12th Croatian Biological Congress

with international participation

LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin
September 18 - 23, 2015

Plenary lectures

IgorStagljar-webIgor Stagljar is a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Donnelly Centre in the University of Toronto, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. His postdoctoral fellowship was at the University of Zurich where he studied RNA transcription and DNA repair. In addition, Igor was a visiting scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle with Stan Fields, the inventor of the yeast two-hybrid technology. Igor was Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich from 2002-2005, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto since 2005, and Professor since 2010. Amongst his most significant scientific achievements to date are the elucidation of functions of various membrane proteins involved in human health and disease. He is currently involved in major proteomics projects to map how integral membrane proteins interact to produce either healthy or diseased cells. To that end, his lab is using high-throughput interactive proteomics, genetic, and biochemical tools to understand how cell signaling and membrane transport pathways control cell behavior in normal and disease cells. Igor is the recipient of several national and international science awards. He is a member of the Editorial board of BioTechniques, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, BMC Biotechnology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, and Molecular Systems Biology. Lastly, he is a co-founder of Dualsystems Biotech Inc, one of the world-leading companies in the field of interactive proteomics.
Protein Interaction Networks in Health & Disease

Anthony HerrelAnthony Herrel is a permanent researcher of the CNRS, France working at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle where he heads the Function and Evolution team. He received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Antwerp in Belgium and did postdoctoral fellowships in Belgium as well in the USA. He spent one year each at Northern Arizona University, Tulane University, and Harvard University where he investigated the evolution of complex, integrated musculo-skeletal systems. He is also a part-time professor at Ghent University in Belgium. His research interests broadly encompass the evolution of form and function, mostly using vertebrates as a model system. He developed methods for measuring bite forces in vivo and combines approaches from a wide array of disciplines in biology ranging from transcriptomic and metagenomic approaches, over biomechanical modeling and functional morphology, to ecological and behavioral studies. An important part of his research is devoted to field studies of different organisms and he collaborates widely with researchers around the world. He has nearly 300 publications and has supervised many master students, PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers. He is an associate editor for Functional Ecology, the Herpetological Journal, Zookeys, and the European Journal of Anatomy and is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Zoology, the Journal of Morphology, Zoology, and the Journal of Comparative Physiology A.
Analyses of morphology, physiology, and microbial diversity after a recent dietary switch in a lizard

Patrik Nosil

 Patrik Nosil is an University Research Fellow of the Royal Society of London, based at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. He is an evolutionary biologist and is especially known for progress made toward the solution of several fundamental problems in biology, including: (1) the processes driving and constraining the origin of species; (2) the evolutionary forces that shape genome organization; and (3) the population, community, and ecosystem consequences of rapid evolution. His work spans levels of biological organization from genome sequencing to manipulative field experiments. His work has stimulated many new empirical and theoretical studies in labs around the world.
Divergence and constraint in the origin of new species

DudiBarZviDudy Bar-Zvi is a Professor in the Department of Life Sciences at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His postdoctoral fellowships were at University of Pennsylvania, USA and Harvard University, USA, both in Plant Molecular Biology. In addition, Dudy was a visiting Professor at the Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis. Dudy was Lecturer at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev from 1988-1993, Senior Lecturer from          1993-2003, Associate Professor since 2003, and Professor since 2011. His scientific interests are salt-stress- and water-stress-regulated plant genes. In his lab he applies multidisciplinary approaches for the study of these genes, and their potential use to improve drought- and salt-tolerance in plants. His studies involve molecular, biochemical, physiological and genetical techniques and include gene cloning, expression of recombinant stress-regulated proteins in bacteria, and studying their activity, promoter and expression analyzes of stress-regulated genes, construction and study of transgenic plants over-expressing genes of interest, and construction and study of loss of action plants (obtained by gene silencing or gene knockout). Dudy is the recipient of several national and international science awards. He is a reviewer of several top quality scientific journals such as Environmental and Experimental Botany, Functional Plant Biology, Journal of Experimental Botany, Planta, Plant Journal etc.
Plant response to abiotic stress

Andrej ŠorgoDr. Andrej Šorgo is an associate professor of biology didactics and chair of Department of Biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor. Recently he is a university professor of Evolution, Biology didactics and Environmental education at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and a part time researcher at the  Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor. He got his Master and PhD degree in Biology from University of Ljubljana..He has diverse research interests on different topics in biology, science, and environmental education. One of them is public acceptance of technologies as socio-scientific issues. He has published a series of research articles and presented them at a number of conferences in these fields. He has additionally over 20 years’ of experience as secondary and higher vocational school teacher. He was awarded with »The most innovative secondary school teacher award«.
Socio-scientific issues: a challenge for biology teachers 

Pdamjana-drobnerof. Dr. Damjana Drobne, head of the group for Nanobiology and Nanotoxicology at the University of Ljubljana and professor for (environmental) toxicology and for zoology.  Her background is in general biology (zoology) and has more than 20 years expertise in toxicity testing with environmental organisms. She has established own research group of Nanobiology and Nanotoxicology at the University of Ljubljana in 2008. Her research group has developed a series of methods for testing effects of metals or nanomaterials on cells, tissue and organisms as well as how to follow internal distribution of metals once entering the organisms. She has an outstanding expertise in biological sample preparation for focused ion beam / scanning electron microscopy and spectroscopy. Up to now she has published together with co-authors more than 90 original scientific publications. Her group is a partner in three a large scale 7.OP EU projects (NanoMile, NanoValid) and Horizont 2020 project NanoFase as well as two national centres of excellence (CO NAMASTE and CO NanoCentre).  She is continuously coordinating national research projects since 2001. Prof. Dr. Damjana Drobne is lecturing at undergraduate as well as postgraduate study programs at University of Ljubljana courses on zoology, toxicology, nanobiology and nanotoxicology. She has supervised or co-supervised 17 PhD students and numerous undergraduate students.
How much room is left for conventional biology in modern nanoscale and omics research

Lauc-photoDr. Gordan Lauc is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. He was born in Osijek, Croatia, in 1970, graduated molecular biology at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Science in 1992, and obtained PhD in Biochemistry and the University of Zagreb in 1995. He got his postdoctoral training at the Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics in Münster and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Lauc is author of over 100 research papers published in international journals and six international patents. His laboratory performed the first large scale studies of the human plasma glycome (in 2009) and human IgG glycome (in 2011), which were the basis for the subsequent first GWAS of the human plasma and IgG glycomes. He chaired a number of conferences, including the “European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop on Glycoscience” which resulted in the creation of the “European Glycoscience Forum”. He is a member of the Board of the International Glycoscience Organization (President for 2015 – 2017) and the Steering Committee of the European Glycoscience Forum. In 2007 Prof Lauc established Genos, a private research organization accredited by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport that currently has 28 employees, including 17 researchers. Genos was ranked as #1 in the 2013 survey of The Scientist magazine for “The best place to work for researches” in the category “Industry” and received a Charter of the Republic of for an outstanding economic contribution to development of Croatia by commercialization of research results in 2014.
Glycans as integrators of genes and environment – an often-ignored layer of biological complexity

Domazet-LosoTomislav Domazet-Lošo is a professor at the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the Catholic University of Croatia in Zagreb. He received his doctorate in evolutionary genetics from Cologne University in Germany. His postdoctoral fellowships were at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and at the Zoological Institute of the University of Kiel in Germany. He is interested in the macroevolutionary history of life at the genomic and organismal level. His most significant contribution to the field of evolutionary genomics is discovery that orphan genes could evolve slowly. This finding inspired him to develop genomic phylostratigraphy – a computational approach that could be used to reconstruct evolutionary past by harnessing genome sequences. Using this novel method he was able to trace the evolutionary origin of human genetic diseases and cancer and to shed light on the ancestry of the vertebrate brain. He also resolved at the molecular level the two century-old mystery of phylogeny-ontogeny correlations in animals. This work motivated other researchers to adopt the phylostratigraphic approach for addressing various evolutionary problems at the different levels of biological hierarchy. Currently he is studying the evolutionary emergence of biofilms in bacteria, phylogeny-ontogeny correlations and the evolution of genome complexity.
The rise and fall of genome complexity and other macroevolutionary stories