Horizon for Excellence in messenger RNA applications in immunoOncology (HERO)


mRNA technology is the future of biological drugs. It is currently one of the most innovative directions of development in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. This is also the topic of research of the HERO project, funded by the Polish Science Fund within the Virtual Research Institute. In the HERO project, an interdisciplinary team of scientists uses their experience and original ideas to develop a therapeutic mRNA technology that can be used in cancer immunotherapy. In addition, the project also aims to refine the mRNA technology and apply it to the treatment of other diseases.


Project is implemented in consortium of four scientific institutions: the leader - International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw (IIMCB), Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences  (IChF), University of Warsaw (UW),  Medical University of Warsaw (MUW).


 Interdisciplinary research team:



  • Prof. Andrzej Dziembowski (IIMCB) - Professor of Biological Sciences with years of experience in mechanistic studies using biochemical and structural biology methods, transcriptomics, and organism-level functional studies.


Key members:

  • Prof. dr hab. Marta Miączyńska (IIMCB) - Professor of Biological Sciences, expert of endocytosis and intracellular transport. Within the project she is responsible for the analysis of mRNA release from endosomes.


  • Prof. dr hab. Marcin Nowotny (IIMCB) - Professor of Biological Sciences, crystallographer, expert in the catalysis of enzymes involved in nucleic acid metabolism. He has extensive research experience in protein production and characterization.


  • Prof. dr hab. Robert Hołyst (IChF) - Expert in the use of fluorescence techniques to study the movement, diffusion and interactions of macromolecules in cells. In this project responsible for providing quantitative data on mRNA inside cells.



  • Prof. dr hab. Dominika Nowis i prof. dr hab. Jakub Gołąb (MUW) - medical doctors, specialized in cancer immunotherapy, experienced experts in the implementation of experimental therapies. As part of the project, they are responsible for providing innovative therapeutic ideas and conducting preclinical studies on mouse and human dendritic cells.

Project implementation period Total budget
01.02.2022 – 31.01.2027 69 160 450 PLN


More information:


Prof. A. Dziembowski about the project                                            Prof. M. Miączyńska about the project:

dziembowski          Miaczynska




  • prof. Andrzej Dziembowski, Leader of the Research Task, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Zofia Korbut-Mikołajczyk, Coordinator of the Research Task, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Promotion: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Project is financed within the Virtual Research Institute of the Polish Science Fund source.

Virtual Research Institute (VIB) is a  program financing research with a high commercialization potential in one of the key areas for society i.e. medical biotechnology – oncology. The Virtual Research Institute was defined by The April 4, 2019 Act on Supporting Scientific Activity From the Polish Science Fund. VIB is dedicated to the most talented polish scientists conducting research activities on the highest world class level – representants of universities as well as of scientific and research institutes. The Minister of Science and Higher Education allocated PLN 450 million for goal of VIB. The objective of the Research Team is to develop a new technology or group of technologies in accordance with specific procedures and standards necessary for its commercialization and implementation within a maximum of five years from commencing the work.