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Ewa (Ava) A Bienkiewicz Ph.D.

Ewa (Ava) A Bienkiewicz Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor
(850) 645-7326
Main Campus

Job Description

Dr. Bienkiewicz's position combines research and teaching in the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. and Physician Assistant Programs. The Bienkiewicz Laboratory research employs multidisciplinary approaches to understand fundamentals of protein structure/function relationships and translating these research findings into medically relevant interventions.


Prior to arrival at Florida State University, Dr. Bienkiewicz held a research assistant professor position at Colorado State University, where she conducted research and participated in undergraduate and graduate-level teaching in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2001-2004, she served as director of FSU's Physical Biochemistry Facility at the Institute of Molecular Biophysics. Dr. Bienkiewicz joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Medicine in July 2004.


B.S., Colorado State University, Major: Biochemistry, Minor: Chemistry, Cum Laude, Honors Scholar, Advisor: Winslow Caughey
Ph.D., Colorado State University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Advisor: Robert W. Woody

Postdoctoral training:
(1) Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Mentors: Michael Summers and Ralph Pollack
(2) Colorado State University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mentor: Kevin J. Lumb


Biomedical Sciences Departmental Committees:
By-Laws and Policy Committee (2012-2014; 2017-2018)
Faculty Recruitment Committee (2012-2013)
Student Research and Academic Enrichment Program Committee (2011-2013)
Faculty Development Committee (2009-2010)
Equipment and Core Facilities Committee (2009-2010)
By-Laws and Policy Committee (2008-2010)
Equipment and Facilities Committee (2005-2006)

College of Medicine Committees:
CoM Admissions Committee (2013-present)
CoM Faculty Council Executive Committee (2010-2012; 2017-2018)
CoM Executive Committee (2011-2012)

Associate Editor, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (2017-2018)
Interviewer, FSU Presidential Scholars Program (2016, 2017)
Faculty Co-Advisor, pre-med American Medical Student Association (2016-present)
Faculty Advisor, Learning Enrichment and Discovery (LEAD); undergraduate outreach program (2013-present)
President, College of Medicine Faculty Council (2011-2012)
Founding Faculty and Advisor, Biomedical Science Graduate Student Association, College of Medicine (2010-present)
Chemical Safety Officer, Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University (2001-2004)
Student Representative, Graduate Affairs Committee, Colorado State University (1995-1996)
Founding President, Biochemistry Graduate Student Club, Colorado State University (1994-1995)

Judge: student and post-doctoral poster and oral presentations at FSU research symposia

Peer Journal Reviewer: Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters, Journal of Visualized Experiments


Innovator Award, FSU (2015)
Neutron Sciences Directorate Fellowship; 4th Annual Neutrons in Structural Biology Symposium/Workshop;Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2013)
Innovator Award, FSU (2013)
Innovator Award, FSU (2012)
Innovator Award, FSU (2011)
Outstanding Junior Faculty Educator, College of Medicine, FSU (2011)
Department of Education Travel Award, GAANN Program, CSU (1995-1997)
The Honor Society of Sima Xi, CSU (1996)
Outstanding Graduate Student, Preecha Kownin Memorial Award, CSU (1995)
Cell and Molecular BIology Program Research Competition, CSU (1994)
Oustanding Senior Award in Biochemistry, American Institute of Chemists, CSU (1992)
The Honor Society of Phi Beta Kappa, CSU (1992)
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, CSU (1992)
Dean's Honor Roll, College of Natural Sciences, CSU (1992)
Dean's Honor Roll, College of Natural Sciences, CSU (1991)


American Association for the Advancement of Science
The Biophysical Society
American Chemical Society
International Association of Medical Science Educators

Research Focus

Dr. Bienkiewicz's research is in the area of protein structure, stability, and biomolecular interactions in the context of human pathology and therapeutic interventions. The focus is on intrinsically disordered proteins in the context of neuronal degeneration/survival (Alzheimer's disease) and vascular injury events, including stroke and traumatic brain injury.


Bienkiewicz, E. A., & Woody, R. W. (1997). Reexamination of the structural characteristics of the acyl carrier protein. Biospectroscopy, 3, 171-181.

Bienkiewicz, E. A., & Lumb, K. J. (1999). Random-coil chemical shifts of phosphorylated amino acids. J Biomol NMR, 15, 203-206.

Bienkiewicz, E. A., Moon Woody, A., & Woody, R. W. (2000). Conformation of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain: circular dichroism of long and short fragments. J Mol Biol, 297, 119-133.

Bienkiewicz, E. A., Adkins, J. N., & Lumb, K. J. (2002). Functional consequences of preorganized helical structure in the intrinsically disordered cell-cycle inhibitor p27(Kip1). Biochemistry, 41, 752-759.

Woody, A. Y. M., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Schaefer, C. E., Smith, K. M., & Woody, R. W. (2003). Heme isomerism in rat hepatic cytochrome b5. Biophys J, 84, 35A-35A.

Brych, S. R., Dubey, V. K., Bienkiewicz, E., Lee, J., Logan, T. M., & Blaber, M. (2004). Symmetric primary and tertiary structure mutations within a symmetric superfold: a solution, not a constraint, to achieve a foldable polypeptide. J Mol Biol, 344, 769-780.

Rangachari, V., Marin, V., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Semavina, M., Guerrero, L., Love, J. F., Murphy, J. R., & Logan, T. M. (2005). Sequence of ligand binding and structure change in the diphtheria toxin repressor upon activation by divalent transition metals. Biochemistry, 44, 5672-5682.

Wylie, G. P., Rangachari, V., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Marin, V., Bhattacharya, N., Love, J. F., Murphy, J. R., & Logan, T. M. (2005). Prolylpeptide binding by the prokaryotic SH3-like domain of the diphtheria toxin repressor: a regulatory switch. Biochemistry, 44, 40-51.

Chi, R. J., Simon, A. R., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Felix, A., & Keller, T. C. S. (2008). Smooth muscle titin Zq domain interaction with the smooth muscle alpha-actinin central rod. J Biol Chem, 283, 20959-20967.

Marin, V., Groveman, B. R., Qiao, H. F., Xu, J. D., Ali, M. K., Fang, X. Q., Lin, S. X., Rizkallah, R., Hurt, M. H., Bienkiewicz, E. A., & Yu, X. M. (2010). Characterization of neuronal Src kinase purified from a bacterial expression system. Prot Expr Purific, 74, 289-297.

Yang, F., Robotham, J. M., Grise, H., Frausto, S., Madan, V., Zayas, M., Bartenschlager, R., Robinson, M., Greenstein, A. E., Nag, A., Logan, T. M., Bienkiewicz, E, & Tang, H. (2010). A Major Determinant of Cyclophilin Dependence and Cyclosporine Susceptibility of Hepatitis C Virus Identified by a Genetic Approach. Plos Pathogens, 6.

Taubner, L. M., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Copie, V., & Caughey, B. (2010). Structure of the Flexible Amino-Terminal Domain of Prion Protein Bound to a Sulfated Glycan. J Mol Biol, 395, 475-490.

Groveman, B. R., Xue, S., Marin, V., Xu, J., Ali, M. K., Bienkiewicz, E. A., & Yu, X. M. (2011). Roles of the SH2 and SH3 domains in the regulation of neuronal Src kinase functions. FEBS J, 278, 643-653.

Kumar, A., Rice, R.L., Patel, P., Paslay, L.C., Singh,D., Ewa A. Bienkiewicz, Morgan S.E., & Rangachari, V. (2011) Non-esterified fatty acids generate distinct low-molecular weight amyloid-ß (Aß42) oligomers along pathway different from fibril formation, PLoS ONE, 6(4), e18759.

Wang, F., Brunet, N., Grubich, J. R., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Asbury, T.M., Compton, L.A., Mihajlovic, G., Miller, V.F. & Chase, P. B. (2011) Facilitated cross-bridge interactions with thin filaments by familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutations in alpha-tropomyosin, J Biomed Biotechnol, 2011:435271.

Groveman, B.R., Feng, S., Fang, X.Q., Pflueger, M., Lin S.X., Bienkiewicz, E.A, & Yu, X.M. (2012) Src family kinases in the nervous system – the regulation of NMDA receptors by Src kinase, FASEB J, 279, 20-28.

Bienkiewicz, E. A, Prion Protein Based Hemin Binders and Methods of Use, U.S. Patent No. 8,481,482; awarded 09/2013.

Bienkiewicz, E. A. Prion Protein Based Hemin Binders and Methods of Use, U.S. Patent No. 8,993,514, Continuation-in-part; awarded 03/2015.

Bienkiewicz, E. A. Combinatorial approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease (2015) (Patent Pending).

Lowry, T.W., Hariri, H., Prommapan, P., Kusi-Appiah, A., Vafai, N., Bienkiewicz, E. A, Van Winkle, D. H., Stagg, S. M. and Lenhert, S. (2016) Quantification of Protein-Induced Membrane Remodeling Kinetics In Vitro with Lipid Multilayer Gratings, Small, 12, 506–515.

Xia, X., Kumru, O.S., Blaber, S.I., Middaugh, C.R., Li, L., Ornitz, D.M., Suh, J.M., Atkins, A.R., Downes, M., Evans, R.M., Tenorio, C.A., Bienkiewicz, E and Blaber, M (2016) An S116R Phosphorylation Site Mutation in Human FGF-1 Differentially Affects Mitogenic and Glucose Lowering Activities, J. Pharm. Sci., 105, 3507-3519.

Beesley, S., Olcese, J., Saunders, C., and Bienkiewicz, E.A. (2017) Combinatorial treatment effects in a cell culture model of Alzheimer’s disease, J. Alzheimers Dis., 55, 1155-1166.

Veltri, T., de Oliveira, G.A.P., Bienkiewicz, E.A., Palhano, F.L., de A. Marques, M., Moraes, A.H., Silva, J.L, Sorenson, M.M, and Pinto, J.R.* (2017) Amide hydrogens reveal a temperature-dependent structural transition that enhances site-II Ca2+-binding affinity in a C-domain mutant of cardiac troponin C, Sci Rep.7(1):691.