Peter Czarnecki, MD
About the Czarnecki Research Lab
Peter G. Czarnecki, MD
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Peter Czarnecki’s research focuses on basic concepts of cell signaling through primary cilia, the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and related ciliopathy syndromes. He studies the biochemical function and interactions of uncharacterized ciliopathy proteins as well as the molecular and cellular consequences of disease-causing mutations. His methodological spectrum includes cell biology and live cell imaging on CRISPR/Cas9-engineered and lentivirus-transduced cell lines, as well as quantitative protein biochemistry and structural biology work on purified, recombinant ciliopathy proteins.
Dr. Czarnecki is currently investigating enzymatic functions within the ciliary inversin compartment, which is a signaling module necessary for proper renal tubular morphogenesis and embryonic left-/right-asymmetry determination that acts along the same pathway as polycystin-1 and -2. He also analyzes ciliary transport processes dependent on the IFT-A particle and their role in renal cystogenesis.
Dr. Czarnecki’s interest in ciliary biology and its connections to polycystic kidney disease pathogenesis range back to his time as a student at the University of Freiburg Medical School (Germany). He worked in the Gerd Walz Laboratory at Freiburg, before moving on to his residency training in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. At the Mayo Clinic, he pursued further training in PKD genetics and ciliary biology, working at the Mayo PKD Center under the mentorship of Peter C. Harris.
Dr. Czarnecki completed his clinical training in Nephrology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he had broad exposure to clinical management of PKD while working closely with Ted I. Steinman, MD. Together with Dr. Steinman, Dr. Czarnecki conducted a number of clinical research studies, most importantly including the BIDMC branch of the HALT-PKD study. He moved on to complete his research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Jagesh V. Shah, studying ciliary transport and discovering the functions of the NEK8/ANKS6-kinase complex as one of the first known enzymatic mechanisms in ciliopathy signaling.
Dr. Czarnecki joined the faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a junior attending physician, starting a novel outpatient clinic for genetic kidney disease and PKD. After receiving K08 funding through the NIDDK, he started his own lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The Czarnecki Laboratory expanded when Dr. Czarnecki returned to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2022. In addition to his research work, Dr. Czarnecki has taken leadership roles at the BIDMC Genetic Kidney Disease Clinic and PKD Center of Excellence.