Wiesław  Aleksander OLESZEK                                     

Birth place: Bełżyce, Poland

Date: February 27, 1948

Zodiacal sign: Pisces

Color Charm: Orange

Plant Totem: Corn

Animal Totem: Lemur

Animal (Chinese Totem) Rat

Stone Charm: Beryl



·         Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland, 1975, M.Sci.

Master thesis: Differentiation of nitrogen isotopes during migration in geological layers

·         Institute of Soil Science & Plant Cult. 1985, Ph.D., Major - Plant Biochemistry.

PhD thesis: Afalfa (Medicago media Pers.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) root saponins and their allelopathic effect on wheat seedling growth

·         Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cult. 1991, Habilitation degree, Major - Plant Biochemistry

Habilitation thesis: Saponins from the roots of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.): chemistry, biological activity and determination


Major research interests

·         Isolation, purification, structural and quantitative determination of natural products (saponins, phenolics,

glycoalkaloids, glucosinolates, resorcinols, cyanogenic glucosides)

·         Biological activity of natural products

·         Natural antioxidants and anticancerogens, nutraceuticals

·         Chemical ecology

·         Plant-plant and plant-microorganism interactions

·         Allelopathy

·         Post harvest quality of agricultural products

·         Biosynthesis of natural products


Research and professional experience

·         Research assistant, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Puławy, Poland, (1975-1979)

·         Visiting Fellow (1 year), Cornell University, Seed and Vegetable Department, Geneva N.Y., USA.1980/1981 - Glycoalkaloids in tomato and its progenies with

 Solanum lycopersicoides and Solanum penelli)

·         Adjunct (Assistant Professor), Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Puławy, Poland, 1985

·         Visiting Fellow (1 year), Cornell University, Food Science and Technology Department, Geneva N.Y. USA, 1987 - Flavonoids and procyanidins in apples – isolation, structures,

participation in browning reactions, changes during the storage

·         Visiting Fellow (3 month), AFRC Institute of Food Research, Norwich, United Kingdom, 1989 - Affinity of alfalfa saponins to the intestine membranes; HPLC of saponins

·         Habilitation degree (Associate Professor), 1991

·         Head of Biochemistry Department, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Puławy, Poland, 1992 - present

·         Post-doc in INRA (6 month), Montfavet, France, 1993, - Flavonoids in pear fruit – isolation, structures, concentration during the storage

·         Full Professor 1997

·         Director of the Institute 2010 -


Participation in European Community Framework Programs


5th Framework Program

·         Fate and toxicity of allelochemicals (natural plant toxins) in relation to environment and consumer.  FATEALLCHEM (partner)  www.fateallchem.dk

6th Framework Program

·         Evaluating physiological and environmental consequences of using organic wastes after technological processing in diets for livestock and humans. SAFEWASTES, (partner)  http://safewastes.bal-pm.com/

·         Ready-to-eat food for breakfast and sport with high content of nutraceutics preventing disease and promoting public health. NUTRA-SNACKS,  http://www.mlib.cnr.it/nutra-snacks/

·         Healthy Feed for Safety – Dissemination of research results of EC funded research on feed quality. FEED-SEG, (partner) http://www.feed-seg.net/

·         Impact of new technologies on the health benefits and safety of bioactive plant compounds, COST 926 action, http://www.uochb.cas.cz/Zpravy/COST_926/

7th Framework Program

·         Strengthen IUNG’s proficiency on “Managing the Production of Food and feedstuff, their safety and quality under global Climatic Change, PROFICIENCY, (coordinator) www.proficiency-fp7.eu

·         Edible, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (EMAP) – PEOPLE MARIE CURIE ACTIONS, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme, Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES, partner 2010-2012

·        Safe Food for Europe - Dissemination of research results of EC funded research on food safety. FOOD-SEG, (partner) 2011-2014

·         Optimizing Subsidiary Crop Applications in Rotations. OSCAR (partner)n 2012-2015



·         Group award for the study on chemotaxonomy in Trigonellae, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1989

·         Prize winner of the Foundation for Polish Science - Nutris 95, 1995

·         Award for the studies on plant saponins, Polish Academy of Sciences, 2001


Supervising PhD students (awarded)

·      G.O. Igile, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ibadan, Nigeria: Phytochemical and biological studies on some constituents of Vernonia amygdalina leaves

·      A. Stochmal,  Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Cyanogenic glucosides of white clover (Trifolium repens) varieties

·     M. Junkuszew, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Saponins from amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) and their biological activity

·     J. Nowacka-Zaborska, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Zanhic acid tridesmoside, occurence and biological activity

·     D. Dietrych-Szostak, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Flavonoids from buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) seeds and their antioxidant activities

·         M. Sitek, BIOWET, Pulawy Inc.: Saponins and phenolics of Yucca schidigera Roezl.

·         I. Kapusta, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Saponins from aerial parts of Medicago  truncatula – isolation and chemical composition

·         J. Krzyzanowska, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland: Phenolics from mint (M. longifolia and M. x piperita) in field grown plants and in vitro cultures.



Professional Societies membership

·       Phytochemical Society of Europe - Committee member (1994-1998),  General Secretary 2002-2007, V-ce Chairman 2008-2010, Chairman 2010-2012 (  http://www.phytochemicalsociety.org )

·       Polish Phytochemical Society - Secretary, 1995

·         Polish Biochemical Society - member

·         Polish Botanical Society – member

·         Allelopathy Journal - Editorial board member

·         Phytochemistry Reviews - Editorial board member http://www.kluweronline.com/issn/1568-7767/current

·         Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment - Regional Editor http://www.isfae.org/scientificjournal.php

·         Phytochemistry Letters - Editorial Board Member http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/18743900

·         International Allelopathy Society - founding  member (http://www-ias.uca.es/)  (http://www.ashland.edu/~jweiden/ids350/newslett.2002.htm )

·         Member of  the Domain Committee “Food and Agriculture” COST, Brussels

·         Member of the Committee for the Physiology, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences

·         Member of the Committee for the Plant Cultivation, Polish Academy of Sciences

·         Corresponding member of Polish Academy of Sciences (2010-)


Biographical notes

·         Who’sWho in the World, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th Edition

·         Who’sWho in Science and Engineering, 5th, 6th Edition

·         Who’sWho in Polish Botany, Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Science, Kraków, 1995 (in Polish)

·          International Biographical Center, Cambridge – Outstanding People of the 20th Century 1999, 1st Edition.

·         Biographical Dictionary: The Living Polish Scientists, OPI Warsaw, 2000, (in Polish)

·         Golden Book of Polish Science 2000 - Scientists at the Turn of the Century, HELION Gliwice 2001, (in Polish)

·         International Biographical Center, Cambridge – Living Science – Vol. 001. (Sara Rains Ed.)

·         Who’sWho in European Research and Development, 3rd Edition


Marital status


Married since 1973, wife Ewa - school teacher (Physicist)

Two daughters: Małgorzata (1975) - chemist,   Magdalena (1977) - medical doctor




Bee-keeping, gardening

First price winner in the competition for nicest flower garden organized by village Stezyca Society, 1999.