Photo of Emilia Wiechec

Emilia Wiechec

Associate Professor, Docent

Cancer and genes that regulate (cancer) cell stemness

I have received MSc degree in the field of biotechnology of microorganisms from the Silesian University (Poland), PhD in the area of cancer biology and genetics at the Aarhus University (Denmark). 

Intensive training in advanced microscopy techniques, cell signalling, and host-virus interactions at the University of Manitoba (Canada) and post-doctoral training in immunology at University of Magdeburg (Germany).

My research

My research area spans both cancer and genes that regulate (cancer) cell stemness. I investigate pro-survival and apoptotic pathways triggered in cancer (stem) cells (CSCs) by anticancer drugs.

Reprogramming is a very strong cellular and genetic stressor, therefore induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived tissues have higher propensity for cancer development. I aim at development of new anti-cancer drugs, preferentially targeting CSCs.

I study also genomic instability, which can be translated into the clinical application through development of biomarkers for early detection of cancer, as well as prognosis and prediction of treatment outcome for cancer patients.

Linking cancer genetics, cancer immunology and immunogenetics in combination with better knowledge of pathways that regulate cell survival and cell death lead to elimination of CSCs. This forms basis for future therapeutic strategies towards cancer.

My research expertise covers:

  • chromosomal alterations in cancer
  • genetic and epigenetic changes in cancer
  • cancer theranostics
  • targeting cancer based on molecular and biochemical profiles
  • cell signalling pathways in cancer
  • cell cycle regulation and cell stemness
  • molecular mechanisms underlying virus infection



Natasa Matic, Lina Pettersson, Felicia Sellebjerg, Lina Lindberg, Karin Roberg, Emilia Wiechec (2024) Prognostic value of hypoxia-responsive gene expression profile in patients diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma Translational Oncology, Vol. 39, Article 101841 Continue to DOI


Klaudia Mazurek, Wirginia Likus, Krzysztof Siemianowicz, Emilia Wiechec, Robert Kwiatkowski, Ewa Pierzchala, Dominika Wcislo-Dziadecka, Jaroslaw Markowski (2023) Assessment of connective tissue metabolism in patients with head and neck malignancies treated with radiotherapy Otolaryngologia Polska, Vol. 77, p. 23-29 Continue to DOI
Filip Machaj, Jakub Rosik, Bartosz Szostak, Damian Malinowski, Krzysztof Safranow, Gabriela Oledzka, Emilia Wiechec, Andrzej Pawlik (2023) The association between CYB5A gene rs1790834 polymorphism and clinical improvement after 6 months of leflunomide treatment in women with rheumatoid arthritis Clinical Rheumatology, Vol. 42, p. 2477-2483 Continue to DOI

Higher education

2010 Ph.D degree in Medical Sciences from the Aarhus University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Human Genetics, Denmark.

2005 MSc degree in Biotechnology from the University of Silesia, Poland.

Current and previous employment

November 2011 – Forskarassistent, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE), Linköping University, Sweden.

April 2010 – October 2011: Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.

June – October 2007: Visiting researcher at the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Genomic Center for Cancer Research and Diagnosis, Cancer Care Manitoba, Canada.

March 2007 – February 2010: Ph.D fellow at the Aarhus University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Human Genetics, Denmark.

April – September 2006: Visiting researcher at the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Cancer Care Manitoba, Canada.