Dr. Kamil Woronowicz

Dr. Kamil Woronowicz

Assistant Professor

kamil.woronowicz@westpoint.edu

Biography


Dr. Woronowicz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences and teaches general chemistry.  After earning a B.S. in chemistry with biology minor from Wagner College in 1999, he continued his education at Yale University.  He completed his M.S. in 2001 and Ph.D. in 2005 while interrogating function of actin cytoskeleton using structure-based designed peptides.  Comparing specificity of paralogs present in model systems, such as Mena, VASP, and Evl, as well as functional assays using extracts from frog oocytes allowed for elucidation of non-overlapping roles of EVH1 domains studied that were believed to play redundant roles in actin cytoskeleton dynamics.

Dr. Woronowicz continued his research at Harvard Medical School as an NIH NRSA Institutional Training Grant Postdoctoral Fellow.  As part of Hemostasis and Thrombosis Division, his research focused on interactions of alpha granules and cytoskeleton within human platelets.  His work provided evidence of Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor (SNARE) complexes interacting directly with actin in human as well as mouse models of thrombus formation.  

Prior to his arrival at USMA, Dr. Woronowicz studied photosynthetic protein complexes at Rutgers University.  Building on his expertise in protein characterization, he performed proteomic analyses of photosynthetic membranes isolated from purple bacteria.  This work provided a system-wide picture of which proteins were incorporated into photosynthetically active membranes, as well as identified proteins that have not been previously assigned to have any functions within the cell.   Lastly, he has expanded his research focus into utilizing photosynthetic membranes and reaction centers on electrode surfaces. While at Rutgers, he has taught general chemistry, organic chemistry, instrumental analysis lab, physical chemistry lab, as well as special topics course in molecular biology: Harnessing Solar Energy – A Major Scientific Challenge with Foremost Societal Impact for the 21st Century course.

At USMA, he has served as a course director for Organic chemistry (CH383 and CH384).  As such, he contributed to evaluating and meeting ACS and ABET requirements for accreditation of the chemistry program and chemical engineering program respectively.  Additionally, he forged several research collaborations within Photonics Research Center (PRC).  His service to cadets outside of the classroom include contributing to Kosciuszko Squadron’s activities as a Polish Language Club Assistant Officer-In-Charge where he assists with trip sections to Pulaski Day Parade in NYC, Christmas Vigil dinner (Wigilia) at the Polish League of American Veterans in Pine Island, NY, as well as providing food from local venues for the meetings and Kosciuszko Garden Clean Up Day.

 

Ongoing Research Projects


Dr. Woronowicz is part of the Multi-Functional Materials Laboratory as well as the Center for Molecular Science at West Point. The group consists of four faculty members and over 20 undergraduate researchers. The lab’s focus is to develop electro/photo-mechanical materials that serve as both structural and energy storage materials. These materials are envisioned to provide lightweight systems solutions by simultaneously building and powering devices across multiple length scales.  Dr Woronowicz’s research harnesses photosynthetic reaction centers’ ability to produce a charge separation as a result of photon absorption.  Reaction centers are protein complexes that provide electrons for the electron transport chain of photosynthesis.  These protein complexes orient small molecules (chlorophyll and carotenoids) internally for a very efficient energy transfer resulting in charge separation’s quantum yield approaching 100%.  To achieve this goal, photosynthetic organisms are grown, their active membranes are collected, and reaction centers purified using affinity chromatography.  Once purified, they are immobilized on graphene oxide electrode surfaces and examined for their activity and performance.

Recently, Dr. Woronowicz has secured DTRA funding for exploring fluorescent and electrochemical detection of viruses, to include SARS CoV-2.  This approach relies on the spike protein-Ace2 interaction which may provide detection of various strains.  Anti-spike antibody is also examined and compared to Ace2 receptor’s binding parameters.  The goal is to provide a platform for viral detection prior to infection, or for monitoring viral loads during the progression of the COVID-19 disease.

Publications & Presentations


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Cook S, Richardson L, Woronowicz K, Burpo FJ, Duncan DJ. ”Synthesis and Characterization of Fe and Ag Core/Shell Nanoparticles.” 2020 IEEE SoutheastCon,  2020, 1-3.

Alexander N. Mitropoulos*, F. John Burpo*, Chi K. Nguyen, Enoch A. Nagelli, Madeline Y. Ryu, Jenny Wang, R. Kenneth Sims, Kamil Woronowicz, J. Kenneth Wickiser. “Noble metal composite porous silk fibroin aerogel fibers.” Materials, 2019, 12(6) 894.

Mitropoulos AN, Burpo FJ, Nagelli EA, Woronowicz K, Wickiser JK. “The ARL Davis Fellowship – A Model for Undergraduate Research.” Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), AD1085052, November 24, 2019, 1-23.

Burpo FJ, Nagelli EA, Morris LA, Woronowicz K, Mitropoulos AN. “Salt-Mediated Au-Cu Nanofoam and Au-Cu-Pd Porous Macrobeam Synthesis”. Molecules. 2018, Jul 12;23(7).

Woronowicz K, Olubanjo OB, Sha D, Kay JM, Niederman RA. “Effects of the protonophore carbonyl-cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone on intracytoplasmic membrane assembly in Rhodobacter sphaeroides”. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Oct;1847(10):1119-28

Driscoll, B., Lunceford, C., Lin, S., Woronowicz, K., Niederman, R.A., Woodbury, N.W. (2014) “Energy transfer properties of Rhodobacter sphaeroides chromatophores during adaptation to low light intensity”. Phys Chem Chem Phys, 16(32): 17133-17341

Harrold, J.W., Woronowicz, K., Lamptey, J.L., Awong, J., Baird, J., Moshar, A., Vittadello, V., Falkowski, P.G., Niederman, R.A (2013) “Functional interfacing of Rhodospirillum rubrum chromatophores to a conducting support for capture and conversion of solar energy”. J. Phys. Chem. B., 117, 11249-11259

Woronowicz, K., Harrold, J.W., Kay, J.M., Niederman, R.A. (2013) “Structural and functional proteomics of intracytoplasmic membrane assembly in Rhodobacter sphaeroides”. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotech. 23 (1-2): 48-62

Woronowicz, K., Ahmed, S., Biradar, A.A., Biradar, A.V., Birnie, D.P., Asefa, T., Niederman, R.A. (2012) “Near-IR absorbing solar cell sensitized with bacterial photosynthetic membranes”. Photochem Photobiol., 88(6): 1467-1472

Woronowicz, K., Sha, D., Frese, R. N. and Niederman, R. A. (2011)” The accumulation of the light-harvesting 2 complex during remodeling of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides intracytoplasmic membrane results in a slowing of the electron transfer turnover rate of photochemical reaction centers”. Biochemistry 50: 4819-4829.

Woronowicz, K., Sha, D., Frese, R.N., Sturgis, J.N., Nanda, V. and Niederman, R.A. (2011) “The effects of protein crowding in bacterial photosynthetic membranes on the flow of quinone redox species between the photochemical reaction center and the ubiquinol-cytochrome c2 oxidoreductase”. Metallomics 3:765-774.

Woronowicz, K., Olubanjo, O.B., Sung, H.C. Lamptey, J.L. and Niederman, R.A.  (2011) “Differential assembly of polypeptides of the light-harvesting 2 complex encoded by distinct operons during acclimation of Rhodobacter sphaeroides to low light intensity”. Photosynth. Res. 108:201–214.

Woronowicz, K and Niederman RA. (2010) “Proteomic analysis of the developing intracytoplasmic membrane in Rhodobacter sphaeroides during adaptation to low light intensity”. Adv Exp Med Biol. 675:161-178.

Woronowicz K, Dilks JR, Rozenvayn N, Dowal L, Blair, PS, Peters, CG, Woronowicz L, Flaumenhaft, R. (2010) “The platelet actin cytoskeleton associates with SNAREs and participates in a-granule secretion”. Biochemistry 49:4533-4542

Holtzman JH, Woronowicz K, Golemi-Kotra D Schepartz A. (2007) “Miniature protein ligands for EVH1 domains: Interplay between affinity, specificity, and cell motility” Biochemistry 46 (47), 13541-13553

Bugacov A, Resch R, Baur C, Montoya N, Woronowicz K, Papson A, Koel BE, Requicha A, Will P. (1999) “Measuring the Tip-Sample Separation in Dynamic Force Microscopy” Probe Microscopy 1, 345-354

Abstracts & Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceeding

Gartrell Bowling, Melanie Grogger, Patrick Hallenbeck, Don Veverka, Kamil Woronowicz. “Decreased reaction center size and faster relaxation kinetics, but not electrogenic current generation, as evolutionary adaptations allowing photosynthesis in arid desert crust”. 38th Eastern Regional Photosynthesis Conference (Virtual), Selected for an oral presentation, April 2021.

Riley McHale, Allen Gong, Hyeveen Cho, Enoch A. Nagelli, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz. “Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis of Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centers immobilized onto graphene oxide electrodes”.  46th Annual Midwest/Southeast Photosynthesis Conference. (Virtual), October 2020.

Allen Gong, An Vu, Enoch A. Nagelli, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz. “Capacitance of graphene oxide electrodes coated with photosynthetic reaction centers from a purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides”. 37th Eastern Photosynthesis Conference (Virtual). Selected for an oral presentation, April 2020.

Jeffrey H. Tantow, John A. Stephen, John F. Holeman, Daniel Bahaghighat, Kamil Woronowicz, Pamela L. Sheehan, Preston C. Haney, Harry L. Moore, Enoch A. Nagelli. “Scalable synthesis and electrochemical characterization of graphene/nylon nanocomposites: Applications for ultra-lightweight and conductive energy storage and conversion devices”. 259th ACS National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, March 2020.

Alexander Hamilton, Kamil Woronowicz, Daniel Bahaghighat, Enoch A. Nagelli. “Layer-by-layer 3D construction of bacterial photoreaction centers with graphene oxide for enhanced photocurrent generation in organic photovoltaics”.  259th ACS National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, March 2020.

Allen Gong, Enoch Nagelli, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz*. “Approaching Quantum Yield Conversion of Near-infrared Photons into Light Dependent Current Using Purified Reaction Centers on Graphene Oxide Electrode.” Photosynthesis Gordon Research Conference (GRC), Newry, ME, July 2019.

Allen Gong, Enoch Nagelli, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz*. “High Quantum Yield Conversion of Infrared Photons into Charge Separation Utilizing Photosynthetic Protein Complex on Graphene Oxide Electrode.” Eastern Regional Photosynthesis Conference (ERPC), Woods Hole, MA, May 2019.

Ross Poulin, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz*, Enoch Nagelli. “Chemical Crosslinking Graphene Oxide with Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Protein Reaction Centers to Create Aerogels for Use in Biosensors.” Eastern Regional Photosynthesis Conference (ERPC), Woods Hole, MA, May 2019.

Alexander Hamilton, Kamil Woronowicz*, Enoch Nagelli “Layer-by-Layer 3D Construction of Bacterial Photoreaction Centers with Graphene Oxide for Enhanced Photocurrent Generation in Organic Photovoltaics.” Eastern Regional Photosynthesis Conference (ERPC), Woods Hole, MA, May 2019.

Gabrielle Milanesa, Alexander Mitropoulos, Kamil Woronowicz, F. John Burpo, Enoch Nagelli*. “Self-Assembly of Graphene/Noble Metal Nanotube Composite Electrodes for Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors.” American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. Pittsburg, PA, November 2018. (Poster

Enoch Nagelli*, Gabrielle Milanesa, Kamil Woronowicz, F. John Burpo, Alexander Mitropoulos. “Self-Assembly of 3D Graphene/Carbon Nanotube Electrodes Via Electrostatic Polyanion Coordination for Biosensor Applications.” American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. Pittsburg, PA, November 2018 (Oral)

Enoch Nagelli*, An Vu, Kamil Woronowicz, F. John Burpo, Alexander Mitropoulos. “Template-Free Self-Assembly of 3D Graphene/Noble Metal Nanotube Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in PEM Fuel Cells.” American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. Pittsburg, PA, November 2018 (Oral)

An Vu, Kamil Woronowicz, Alexander Mitropoulos, F. John Burpo, Enoch Nagelli*. “Self-Assembly of 3D Graphene/Carbon Nanotube Electrodes Via Poly(acrylic) Acid/Nickel Complexing for Biosensor Applications.” American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. Pittsburg, PA, November 2018 (Poster)

An Vu, Kamil Woronowicz, Alexander Mitropoulos, F. John Burpo, Enoch Nagelli*. “3D Assembly of Carbon Nanomaterials for Biosensing Applications.” American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting. Pittsburg, PA, November 2018 (Poster)

Allen Gong, Gabriela Milanesa, John Stephen, Ramsey Wagner, Andy Vu, Enoch Nagelli, F. John Burpo, Kamil Woronowicz*. “Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Reaction Centers on Carbon-Based Composite Electrodes”. Eastern Regional Photosynthesis Conference (ERPC), Woods Hole, MA, May 2018.

*Corresponding author