Dominika Gruszka

Dominika Gruzska Main Profile

Dominika Gruszka

Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow

01865 272084

Research group

Gruszka Lab



My research group aims to understand how epigenetic information is maintained in time. We study chromatin, the protein-DNA complex that packages DNA in eukaryotic cells. The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, in which DNA is wrapped around histone proteins. Chromatin is partitioned into distinct functional domains that determine cellular identity. Nucleosomes carry domain-specific epigenetic labels that modulate chromatin structure and dynamics. During DNA replication, chromatin undergoes a major structural rearrangement. First, nucleosomes are disassembled from parental DNA, followed by their reassembly on duplicated DNA from the pool of recycled (parental) and new histones. We employ interdisciplinary strategies, which span real-time single-molecule imaging, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, to probe chromatin dynamics during DNA replication. In particular, we investigate the effect of domain-specific epigenetic labels on nucleosome dynamics to unravel how chromatin structures and their associated epigenetic landscape are maintained.


I obtained a MSc degree in Physical Biochemistry from the Jagiellonian University (Cracow, Poland, 2008) and a PhD in Structural Biology from the University of York (2013). For my PhD studies, I was awarded a British Heart Foundation studentship to investigate the structure, dynamics and function of the staphylococcal protein SasG, a target for anti-biofilm drug and vaccine development. In 2012-2015, I was a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of Prof. Jane Clarke at the Chemistry Department, University of Cambridge, where I employed ensemble and single-molecule biophysical techniques to dissect protein-mediated biofilm formation in bacteria. I then decided to apply my biophysical skillset to answer a challenging eukaryotic question and joined the laboratory of Dr Hasan Yardimci at the Francis Crick Institute to study eukaryotic DNA replication using single-molecule imaging in Xenopus egg extracts (2015-2021). In 2022, I was awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society to establish my own laboratory at the Department of Physics and Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery. My Fellowship research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of histone inheritance during DNA replication.


St Catherine’s College