Zrinka Kovarik

Biochemistry and Organic Analytical Chemistry Unit

PhD / Scientific Advisor

Place and date of birth

Bjelovar, 17 April 1971

Education

  • 1998-2002 Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. “The role of acetylcholinesterase active site domains in binding organophosphates and oximes” [Ph. D. Thesis]. Supervisors: Vera Simeon and Palmer Taylor.
  • 1995-1997 Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. “Amino acid residues controlling the activity and inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase” [M. Sc. Thesis]. Supervisor: Vera Simeon.
  • 1989-1994 Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb. “The role of the Cpf1 protein on expression of acid and alkaline phosphatases in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae” [B. Sc. Thesis]. Supervisor: Slobodan Barbarić.

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

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

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 presidency member, 2007-2016 Secretary, since 2013 President
  • Croatian Toxicological Society, since 2007 member, 2010-2013 presidency member
  • Croatian Chemical Society, since 2003 member
  • Croatian Society of Natural Sciences, since 2013 member of the Board, since 2015 vice-president
  • Member of International Advisory Board on Cholinesterases, since 2010
  • Member of International Advisory Board on Cholinergic Mechanisms, since 2013
  • Member of the FEBS Advance Course Committee (2015-2018)
  • Member NATO RTG„Medical Chemical Defence against Chemical Warfare Agent Threats” (2015-)
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2015-)

List of publications