Dr. Ivana Jovčevska - Lapanje recognition SBD awardee

Research associate dr. Ivana Jovčevska, chemical engineer, is a project-employed researcher and collaborator of the program group P1-0390 »Functional Genomics and Biotechnology for Health«. She defended her PhD thesis in 2015 at the UL Faculty of Medicine. Until now she has published 23 scientific papers with her coworkers, in which she appears 9 times as a first and 7 times as a lead author. Eleven of her manuscripts are published in journals with IF>5. Her work has been cited more than 340 times.

The research focus of dr. Jovčevska are brain tumors in particular glioblastoma which is characterized by the high lethality as patients succumb to the disease within 12 to 15 months after initial diagnosis. Despite the great technological development and deep knowledge of the genetics of glioblastoma, the exact mechanisms of its initiation and progression remain unknown. Dr. Jovčevska played a key role in establishing the field and introducing glioblastoma research at UL MF as she transferred the llama nanobody technology from the Vrije Universitet Brussel (VUB) to UL MF. Llama nanobodies are an excellent tool for the discovery of new protein biomarkers specific for glioblastoma. She is also working on the functional validation of nanobody specificity for a particular subset of cells. For additional validation she uses bioinformatics approaches. With these findings she significantly contributes to better understanding of the biochemistry of glioblastoma with the aim of improved diagnostics and treatment. For her research training at the VUB she received an EMBO scholarship. In the scope of the Interreg Volunteer Youth programme she is also mentoring volunteers and foreign students. From 2021 she is also mentoring one PhD student as part of the SRA Young Researcher programme. She was the lead of a SRA post-doctoral project and is currently running a CELSA grant in cooperation with KULeuven.

Dr. Ivana Jovčevska is an excellent junior researcher, very result-driven and well integrated in the domestic and international research community. Therefore, we award her the Lapanje recognition of the Slovenian Biochemical Society (SBD).