TACTICIAN team is comprised of experienced researchers with a significant number of publications in the field of autophagy, immunology and virus research. The majority of team members all belong to the group of prof. Vladimir Trajković and have strong expertise in studying regulation and biological roles of autophagy at the molecular level. Prof. Branka Bonaci-Nikolic is an experienced clinical immunologist with an expertise in COVID-19 diagnostics. Each team member is an excellent independent lab-worker fully capable to plan experiments and critically approach scientific problems. The strongest asset of the team and the driving force for the successful implementation of the Project is the diversity of their scientific background (molecular biologists, basic medical researchers, and clinical researchers) and expertise, including molecular, cellular, and clinical aspects of autophagy-immune and autophagy-virus interaction.
Team leader prof. dr Vladimir Trajkovićis a Full Professor of Immunology and the head of the Department of Immunology at MFUB. In his scientific career, he investigated the role of autophagy and intracellular energy balance-controlling signaling pathways in immunity, infection, inflammation, as well as in neurodegenerative and malignant disorders. Prof. Trajkovic has been a principal investigator of two national projects, one of which has been ranked as the best national project in the field of medicine. He also received the Scientific research award from MFUB. As young scientist he was on postdoctoral/professional training in immunology laboratories in New Delhi, Glasgow, and Berlin. Prof. Trajkovic was involved in the preparation of 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition of “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy”. He is an editor/reviewer for numerous biomedical journals.
WP1 coordinator: dr sci. med. Maja Misirkic Marjanovicis a Research Associate at IBISS. She acquired her PhD in Molecular Medicine at MFUB in 2015. As a participant in two national projects she investigated the molecular mechanisms and the role of autophagy in differentiation, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and cancer therapy. She also explored immunomodulatory effects of autophagy in mesenchymal stem cells and a mouse model of immune-mediated hepatitis. Maja is passionate about researching the interaction of molecules involved in complex autophagous machinery. She participated in the preparation of the 4th edition of “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy”. Maja is a member of Woman in autophagy network, Nordic Autophagy Society, and was involved in TRANSAUTOPHAGY COST action.
WP2 coordinator: Ljubica Vucicevic, PhD je viši naučni saradnik IBISS. Njena doktorska disertacija, odbranjena na Biološkom fakultetu, Univerziteta u Beogradu, dobila je nagradu „Goran Ljubijankić“ kao najbolja doktorska disertacija u oblasti molekularne biologije 2013. godine. Kao učesnik na dva nacionalna projekta, izučavala je ulogu i mehanizme autofagije u gladovanju, oksidativnom stresu, ekscitotoksičnosti, inflamaciji, diferencijaciji i terapiji kancera. Dr Ljubica Vučićević je 2016. godine osvojila nacionalnu stipendiju programa „Pokreni se za nauku“ za projekat pod nazivom „Modulacija intracelularnog energetskog senzora i njegovog signalnog puta, kao i autofagije u in vitro model of cerebral ischemia”. In 2017, as a member of COST action TRANSAUTOPHAGY, she was on professional training at the Institute for Cell & Molecular Biosciences (Newcastle University, UK). She is involved in the 4th edition of “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy”.
WP3 coordinator PhD Verica Paunovic a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology (MFUB), is an experienced researcher with a history of working in both academia and biochemical industry. She obtained PhD focusing on cell signalling in lymphocytes from The Queen's University of Belfast in 2008. She continued pursuing this line of research as a Research Associate at The Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, The University of Glasgow. Her professional skills include multi-color flow cytometry, advanced cell sorting, and a myriad of molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. Complex relations between signalling molecules keep her going and fuel her research curiosity. In 2016, she was awarded L’Oreal UNESCO scholarship “For Women in Science”.
WP4 coordinator Branka Bonaci-Nikolic PhD, is a Full Professor of Internal Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology; Chair of the Department of Postgraduate Studies of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at MFUB, and Head of the Laboratory for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Clinic of Allergy and Immunology at UKCS. She is the Chair of the Task Force for Immunodeficiencies, Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology of Serbia (2019-present). She was the President and Vice President of the Yugoslav Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Her main fields of scientific interest and work include serological diagnostics of autoimmune, atopic and immunodeficiency diseases. Prof. Bonaci-Nikolic has participated in the national project “Clinical significance of dysfunctions of innate and adaptive immunity in immunoinflammatory and immunodeficiency diseases” (2011-2019). She is a reviewer for numerous scientific journals.
WP5 coordinator: Biljana Ristic PhD, is a Research Associate at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology (MFUB), where she obtained PhD focusing on the antibacterial and antitumor effects of the graphene quantum dots in 2017. Biljana received FOSTAR Award for the best doctoral thesis in the field of human molecular genetics and biomedicine, as well as the prize for the best PhD thesis at MFUB. Her main research interest is the role of autophagy in tumor cell survival and death. She has been a member of Transautophagy and Cancer Nanomedicine COST actions. Biljana contributed to the fight against COVID 19 pandemics, by working in the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic lab at the Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera "Torlak" during 2020/2021.
Ljubica Harhaji-Trajkovic PhD. is a Principal Research Fellow at IBISS. In her PhD (2006) and MSc (2004) thesis obtained from the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Ljubica studied the antitumor properties of macrophages. She was on the postdoctoral training in the Laboratory for Cell Immunology, University in Copenhagen. Her recent research interests are studying the effects of autophagy modulation on the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Harhaji-Trajkovic was the leader of the national project “The role of autophagy in regulation of cancer cell death” (2011-2019) and the project “The role of autophagy in growth, metastasis and chemotherapy” for which she obtained L'Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science Awards” in 2011. She is a coauthor of the 3rd and 4th edition of the “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy” and reviewer for numerous biomedical journals.
Mihajlo Bosnjak PhD, radi kao naučni saradnik na MFUB, gde je i stekao zvanje doktora nauka istražujući ulogu autofagije u terapiji leukemija. Kao član tima nacionalnog projekta proučavao je efekte modulacije signalnih puteva koji kontrolišu unutarćelijski energetski balans u terapiji tumora i neuro-imuno-endokrinih poremećaja. Njegove profesionalne veštine uključuju mnogobrojne ćelijsko biološke, molekularno biološke i biohemijske tehnike. Tokom pandemije, bio je uključen u COVID-19 dijagnostiku u Nacionalnoj laboratoriji za molekularnu detekciju infektivnih agenasa „Vatreno oko“. Član je Evropske hematološke asocijacije.
Milica Kosic MSc, is a Research Assistant at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, MFUB. She obtained her Master’s degree in molecular biology and physiology, and is about to finish her PhD studies in immunobiology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade. Milica is an experienced researcher with expertise in various cellular and molecular biology techniques. Her research focus has been the molecular mechanisms and the role of autophagy in cell death induced by anticancer therapy, metabolic stress, and inflammation. She is a member of The Serbian Society for Molecular Biology, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Society for Free Radical Research Europe.
Milos Mandic MSc, is a Research Assistant at Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, and a PhD student in Molecular Medicine at MFUB. He obtained Master’s degree in human molecular biology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade. His research focus is the role and molecular mechanisms of autophagy in the differentiation of leukemia cells into macrophages. His professional competencies include diverse techniques of cell and molecular biology. Milos was a visiting student at Newcastle University as a part of TRANSAUTOPHAGY COST action. He is a member of The Serbian Society for Molecular Biology and Nordic Autophagy Society.
Danijela Stevanovic MSc, is a Junior Research Assistant at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, MFUB. She finished undergraduate studies and obtained Master’s degrees in Immunology at MFUB. Within PhD program in Molecular Medicine, she investigates molecular mechanisms of autophagy induction in pathogenesis and therapy of cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation. Danijela Stevanovic is the member of the Women in autophagy international network, Federation of European Biochemical Societies and Federation of European Neuroscience Societies.