Marcin Golczak, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
School of Medicine
Cleveland Center for Membrane & Structural Biology

The main interest in my laboratory revolves around the elucidation principles of eye physiology at the molecular level, discerning mechanisms of their regulation, and pathophysiological consequences of their malfunction for ocular health. Based on this knowledge, our goal is to design, test, and validate, new therapeutic strategies against prevalent eye disorders, including age-related retinal degeneration or dry eye syndrome. 

Over the last several years, we have performed productive research focused on understanding biochemical principles governing lipid metabolism in the eye. We have contributed substantially to understanding the mechanistic principles of ocular retinoid metabolism, regeneration of the visual chromophore, and the production of unique lipids involved in forming the protective tear film. Based on our education and training, we have successfully combined methods of organic and protein chemistry, structural biology, and modern instrumental analytical techniques with in vivo studies to elucidate fundamental processes responsible for maintaining eye health as well as predicted pathophysiological consequences of their malfunction. Building upon these basic discoveries, we developed and tested novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of progressive retinal diseases and dry eye syndrome. This experience encouraged us to look for new promising pharmacological targets and spearhead innovative projects that aim at developing methods of preventing and preserving ocular health.  



Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Kolesnikov AV, Vasudevan S, Park PS, Kefalov VJ, Golczak M. Acyl-CoA:wax alcohol acyltransferase 2 modulates the cone visual cycle in mouse retina. FASEB J. 2022 Jul;36(7):e22390. doi: 10.1096/fj.202101855RRR. PMID: 35665537; PMCID: PMC9205179.

Silvaroli JA, Plau J, Adams CH, Banerjee S, Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Blaner WS, Golczak M. Molecular basis for the interaction of cellular retinol binding protein 2 (CRBP2) with nonretinoid ligands. J Lipid Res. 2021;62:100054. doi: 10.1016/j.jlr.2021.100054. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33631211; PMCID: PMC8010219.

Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Silvaroli JA, Chelstowska S, Trischman T, Bederman I, Sayegh R, Golczak M. Deficiency in Acyl-CoA:Wax Alcohol Acyltransferase 2 causes evaporative dry eye disease by abolishing biosynthesis of wax esters. FASEB J. 2020 Oct;34(10):13792-13808. doi: 10.1096/fj.202001191R. Epub 2020 Aug 26. PMID: 32851726; PMCID: PMC7722226.

Silvaroli JA, Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Trischman T, Chelstowska S, Horwitz S, Banerjee S, Kiser PD, Blaner WS, Golczak M. Abnormal Cannabidiol Modulates Vitamin A Metabolism by Acting as a Competitive Inhibitor of CRBP1. ACS Chem Biol. 2019 Mar 15;14(3):434-448. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.8b01070. Epub 2019 Feb 18. PMID: 30721022; PMCID: PMC6420351.

Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Golczak M. The molecular aspects of absorption and metabolism of carotenoids and retinoids in vertebrates. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2020 Nov;1865(11):158571. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2019.158571. Epub 2019 Nov 23. PMID: 31770587; PMCID: PMC7244374.