Head of the Laboratory of Emotions Neurobiology at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She completed her Master’s studies in biology and psychology at the University of Warsaw in 2001, and was awarded a PhD degree in neurobiology at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, the Polish Academy of Sciences. After that, she completed two-year postdoctoral research training at the University of Michigan, USA. She received her post-doctoral degree in 2013. She is a holder of scholarships funded by the Foundation for Polish Science (for the KOLUMB programme in 2006 and REINTEGRATIONS/HOMING in 2008), by the Minister of Science and Higher Education and by Academia Europea. In 2016 she was awarded a prestigious grant from the European Research Council. In 2018 she became a new member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, a renowned organisation affiliating junior researchers dealing with brain research, sponsored by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Kavli Foundation. In 2018 she also obtained – together with prof. Leszek Kaczmarek – a grant from FNP’s International Research Agendas programme.
The main scientific interests of dr. Knapska include the brain-based foundations of emotion, in particular the mechanisms of positive and negative emotions communicated in the social context. Dysfunctions in sending and receiving emotion-related information are the basis of, among others, autism spectrum disorders.