Zrinka Kovarik

Biochemistry and Organic Analytical Chemistry Unit

PhD / Permanent Scientific Advisor

Place and date of birth

Bjelovar, 17 April 1971

Education

  • 2002 PhD in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
  • 1997 MSc in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
  • 1994 BSc in Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb

Work Experience

  • Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health (IMROH), Zagreb, Croatia: since 2012 scientific advisor; 2007-2012 senior research associate; 2005-2007 research associate; 1995-2002 scientific novice
  • Department of Pharmacology, UCSD, La Jolla, USA: 1999-2000 pre-doctoral fellow, 2004 postdoctoral fellow

Fields of interest

Biochemistry, toxicology, enzyme kinetics, reactions of cholinesterases with various substrates and inhibitors, antidotes for treatment of organophosphorus poisoning

Additional training

  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California at San Diego, January 2004–June 2004, July 2006, November 2007, La Jolla, USA.
  • The Eighth International Summer School on Biophysics “Supramolecular Structure and Function”, September 2003, Rovinj, Croatia
  • Training course on “Molecular Modeling and Computer Assisted Combinatorial Chemistry”, International Centre for Science and High Technology-UNIDO, December 2000, Trieste, Italy.
  • Course: “Elective-modeling Biological Macromolecules”, University of California at San Diego, May-June 2000, La Jolla, USA.
  • Training course on “Yeast Molecular Genetics”, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology-UNIDO, April 1994, Trieste, Italy.

Awards

  • Panel Excellence Award in 2019, NATO, Science and Technology Organisation
  • Excellence in Science Award in 2019, Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Annual Award for scientific achievements in 2016 IMROH, Zagreb
  • Annual Award for scientific achievements in 2013, IMROH, Zagreb
  • Annual Award for scientific achievements in 2010, IMROH, Zagreb
  • Annual Award for scientific achievements in 2006, IMROH, Zagreb
  • Annual Award for Young Scientists in 2004, the Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Annual Award for Young Scientists in 2003, the Society of University Teachers and Scientists – Zagreb
  • Wood-Whelan Research Fellowship in 2000, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Annual pre-doctoral fellowship in 1998, Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of Croatia
  • Student Annual Award of the University of Zagreb in 1992

Select Publications

  1. Zrinka Kovarik, Nikolina Maček Hrvat, Maja Katalinić, Rakesh K. Sit, Alexander Paradyse, Suzana Žunec, Kamil Musilek, Valery V. Fokin, Palmer Taylor, Zoran Radić: Catalytic soman scavenging by Y337A/F338A acetylcholinesterase mutant assisted with novel site-directed aldoximes, Chemical Research in Toxicology 28 (2015) 1036-1044.

Memberships

  • Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: since 1995 member, since 2005 Excutive Committee member, 2007-2016 Secretary, 2013-2017 President, since 2019 vice-president
  • Croatian Society of Natural Sciences, since 2013 member of the Board, 2015-2017 Vice-president, since 2017 President
  • Croatian Toxicological Society, since 2007 member, 2010-2013 presidency member
  • Croatian Chemical Society, since 2003 member
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2015-2021), Cochair in 2020
  • Member of Panel Biology, Croatian Science Foundation, since 2014
  • Chemistry Board, member and vice-chair for technological development and inovations, Agency for Science and Higher Education, since 2017
  • Member NATO RTG „Translating medical chemical defence research into operational medical capabilities against chemical warfare agent threats” (2018-2021)
  • Member NATO RTG„Medical Chemical Defence against Chemical Warfare Agent Threats” (2015-2018)
  • Member of the  FEBS Advance Course Committee (2015-2018)
  • Member of International Advisory Board on Cholinesterases, since 2010
  • Member of International Advisory Board on Cholinergic Mechanisms, since 2013

Other

Principal investigator of on-going scientific grants

  • 2019-2021 „Effects of selected pesticides on neuronal acetylcholinesterase expression“ (Croatian-China bilateral grant, partner Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China)
  • 2019-2022 „CNS-active, Orally Bioavailable, Zwitterionic Oxime Antidote to Organophosphates“ (DTRA project, partner UCSD)
  • 2018-2022 „Analysis of Butyrylcholinesterase Interactions with Novel Inhibitors and Reactivators“ (Croatian Science Foundation)
  • 2018-2022 „Analysis of Butyrylcholinesterase Interactions with Novel Inhibitors and Reactivators“ (Croatian Science Foundation)

List of publications

  • Co-author of 84 scientific papers; >1600 citations, h-index=24

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