Pavol is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Prof. Fred Antson, at the York Structural Biology Laboratory, and closely collaborating with Dr. Paul Fogg, at the Department of Biology. He completed his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics from Masaryk University, Czechia in 2021. Previously, Pavol worked on the development of gene engineering methods of bacteriophages under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Roman Pantucek, and also, on structural studies of particles involved in the horizontal gene transfer in Dr. Pavel Plevka’s group. There he solved a structure of native and empty virion of a gene transfer agent, one of the most potent vehicles of horizontal gene transfer known to humankind.
His current project is focussed upon an investigation of nucleic acid interaction with packaging machinery of viruses and virus-derived particles. He is especially interested in overlooked viral families, which ecological value remains underestimated. Understanding processes of the viral genome packaging and securing the genome inside mature particles can help to assess evolutionary relationships between diverse classes of viruses, pathogenicity islands and gene transfer agents. Moreover, proteins responsible for the packaging may be utilized as DNA-guiding vehicles or nanopores for DNA sequencing purposes.