QUALIFICATIONS PROFILE

• Creative and dedicated scientist using a unique multidisciplinary approach to solve environmental and human health problems

• Expert in analytical, synchrotron-based techniques, X-ray fluorescence imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, applied to toxicology and structural biology

EDUCATION

1999-2003, Ph.D. in Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

1994-1999, B.Sc., M.Sc. in Physics, Studies of Mathematical and Natural Sciences with Physics as the leading branch, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

GRANTS, AWARDS AND HONOURS

05/2013, Beamtime award at the Advanced Photon Source (Argonne, IL)
Principal investigator of the peer-reviewed and highly scored research proposal:
“The role and origin of selenium implicated in methylmercury detoxification in human brain”

11/2010, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Two-Year Operating Grant
Regional Partnership Program-Saskatchewan
The molecular basis of mercury toxicity
Co-applicant

09/2010, Beamtime awards at the Advanced Photon Source (Argonne, IL)
Principal investigator of two submitted, peer-reviewed and highly scored research proposals:
“Efficacy studies of mercury chelators in mercury-exposed zebrafish larvae”
“Intracellular topography of mercury following organic and inorganic mercury exposures”

09/2009, Beamtime award at the Advanced Photon Source (Argonne, IL)
Principal investigator of the research proposal:
“Mercury uptake, localization and elimination in zebrafish larvae”

08/2007, 2nd best poster award
“X-ray fluorescence imaging of accumulation of organic mercury in larval stage zebrafish”
9th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation, Manchester, England

10/2003, Ph.D. with Distinction
Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

08/2001-07/2002, Marie Curie Training Fellowship (European Commission)
X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Group, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany

06/1999, M.Sc. with Distinction
Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

10/1995-06/1999, Scientific scholarship for excellent results during studies
Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

WORK EXPERIENCE

07/2013-present
Adjunct Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

01/2012-present
Staff Scientist, Canadian Light Source Inc., University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
• Development of three BioXAS (Biological X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy) beamlines specifically tailored for biological, environmental and health-related studies of metals and metalloids in living systems

• Combining immunohistochemistry and synchrotron-based techniques (Fourier Transform Infrared mapping and X-ray fluorescence imaging) to understand biochemical processes underlying methylmercury toxicity

• Understanding the role and origin of selenium implicated in methylmercury detoxification in human brain (in collaboration with University of Rochester)

06/2009-12/2011
Professional Research Associate, Molecular and Environmental Sciences Research Group, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Research advisor: Prof. Graham N. George

• Successfully combined optical fluorescence microscopy with X-ray fluorescence imaging to understand the effects of mercury accumulation in zebrafish lateral line neuromasts

• Investigated the efficacy of different mercury chelators in mercury-exposed zebrafish larvae using synchrotron-based techniques

• Revealed the key detoxification pathway for methylmercury in human brain

• Secured access to the X-ray fluorescence imaging beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source (Argonne, IL)

07/2005-05/2009
Postdoctoral fellow, Molecular and Environmental Sciences Research Group, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Research advisors: Prof. Graham N. George and Prof. Ingrid J. Pickering

• Pioneered the application of synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence imaging to quantitative studies of organic mercury disposition in developing zebrafish larvae

• Published results of the mercury study in zebrafish in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. The article was selected as a Science Highlight at CLS and SSRL, and recommended by the Faculty of 1000

• Studied biotransformation and molecular interaction of toxic metals (Hg, Se and As) in mammals using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory calculations

• Conducted several collaborative research projects, e.g. sulfur biochemistry in mammalian cell cultures and structure of a bimetallic cluster in blue protein from Desulfovibrio alaskensis bacterium

• Actively involved in the Gene Expression Mapping Using Synchrotron Light (GEMS) project

• Performed ray-tracing simulations for the future Biological X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (BioXAS) beamlines at the Canadian Light Source

10/2003-06/2005
Postdoctoral fellow, X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Group, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg, Germany
Research advisor: Dr. Wolfram Meyer-Klaucke

• Determined the structure of the iron center in the mononuclear iron-sulfur cluster-free hydrogenase (Hmd). This study was the first one to structurally characterize one of the most unique and unknown types of hydrogenases. The resulting manuscript has been recommended by the Faculty of 1000

• Developed and implemented an automated biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy data reduction suite – KEMP, which was used at beamline D2 of the EMBL Outstation Hamburg/HASYLAB, Germany

• Performed ray-tracing simulations for the planned XAS beamline at PETRA-III

10/1999-10/2003
Ph.D. student, Department of Medical Physics, Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Research advisor: Prof. Eugeniusz Rokita

• Investigated the role of gallium and strontium in bone mineralization using a model system of bone formation in vivo, i.e. rat bone marrow stromal cell culture. Bone tissue was characterized by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, micro-X-ray diffraction, micro-Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

• Obtained access to the EMBL/HASYLAB (Hamburg, Germany) X-ray absorption spectroscopy synchrotron beamline to study gallium and strontium incorporation in bone tissue (peer-review process)

• Studied pathological mineralization of human aortic homograft valves using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF)

10/1997-06/1999
M.Sc. student, Department of Nuclear Physics, Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Research advisor: Prof. Eugeniusz Rokita

• Studied the effect of gallium on bone formation in vitro using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) micro-spectroscopy and computer image analysis

• Successfully applied micro-Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and FT-IR micro-spectroscopy in structural studies of mineral deposits in human aortic wall

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

01/2012-present
Technical Advisor for SYNC 801.3 (Introduction to Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques) course, University of Saskatchewan

04/2009-12/2011
Trained and co-supervised a graduate student working on inorganic mercury disposition in zebrafish larvae

04/2006-12/2011
Trained less experienced group members in X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence imaging

10/2003-06/2005
Provided user support at the biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy beamline D2 of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg, Germany

06/2005
Tutor and lecturer at the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) BioXAS Practical Course on Metalloproteins and Organism Tissue, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany

Lectures:
• X-ray absorption spectroscopy – data collection and data reduction
• My data analysis strategy
Practical Training:
• Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) data analysis using EXCURVE
• Sample preparation, data collection and data reduction using KEMP

07/2004-10/2004
Co-supervisor of a summer student, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg, Germany

10/1999-06/2001
Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, Jagiellonian University, for the following undergraduate courses:
• Physics Laboratory I
• General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
• Physics for Biotechnology Students

PUBLICATIONS IN REFEREED JOURNALS

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

11. Probing mercury localization & transformation in tissues using X-ray fluorescence imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy
11th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP)
Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2, 2013

10. Methylmercury toxicity seen in new (synchrotron) light
4th Canadian Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (CanBIC)
Perry Sound, ON, Canada, May 23, 2013

9. Mercury toxicity: insights from zebrafish under an X-ray magnifying glass
990 Biology Seminar Series, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Canada, February 1, 2013

8. Shedding synchrotron light on mercury toxicity
11th International School and Symposium on Synchrotron Radiation in Natural Science
Kraków-Tyniec, Poland, May 21, 2012

7. Fishing for answers: zebrafish model in methylmercury poisoning
CLS 15th Annual Users’ Meeting, Saskatoon, Canada, May 3, 2012

6. Little fish shed light on mercury toxicity
Diamond Light Source, Didcot, United Kingdom, November 3, 2011

5. Shedding light on mercury toxicity in developing zebrafish larvae
Reproductive Science & Medicine seminar series, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatoon, Canada, October 25, 2010

4. Where does mercury go? Tracing the mercury whereabouts in zebrafish larvae using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging
Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, October 5, 2009

3. Imaging organic mercury uptake and tissue distribution in zebrafish with hard X-ray microprobe
CLS 11th Annual Users’ Meeting, Saskatoon, Canada, June 9, 2008

2. BioXAS project at the Canadian Light Source
3rd BioXAS Study Weekend-”Metalloproteomics”, Synchrotron Soleil, Saint-Aubin, France, August 10, 2007

1. Gallium as a modulating agent in bone tissue mineralization
Seminar series, Laboratory of X-ray and Electron Microscopy Research, Institute of Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, August 20, 2003

ORAL AND POSTER PRESENTATIONS

10. M. Korbas, T.C. MacDonald, N.J. Sylvain, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George, P.H. Krone (2012) Methylmercury and sensory organs: linking uptake with functional deficits in developing vertebrates
Platform talk at the 95st Canadian Chemistry Conference, Calgary, Canada

9. M.Korbas, J.L. O’Donoghue, G.E. Watson, I.J. Pickering, S.P. Singh, G.J. Myers, T.W. Clarkson, T.C. MacDonald, P.H. Krone, G.N. George (2011) Shining synchrotron light on the role of selenium in mercury poisoning and detoxification
Platform talk at the 10th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP), Halifax, NS, Canada

8. M. Korbas, T.C. MacDonald, N.J. Sylvain, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George, P.H. Krone (2011) The role of mercury speciation in mercury uptake and toxicity in developing zebrafish larvae
Platform talk at the 16th PRIMO (Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms) conference, Long Beach, CA, USA

7. M. Korbas, T.C. MacDonald, P.H. Krone, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George (2010) Shedding (synchrotron) light on mercury disposition in zebrafish larvae
Platform talk at the 9th International Meeting on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, Madison, WI, USA

6. M. Korbas, P.H. Krone, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George (2009) Where does all the mercury go? Tracing the mercury whereabouts in zebrafish using X-ray fluorescence imaging
Poster presented at the 12th CLS Annual Users’ Meeting, Saskatoon, Canada

5. M. Korbas, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George, P.H. Krone (2008) Towards understanding mercury toxicity: organomercury uptake in zebrafish
Platform talk at the 91st Canadian Chemistry Conference Edmonton, Canada

4. M. Korbas, I.J. Pickering, G.N. George, P.H. Krone (2007) X-ray fluorescence imaging of accumulation of organic mercury in larval stage zebrafish
Poster presented at the 9th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation, Manchester, UK

3. M. Korbas, S. Shima, R.K. Thauer, W. Meyer-Klaucke (2004) A novel metal binding motif in iron-sulfur cluster free hydrogenase (Hmd)
Poster presented at the 7th European Biological Inorganic Chemistry Conference, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

2. M. Korbas, W. Meyer-Klaucke, H. Rokita, E. Rokita (2003) XAS reveals local structure of gallium in bone similar to gallium-doped brushite
Poster presented at the Hasylab Users’ Meeting, DESY, Hamburg, Germany

1. M. Korbas, W. Meyer-Klaucke, E. Rokita (2002) XAS characterization of gallium coordination site in bone in vitro
Poster presented at the Hasylab Users’ Meeting, DESY, Hamburg, Germany

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

G.N. George, I.J. Pickering, C.J. Doonan, M. Korbas, S.P. Singh, R. Hoffmeyer (2008) Inorganic Molecular Toxicology and Chelation Therapy of Heavy Metals and Metalloids, Ch. 5 in Advances in Molecular Toxicology, (Edited by J.C. Fishbein) Vol 2: 125-155

C.H. Ryan, T.W. Wysokinski, L.D. Chapman, M. Korbas (2007) 3D rapid prototyping for synchrotron application. Proceedings of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Conference (CMBEC30), pp. 1-4

D.T. Jiang, N. Chen, L. Zhang, M. Korbas, G. Wright, R. Igarashi, D. Beauregard, M. Kirkham, M. McKibben (2007) XAFS at the Canadian Light Source. AIP Conference Proceedings, 882, pp. 893-895

W. Meyer-Klaucke, M. Korbas (2004) X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. In: Proposal by EMBL-Hamburg for an Integrated Life Science Centre at PETRA-III. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany

SKILLS

• Twelve years’ experience in carrying out X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence imaging (XFI) measurements at synchrotron facilities in Germany, USA and Canada

• Proficiency in XAS and XFI data analysis using

• Two years’ experience with Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and mapping

• Six years’ hands-on experience in a zebrafish laboratory

• Extensive experience with wet lab (preparation of stock solutions, also of highly toxic mercury compounds, fixation and embedding of biological tissues, microtome sectioning, tissue section staining, synchrotron sample preparation) and cell culture techniques

• Familiarity with fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent labeling techniques

• Experience with synchrotron-related and ray-tracing software: SPECTRA, XOP and SHADOW

• Some experience in Python programming

• Basic knowledge of micro-Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE)

COMMITTEES/SERVICES

01/2012-present
Research Advisor
Students on the Beamlines program
Canadian Light Source

9/03/2012 & 15/03/2013
Poster judge for the Life & Health Research Day
University of Saskatchewan

25/11/2010
Poster judge for the 1st CIHR-THRUST (Canadian Institutes of Health Research Training grant in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques) Retreat

09/2010-12/2011
General User Proposal Peer Reviewer
Canadian Light Source

01/2010-present
Proposal Review Panel
CIHR-THRUST (Canadian Institutes of Health Research Training grant in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques)

09/2009-present
BioXAS Beamline Steering Committee
Canadian Light Source

09/2009
General User Proposal Peer Reviewer
Australian Synchrotron

05/2008-09/2008
Design team of new Life Sciences Laboratory
Canadian Light Source

06/2004-09/2004
Study panel for an Integrated Life Science Centre at PETRA-III synchrotron
European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany

Reviewer for:
Metallomics
Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Toxicological Sciences
Toxicology Research
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Biomedical Materials
Marine Pollution Bulletin

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

American Chemical Society
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
International X-ray Absorption Society

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

• Leica Basic Optical & Fluorescence Microscopy Training, Canadian Light Source, Saskatoon, Canada, March 18, 2013

Human Health Risk Assessment Course, Toxicology Centre & SNC Lavalin, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, August 29-September 2, 2011

• BioXAS Practical Course on Metalloproteins and Organism Tissue, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany, June 17-June 22, 2003

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