Roberto Kolter, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Research in the Kolter Lab, from 1983 to my retirement in 2018, always gravitated around the study of microbes. We explored a large number of different subjects ranging from basic bacterial physiology to biofilms to bioactive compound discovery. I continue my involvement in science as Director of Harvard’s Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI) and through teaching, writing and blogging (Small Things Considered) and communicating microbial sciences to the general public, including through exhibitions in museums of natural history and invited

Franz Klein, Department of Chromosome Biology, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

We try to contribute to our understanding of how chromosomes end up in complete haploid sets after reducing ploidy during meiosis. This topic led us to study chromosome architecture (cohesin, synapsis), but has also led to discoveries of novel players in DNA repair. Currently we found novel aspects of Spo11 inflicted damage, which seeds repair and recombination.


María Mercedes Zambrano, CorpoGen, Department of Molecular Genetics, Bogota, Colombia

Research interests:Microbial diversity and microbial ecology of diverse natural environments, environmental and human associated microbiomes, bioprospecting microbial diversity.



Ivan Matić, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Ivan Matic studies some of the key questions of biology and evolution. He is investigating how genetic and phenotypic variation is generated in bacterial populations and how they modulate evolvability and robustness of these populations. He studies these phenomena by taking into account primarily mechanistic aspects, but also evolutionary and ecological processes responsible for their emergence. 

Yossef Av-Gay,  Life Sciences Institute, Univeristy of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

As a microbiologist by training, my research interests lie with chronic lung diseases, primarily tuberculosis (TB). I study molecular events and post-translational modifications that govern host-pathogen interactions and the ability of  pathogens to block innate immune response to infection. My collaborative research with industry is geared towards the identification and characterization of novel drugs and drug targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. More information can be found at: http://av-gaylab.med.ubc.ca

Igor Jurak, Department for Biotechnology, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Igor Jurak’s laboratory has a strong interest in researching regulation of virus gene expression and control of latency.  Currently, the main focus of the lab are the roles of miRNAs and long-noncoding RNAs in the lifecycle of herpes simplex virus 1. HSV-1 encodes numerous miRNAs, function of which is unknown and is just starting to reveal on the horizon.


Fred van Eeuwijk, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University&Research, Wageningen, Netherlands
Fred van Eeuwijk is professor in Applied Statistics at Wageningen University. He published more than 120 papers on his major research interests that include statistical genetics, genotype-to-phenotype models, statistical modeling of genotype by environment interactions,  quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, and association mapping (QTLxE, multiple traits), genomic prediction and data integration (phenotype, genetics, -omics). He is currently president of Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operational Research (VVSOR) and editor of the journal Genetics. He was president Scientific Committee for the 28th International Biometric Conference, Victoria, Canada, July 2016.

Ian Mackay, IMplant Consultancy, Chelmsford, United Kingdom

My principal research interest is quantitative genetics and plant breeding. I have published in areas covering experimental design, selection methods, improved approaches to trait mapping, and genomic selection. In December 2017, I established IMplant Consultancy Ltd., consulting in quantitative genetics and breeding.  Before this, I worked at the plant science organization NIAB (Cambridge, UK) for 12 years, I ran the Statistical Genetics department of drug discovery company Oxagen Ltd.  for six years and I worked as a commercial plant breeder for 19, including nine as cofounder and research director of the company Lion Seeds Ltd.

Marcos Malosetti, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University&Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

I am staff member of the Applied Statistics and Mathematics Group of Wageningen University and Research. Agronomist by training (Uruguay), I developed an interest in the application of quantitative methods in biology, particularly in plants. My focus is on statistical modelling of variation of complex traits and its interaction with the environment (genotype by environment interaction). The challenge is to develop sound statistical models that are useful to predict responses, and so, of practical use to intervene in a particular biological system. Methods are good if they can move from the lab to applications, so I dedicate an important part of my effort to disseminate the methods via internal and external courses, and also by being part of a team developing software to deploy the methods. From October 1st 2018, I will start working at Nunhems (www.nunhems.com).

Hrvoje Fulgosi,  Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Hrvoje Fulgosi is plant molecular biologist, biochemist, and biotechnologist working on photosynthetic processes in plants and cyanobacteria. He obtained his PhD in the group of Prof. Reinhold G. Herrmann, Ludwig-Maximilians Universitaet, Munich, Germany in 1999. From 1999 until 2002, he was a post doc in the group of Prof. Juergen Soll, Christian-Albrechts Universitaet, Kiel, Germany. He is the head and the founder of the Laboratory for Molecular Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Division of Molecular Biology, Institute Ruđer Bošković.

Nenad Malenica, Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

My current scientific focus is in the field of chromosome engineering  i.e. chromosome number manipulation in higher plants. On one hand, I study CENH3-dependent haploid induction in Arabidopsis thaliana, as well as upregulation of secondary metabolite production in Dalmatian pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) and Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum) by induced chromosome doubling.


Siniša Volarević,  Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Our group studies the consequences of impairments of ribosome biogenesis in mammals. Initially, we discovered a novel checkpoint downstream of the deficiency in ribosome biogenesis. It rapidly followed that p53 was the key mediator of this response. Over the past two decades, we have shown that upon impairment of ribosome biogenesis, the nascent RPL5–RPL11–5S rRNA precursor complex is redirected from ribosome biogenesis to bind to HDM2, leading to p53 stabilization. Our current research interests focus on understanding the molecular basis of this checkpoint response and determining its role in pathogenesis of various diseases, including developmental abnormalities and cancer.

Vlatka Zoldoš,  Department of Molecular Biology,  Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Linkedin Profile:https://hr.linkedin.com/in/vlatka-zoldoš-b4091b66
ResearchGate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vlatka_Zoldos2
Research interes: epigenetic regulation of IgG glycosylation; CRISPR/Cas9 methodology for epigenetic manipulations; epigenetics in human complex diseases


Fran Supek, Structural and Computational Biology, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona, Spain

In the Genome Data Science group at IRB Barcelona (https://agendas.irbbarcelona.org/), we strive to elucidate the links between mutational processes, natural selection, gene function and phenotype by means of genome analyses. In particular, we use cutting-edge computational techniques and statistical/machine learning methodologies for analyses of massive genomic data sets. We aim to answer important biological questions by insightful analysis of data originating from human cancers (somatic mutations, chromosomal alterations, transcriptomes), human populations (germline variants), metagenomics (including human microbiomes) and also fully sequenced microbial genomes.

Antonio Starčević, Faculty of Food Tchnology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Antonio Starčević finished undergraduate studies in biotechnology at Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology and obtained his PhD degree in natural sciences (biology) at Kaiserslautern technical university. At the moment, Antonio Starčević is Associate professor at the Cabinet for bioinformatics, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb where he teaches courses in bioinformatics for graduate and post-graduate students. Antonio publishes bioinformatic papers, he is actively involved in several ongoing bioinformatic projects and directs one spin-off company. His hobbies are college sports and reading. He is married with children (happily).

Tomislav Domazet Lošo, Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

My research focuses on the genomic footprints of macroevolutionary patterns. Currently my group is running projects on the gain-and-loss dynamics of protein families and phylogeny-ontogeny correlations across the tree of life.


Đurđica Ugarković,  Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Ugarković studies evolution and function of satellite DNA which is a major DNA component of heterochromatin. She predicted the presence of functional elements such as promoters and transcription factor binding sites within different satellite DNAs and brought the first experimental evidence of gene modulatory role of satellite DNAs, suggesting their role in environmental adaptation.