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Poňka Přemysl

Prof., MUDr., CSc.
Born September 21, 1941, † 2019

  • Hematology with focus on normal and abnormal erythropoiesis, hemoglobin synthesis and iron homeostasis
  • Member of Learned Society since 2019

Educational and professional preparation

  • MUDr. (corresponds to MD), Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1964.
  • CSc. (Candidate of Sciences, corresponds to PhD) in Physiology and Pathophysiology, Charles University, 1969.
  • Research Associate, Institute of Pathophysiology, Charles University, 1969.
  • Demonstrator in Pathophysiology, Prague, 1961-1964.
  • Associate Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, 1980-1984.
  • Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, 1984-present.
  • Visiting Professor, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine Xavier Bichat, Université de Paris VII, Paris, France, 1987-1988.

Employment and academic positions

  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Pathological Physiology, Charles University in Prague, 1969-1979.
  • Associate Professor of Physiology, McGill University, Montréal, QC, 1979-1987.
  • Head – Iron Metabolism Laboratory, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, 1984-present.
  • Professor of Physiology and Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, QC, 1987-present.

Membership and positions in selected international organizations and societies

  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Canadian Physiological Society
  • Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation
  • European Iron Club
  • International BioIron Society
  • International Society of Experimental Hematology

Notable awards

  • Canadian Porphyria Foundation, Advisory Board, Member, 1993-present.
  • Member of the Center of Excellence in Molecular Hematology, The University of Utah, sponsored by the NIH, 1994-1999.
  • Member of Steering Committee for the International Conferences on Proteins of Iron Metabolism, 1995.
  • Scientific Subcommittee on Iron and Heme, American Society of Hematology, Founder & Chairman, 1996-1999.
  • Co-chairman, East Coast Iron Club, 1997-2000.
  • Anniversary Medal of Charles University (650 years), Prague, for outstanding Research, 1998.
  • Raine Visiting Professorship in Physiology, the University of Western Australia, 1998.
  • Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, Advisory Board, Member, 1998-present.
  • 24th International Congress of Physiological Sciences, Christchurch, New Zealand, Moderator of the Synthesium on Iron Metabolism, 2001.
  • “Scholar in Residence”, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 2002-2006.
  • Scientific Committee on Iron and Heme, American Society of Hematology, Member, 2000-2002; 2005-2008.
  • International Biolron Society (IBIS), Director, 2003-2005; 2007-2011.
  • Thalassemia Foundation of Canada, Medical Advisory Board, Member, 2005-2015.
  • International Congress on Iron Metabolism (BioIron 2005), Prague, Chairman, 2005.
  • Medal for Merit, Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, 2006.
  • Award for Excellence in Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, 2007.
  • Co-Chair of the “Fifth Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium Meeting”, Montréal, QC, 2007.
  • Visiting Professor, Key Laboratory for Biological Effects of Nanomaterials an Nanosafety, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2009-present.
  • Honoree of the 47th Annual André Aisenstadt Memorial Clinical Day, Jewish General Hospital, for “bringing international recognition to the Hospital for his research accomplishments in the field of iron metabolism”, 2009.    
  • Honoree of the 9th Prague Hematological Day; awarded J.E. Purkynĕ Prize from the Czech Hematological Society, 2011.
  • Honoree of the the “Societas Physico-medica Erlangensis”, Erlangen, Germany; presented Annual Honorary Lecture, 2012.
  • Fellow of the Czech Medical Academy - a member of The Federation of European Academies of Medicine, 2014.
  • The Presidential Award from the International BioIron Society to Prem Ponka, MD, PhD in recognition of his numerous contributions to BioIron over more than 50 years of productive research, Heidelberg, Germany, May 5-10, 2019.  

Selected publications

PubMed lists nearly 200 articles
Citations = 16,299; h-index = 64; i10-index = 176:

One publication from the Charles University plus selected publications from 2009 - present

  • Ponka P, Neuwirt J. Regulation of iron entry into reticulocytes. I. Feedback inhibitory  effect of heme on iron entry into reticulocytes and on heme synthesis. Blood 33: 690-707, 1969 (cited 76-times).
  • Soe-Lin S, Andriopoulos B, Andrews MC, Schranzhofer M, Kahawita T, Garcia-Santos D, Apte S, Ponka P. Nramp1 promotes efficient macrophage recycling of iron   following erythrophagocytosis in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 106:5960-5965, 2009.
  • Peslova G, Petrak J, Kuzelova K, Hrdy I, Halada P, Kuchel PW, Soe-Lin S, Ponka P, Sutak R, Becker E, Huang ML, Rahmanto YS, Richardson DR, Vyoral D. Hepcidin, the hormone of iron metabolism, is bound specifically to α-2-macroglobulin in blood. Blood. 113:6225-6236, 2009.
  • Huang M, Becker E, Whitnall M, Suryo Rahmanto Y, Ponka P*, Richardson D. Elucidation of the mechanism of mitochondrial iron loading in Friedreich's ataxia by analysis of a mouse mutant. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 106:16381-16386, 2009.   *Corresponding author.
  • Sheftel AD, Richardson DR, Prchal JT, Ponka P. Mitochondrial iron metabolism and sideroblastic anemia (Invited Review; peer reviewed) Acta Haematol. 122:120-133, 2009.
  • Richardson D, Lane D, Becker E, Michael Huang M, Whitnall M, Suryo Rahmanto Y, Sheftel A, Ponka P. Mitochondrial iron trafficking and the integration of iron metabolism between the mitochondrion and cytosol. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107:10775-10782, 2010.
  • Soe-Lin S, Apte SS, Mikhael MR, Kayembe LK, Nie G, Ponka P. Both Nramp andDMT1 are necessary for efficient macrophage iron recycling. Exp Hematol 38:609-617, 2010 (Featured on issue cover).
  • Mikhael MR, Sheftel AD, Ponka P. Ferritin does not donate its iron for haem synthesis in macrophages. Biochem J 429:463-471, 2010.
  • Yoon D, Ponka P, Prchal JT. Hypoxia and hematopoiesis. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 300:C1215-1222, 2011.
  • Sheftel AD, Mason AB, Ponka P. The long history of iron in the Universe and in healthand disease (Invited Review; peer reviewed) Biochim Biophys Acta. 1820:161-187, 2012.
  • Fleming RE, Ponka P. Iron overload in human disease (Invited Review; peer reviewed)  N Engl J Med. 366:348-359, 2012.
  • Ponka P, Sheftel AD. Erythroid Iron Metabolism. In: Iron Physiology and Pathophysiology in Humans, Nutrition and Health (Anderson GJ, McLaren G, eds.), Chapter 10, Springer Science + Business Media, pp191-209, 2012 (Invited Chapter; peer reviewed).
  • Whitnall M, Suryo Rahmanto Y, Huang M, Saletta F, Hiu CL, Loka C, Gutiérrez L, Lázaro, FJ, Flemming AJ, St. Pierre TG, Mikhael MR, Lim C, Ponka P*, RichardsonDR. Identification of nonferritin mitochondrial iron deposits in a mouse model ofFriedreich ataxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 20590–20595, 2012. *Corresponding author.
  • Ponka P, Koury MJ, Sheftel AD. Erythropoiesis, Hemoglobin Synthesis, and Erythroid Mitochondrial Iron Homeostasis (Invited Chapter; peer reviewed).  In: “The Handbook of Porphyrin Science”, (Ferreira, G. C., Kadish, K.M., Smith, K.M. and Guilard, R., Eds.) World Scientific Publishers, Singapore, Vol. 27, Chapter 129, pp. 41- 84, 2013.
  • Garcia-Santos D, Schranzhofer M, Horvathova M, Jaberi MM, Bogo Chies JA, Sheftel A, Ponka P. Heme oxygenase 1 is expressed in murine erythroid cells where it controls the level of regulatory heme. Blood 123: 2269-2277, 2014. This article was accompanied by Editorial Commentary by Brousse V, El Nemer W. Toward unraveling heme regulation. Blood 123: 2134-2135, 2014.
  • Ponka P, Prchal JT. Polyclonal and Hereditary Sideroblastic Anemias (Invited Chapter; peer reviewed). In: Williams Hematology, 9 th edition, Chapter 59 (Lichtman MA et al. eds.) McGraw-Hill, pp. 915-922, 2016.
  • Hamdi A, Roshan TM, Kahawita TM, Mason AB, Sheftel AD and Ponka P. Erythroid   cell mitochondria receive endosomal iron by a "kiss-and-run" mechanism, Biochim Biophys Acta - Mol Cell Res. 1863:2859-2867, 2016.  
  • Ponka P, Sheftel AD, English AM, Bohle DS, Garcia-Santos D. Do mammalian cells need to export and import heme? Trends Biochem Sci. 42:395-406, 2017.
  • Garcia-Santos D, Schranzhofer M, Bergeron R, Sheftel AD, Ponka P. Extracellular glycine is necessary for optimal hemoglobinization of erythroid cells. Haematologica. 102:1314-1323, 2017.
  • Garcia-Santos D, Hamdi A, Saxova Z, Fillebeen C, Pantopoulos K, Horvathova M, Ponka P. Inhibition of heme oxygenase ameliorates anemia and reduces iron overload in   β-thalassemia mouse model. Blood. 131:236-246, 2018. This article was featured in“This Week in Blood”, a snapshot of the hottest studies from each week’s issue, hand- picked by Editor-in-Chief of Blood.
  • Lim PJ, Duarte TL, Arezes J, Garcia-Santos D, Hamdi A, Pasricha SR, Armitage AE, Mehta H, Wideman S, Santos AG, Santos-Gonçalves A, Morovat A, Hughes JR, Soilleux   E, Wang CY, Bayer AL, Klenerman P, Willberg CB, Hartley RC, Murphy MP, Babitt JL, Ponka P, Porto G, Drakesmith H. Nrf2 controls iron homeostasis in haemochromatosis and thalassaemia via Bmp6 and hepcidin. Nat Metab. 1:519-531, 2019.

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News

27.11.19

Prof Miroslav Bárta receives the Česká hlava National Government Award

Learned Society member, Prof. Mgr. Miroslav Bárta, Dr. (Charles University Faculty of Arts) received the Česká hlava (Czech Head) National Government Award on 25 November 2019. A renowned Czech Egyptologist and archaeologist, Professor Bárta researches the history of ancient civilisations, the human relationship to the natural environment, and also for many years the evolution of complex societies. He leads the Czech Institute of Egyptology for archaeological and environmental research in Egypt and Sudan. His principal research interest is the period of the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom.

19.11.19

Prof. RNDr. Blanka Říhová, DrSc. appears on the “Fight for Truth” programme

President of the Learned Society, Prof. RNDr. Blanka Říhová, DrSc., appeared alongside Head of the Department of Ethics and Humanity Studies at Charles University’s Third Faculty of Medicine, theologian Mgr. Marek Vácha, Ph.D., in a live broadcast of the monthly FOCUS Václava Moravce programme on the topic “The Fight for Truth”. Also appearing on the programme were President of the Republic of Slovakia, Mrs Zuzana Čaputová, and President of the Constitutional Court, JUDr. Pavel Rychetský. 400 secondary school and higher education students also took part in the broadcast from Bethlehem Chapel, positing questions to the guests.
The programme can be watched here

19.11.19

Prof. RNDr. Jan Trlifaj, DSc. appointed Fellow of the American Mathematical Society

Learned Society member, Prof. RNDr. Jan Trlifaj, DSc., has been appointed a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).
AMS Press Release  | List of Fellows appointed this year