Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD
John H. Hord Professor Chair Department of Pharmacology
Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD, is the John H. Hord Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In this position, Dr. Palczewski leads a team 15 primary and 16 secondary faculty. In his own laboratory, Dr. Palczewski and his lab team have made several key scientific discoveries toward the understanding of phototransduction, the visual cycle, and the etiology of human retinopathies. Born and raised in Poland, Krzysztof Palczewski completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Wroclaw. He received his PhD in Biochemistry in 1986 from the Technical University of Wroclaw focusing his research on the topography of the active site and the mononucleotide binding site of the enzyme aldolase fructose-1.6-P2.
Upon completing his PhD, Dr. Palczewski immediately began a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida with Dr. Paul Hargrave. The primary research focused on the phosphorylation of rhodopsin, the phosphorylation of synthetic peptides, and the characterization of the rhodopsin phosphates Dr. Palczewski spent 13 years at the University of Washington in Seattle serving in various leadership roles in the Department of Ophthalmology as well as was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Palczewski worked as an active member of the University of Washington and the international vision community.
Prior to this, Dr. Palczewski spent two years serving the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His work led to a patent for the use of the characterized antigen in the screening of several cancers. From 1988 through 1992, Dr. Palczewski spent time as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida, Gainesville and spent time as an Assistant Scientist II at the R.S. Dow Neurological Sciences Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital & Medical Center in Portland Oregon.
Dr. Palczewski has been the recipient of prestigious awards like the Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists in 2000, a Trustee Award from The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., and the Alcon Research Institute Award for the Year 2001.