About us

A Szentágothai János Kutatóközpont a PTE korszerű, nemzetközi tudományszervezési és menedzsment normák szerint kialakított új intézménye, amely az élettudományi, élettelen természettudományi, valamint környezettudományi oktatás...



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Wnt Signalling and Biotechnology Research Group

  • Research concept
  • Members
  • Publications
  • R and D results
  • Services
  • Laboratories, instruments
  • Galéria

Our research group focuses on the involvement of Wnt signaling in the ageing process of the lungs and the thymus. Wnt signaling plays a pivotal role in physiological aging as well as in age-associated diseases including cancer formation and inflammation.

Dr. Krisztián Kvell
associate professor
Dr. Luca Járomi
assistant professor
Dr. Krisztina Bánfai
Laboratóriumi vezető
Judit Bóvári-Biri
research fellow
Kitti Garai
assistant lecturer
Zoltán Ádám
PhD student

Dr. Zsófia Török
PhD student
Amina Soltani
PhD student
  • Papp H, Zeghbib S, Földes F, Banfai K, Madai M, Kemenesi G, Urbán P, Kvell K, Jakab F, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Infection Triggers the Upregulation of the Wnt Signaling Pathway Inhibitor Genes, Virus Genes. 2020 Apr 25. doi: 10.1007/s11262-020-01759-z. Online ahead of print.

  • Papp E, Steib A, Abdelwahab EM, Meggyes-Rapp J, Jakab L, Smuk G, Schlegl E, Moldvay J, Sárosi V, Pongracz JE, Feasibility Study of in Vitro Drug Sensitivity Assay of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Adenocarcinomas, BMJ Open Respir Res. 2020 Jun;7(1):e000505.doi: 10.1136/bmjresp-2019-000505.

  • Kiss E, Abdelwahab EHMM, Steib A, Papp E, Torok Z, Jakab L, Smuk G, Sarosi V, Pongracz JE, Cisplatin Treatment Induced Interleukin 6 and 8 Production Alters Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Migration in an Oncogenic Mutation Dependent Manner, Respir Res. 2020 May 20;21(1):120.doi: 10.1186/s12931-020-01389-x.

  • Elhusseiny Mohamed Mahmud Abdelwahab, Judit Rapp, Diana Feller, Veronika Csongei, Szilard Pal, Domokos Bartis, David R Thickett, Judit Erzsebet Pongracz,  Wnt signaling regulates trans-differentiation of stem cell like Type 2 alveolar epithelial cells to Type 1 epithelial cells. Respiratory Research 2019

  • Garai, K., Adam, Z., Herczeg, R, Katai, E., Nagy, T., Pal, S., Gyenesei, A., Pongracz, JE., Wilhelm, M., Kvell, K.: Artificial neural network correlation and biostatistics evaluation of physiological and molecular parameters in healthy young individuals performing regular exercise 2019. Front Physiol 

  • Vas V, Háhner T, Kudlik G, Ernszt D, Kvell K, Kuti D, Kovács KJ, Tóvári J, Trexler M, Merő BL, Szeder B, Koprivanacz K, Buday L. Analysis of Tks4 Knockout Mice Suggests a Role for Tks4 in Adipose Tissue Homeostasis in the Context of Beigeing. Cells. 2019 Aug 5;8(8). pii: E831. doi: 10.3390/cells8080831.

  • Banfai K, Garai K, Ernszt D, Pongracz JE, Kvell K. Transgenic Exosomes for Thymus Regeneration. Front Immunol. 2019 Apr 24;10:862. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00862. 

  • Banfai K, Ernszt D, Pap A, Bai P, Garai K, Belharazem D, Pongracz JE, Kvell K. ‚Beige‘ Cross Talk between the Immune System and Metabolism. Front. Endocrinol.2019 May 24.  doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00369.7

  • Abdelwahab EMM, Pal S, Kvell K, Sarosi V, Bai P, Rue R, Krymskaya V, McPhail D, Porter A, Pongracz JE. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a key determinant of the rare disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis and provides a novel therapeutic target. Oncogene. 2019 Apr;38(16):3093-3101. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0625-1. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

  • Feller D, Kun J, Ruzsics I, Rapp J, Sarosi V, Kvell K, Helyes Z, Pongracz JE. Cigarette Smoke-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation Becomes Systemic by Circulating Extracellular Vesicles Containing Wnt5a and Inflammatory Cytokines. Front Immunol. 2018 Jul 25;9:1724. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01724. eCollection 2018.

  • Boda F, Banfai K, Garai K, Curticapean A, Berta L, Sipos E, Kvell K. Effect of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes Snake Venom on the Human Cytokine Network. Toxins (Basel). 2018 Jun 25;10(7). pii: E259. doi: 10.3390/toxins10070259.

  • Ernszt D, Banfai K, Kellermayer Z, Pap A4 Lord JM, Pongracz JE, Kvell K.PPARgamma Deficiency Counteracts Thymic Senescence. Front Immunol. 2017 Nov 6;8:1515. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01515. eCollection 2017.

  • Pénzes Á, Mahmud Abdelwahab EM, Rapp J, Péteri ZA, Bovári-Biri J, Fekete C, Miskei G, Kvell K, Pongrácz JE. Toxicology studies of primycin-sulphate using a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro human liver aggregate model. Toxicol Lett. 2017 Nov 5;281:44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.09.005. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

  • Rapp J, Jaromi L, Kvell K, Miskei G, Pongracz JE. WNT signaling - lung cancer is no exception. Respir Res. 2017 Sep 5;18(1):167. doi: 10.1186/s12931-017-0650-6.

  • Vesel M., Rapp J., Feller, D., Kiss, E., Jaromi, L., Meggyes, M, Miskei, G., Duga, B., Smuk, G., Laszlo, T., Karner, I., Pongracz, J.E.: ABCB1 and ABCG2 drug transporters are differentially expressed in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and expression is modified by cisplatin treatment via altered Wnt signaling. 2017. Respiratory Research 18:52 DOI 10.1186/s12931-017-0537-6

  • Rapp J, Kiss E, Meggyes M, Szabo-Meleg E, Feller D, Smuk G, Laszlo T, Sarosi V, Molnar TF, Kvell K, Pongracz JE. Increased Wnt5a in squamous cell lung carcinoma inhibits endothelial cell motility. BMC Cancer. 2016 Nov 23;16(1):915.

  • Dülk M, Kudlik G, Fekete A, Ernszt D, Kvell K, Pongrácz JE, Merő BL, Szeder B, Radnai L, Geiszt M, Csécsy DE, Kovács T, Uher F, Lányi Á, Vas V, Buday L. The scaffold protein Tks4 is required for the differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) into adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 6;6:34280. doi: 10.1038/srep34280.

  • Bartis D, Crowley LE, D'Souza VK, Borthwick L, Fisher AJ, Croft AP, Pongrácz Thompson R, Langman G, Buckley CD, Thickett DR. Role of CD248 as a potential severity marker in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. BMC Pulm Med. 2016 Apr 14;16(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12890-016-0211-7. (IF: 2.5)

  • Kovacs T, Csongei V, Feller D, Ernszt D, Smuk G, Sarosi V, Jakab L, Kvell K, Bartis D, Pongracz JE. Alteration in the Wnt microenvironment directly regulates molecular events leading to pulmonary senescence. Aging Cell. 2014 Oct;13(5):838-49. doi: 10.1111/acel.12240. (IF: 6.3)

  • Kvell K, Fejes AV, Parnell SM, Pongracz JE. Active Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is required for embryonic thymic epithelial development and functionality ex vivo. Immunobiology. 2014 Aug;219(8):644-52. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2014.03.017. (IF: 3.0)

  • Bartis D, Csongei V, Weich A, Kiss E, Barko S, Kovacs T, Avdicevic M, D'Souza VK, Rapp J, Kvell K, Jakab L, Nyitrai M, Molnar TF, Thickett DR, Laszlo T,Pongracz JE. Down-regulation of canonical and up-regulation of non-canonical Wnt signalling in the carcinogenic process of squamous cell lung carcinoma. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57393. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057393. (IF: 4.5)

  • Kvell, K. and Pongracz, J.: Central immune senescence, reversal potentials. In Senescence. Ed: Tetsuji Nagata, INTECH On-line Publishers, Rijeka, Croatia 2012 (ISBN 978-953-51-0144-4)

  • Varecza, Z., Kvell, K., Talabér, G., Miskei, G., Csongei, V., Bartis, D., Anderson, G., Jenkinson, E.J., Pongracz, J.E.: Multiple suppression pathways of canonical Wnt signalling control thymic epithelial senescence. 2011. Mech. Ageing Dev. 10.1016/j.mad.2011.04.007 (IF: 4.2)

  • Talaber, G., Kvell, K., Varecza, Z., Boldizsar, F., Parnell, S.M., Jenkinson, E.J., Anderson, G., Berki, T., Pongracz J.E.: Wnt-4 protects thymic epithelial cells against Dexamethasone-induced senescence. 2011. Rejuvenation Research, 14(3): doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1110 (IF: 4.2)
    Kvell, K., Varecza, Z., Bartis, D., Hesse, S., Parnell, S., Anderson, G., Jenkinson, E.J., Pongracz J.E.: Wnt4 and LAP2alpha as pacemakers of thymic epithelial senescence. 2010. PLoS One 5: e10701 (IF: 4.35)

  • Molnár, T.F., Pongrácz, J.E.: Tissue engineering and biotechnology in general thoracic surgery. 2010. Eur. J. Cardiothorac. Surg. 37: 1402-1410 (IF: 2.8)

  • Kvell, K., Czömpöly, T., Hiripi, L., Balogh, P., Kóbor, J., Bodrogi, L., Pongrácz, J.E., Ritchie, W.A., Bősze, Z.: Characterization of eGFP-transgenic Balb/c mouse strain established by lentiviral transgenesis. 2010. Transgenic Res. 19: 105-112 (IF: 2.8)


  • Pongracz JE: Lung tissue model, 2013, Hungary -HU1200206
  • Pongracz JE: Lung tissue model, 2013, Singapore - SG201108022-3
  • Pongracz JE: Lung tissue model, 2014, China
  • Pongracz JE: Lung tissue model, 2014, Taiwan
  • Pongracz JE, Bartis D: Lung tissue model, 2015, USA - US20120045770
  • Pongracz JE: Lung tissue model - AU2010244121

Our research group is specialized on providing services in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research. The applied methodology includes: 3D bioprinting for educational and research purposes, recombinant viruses, transgenic cells and tissues, gene cloning and modification, inducible vectors, complex tissue models (lung, thymus, liver etc).


  • molecular biology laboratory
  • tissue culture laboratory suitable for murine or human tissue processing


  • Biobot 3D bioprinter
  • Nanostring high content screening platform
  • 3D high accuracy qPCR platform
  • LAS4000 laser protein analyser
  • Nanodrop / Qubit spectrophotometers

Wnt Signalling Research Group

Prof. Dr. Judit Pongrácz
Research Group Leader