löwe J (2014) Architecture of the ring formed by the tubulin homologue FtsZ in bacterial cell division. eLife 10.7554/eLife.04601.



  • Szwedziak P, ✉Löwe J (2013) Do the divisome and elongasome share a common evolutionary past? Curr Opin Microbiol 16:745-751.



  • Szwedziak P, Wang Q, Freund SM, ✉Löwe J (2012) FtsA forms actin-like filaments. EMBO J 31:2249-2260.


Google Scholar: https://bit.ly/3tFz6jX



e-mail:  p.szwedziak@imol.institute

Personal Website: https://cryo-et.weebly.com/

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5766-0873