AssocIate Professor at Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”
Invited Talk Title: New approaches in detecting and treating cancer multidrug resistance
Many structural and functional changes in cell membrane, cytoplasm, cell organelles or nucleus lead to the development of radio- and chemo-resistance in cancer cells. Tumor microenvironment, cell communications, extracellular matrix composition as well as presence of cytokines, hormones and growth factors give conditions for raising and maintaining resistant phenotypes. During a war against cancer in last decades, we faced with problems in the development of efficient strategies for overcoming multidrug resistance. The lack of adequate diagnostics for multidrug resistance and coexistence of cell populations capable to induce several different resistance mechanisms at the same time significantly diminish our chances to defeat cancer. Therefore, new approaches
My research is focused on the discovery of small molecules targeting multidrug resistance (MDR), which possess potential to become new drugs for cancer treatment. My research group explores the mechanisms of nucleoside analogs, antimicrobial host defense peptides, natural products, semi-synthetic compounds and inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Multidrug resistant cancer models (both in vitro and in vivo) developed by my PhD students are well-characterized and recognized as useful tools for pre-clinical testing of new drugs.
As an excellent graduated student, I got scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Serbia for post-graduate studies in 1995. I received Master Degree in 1998 (MSc at Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade) and got a Special Award of the Government of Republic Serbia for the best young researchers. At that time, I took part in the organization of Young Researchers aimed to improve the position of science in Serbia. During nine years (2000 – 2008), I postponed my career due to family obligations (I have five children). I obtained PhD in 2008 (Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade). In 2008, my MDR Project won the prize in the competition for the Best Technological Innovation in Serbia. I have ongoing national and international multidisciplinary collaborations with biophysicists, computational chemists, natural product chemists and mathematicians. I lecture in courses of Molecular Biology, Diseases of Nervous System and Methods in Neurobiology for post-graduate students.
I am an MC Member and WG Leader of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) CM1407 Action: Challenging organic syntheses inspired by nature – from natural products chemistry to drug discovery. In addition, I am a Member of the Global Young Academy, the organization that joins researchers from all fields all over the world in order to empower and mobilize young scientists to address issues of particular importance to early career scientists.