Antonija Sulimanec

Division of Occupational and Environmental Health

PhD in Nutrition / Scientific Associate

Place and date of birth

Zagreb, 6 August 1986


  • 2019 PhD in Nutrition
    • 2012-2019 Post-graduate (doctoral) study of Nutrition University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. Assessment of nutritional and toxic metal intake by seafood: comparisons in healthy postpartum women from continental and coastal Croatia [PhD thesis] mentor: M. Piasek
  • 2010 Master in Nutrition; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. Interaction of cadmium and essential microelements iron and zinc in non-pregnant and pregnant laboratory rats [master thesis] mentor: M. Piasek

Work Experience

Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia

  • Since 2023 Division of Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Since 2011 Analytical Toxicology and Mineral Metabolism Unit
    • 2019 – 2023 Postdoctoral Researcher
    • 2011 – 2019 Research Assistant, Scientific Novice
    • 2011 Replacement for an investigator on maternity leave

Fields of interest

  • Her work is in the area of nutritional toxicology and focuses on the evaluation of health benefits and potential risks from dietary metal exposure in humans, especially in the vulnerable population groups of women during reproductive age and young children. She was an active collaborator in several national research projects.

Scientific research projects:

  • 2023 – 2027 Interactions between human and environmental health: determinants for health preservation, HumEnHealth (funded by Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, PI: J. Macan // Work Package 2 Food and Health, supervisor: A. Sulimanec)
  • 2019 – 2025 Exposure to pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides in children – risk assessment for adverse effects on neuropsychological development and hormonal status, PyrOPECh (funded by Croatian Science Foundation, grant No. IP-2019-04-7193, PI: V. M. Varnai)
  • 2019 – 2024 Assessment of the effects of prenatal exposure to α-cypermethrin on epigenetic programming and endocrine disruption of reproduction and development in experimental rats (in-house scientific project, PI: A. Katić)
  • 2017 – 2023 Development of functional beverage in sustainable packaging (JamINNO+, EFRR
  • 2017 – 2022 Assessment of daily exposure to metals and maternal individual susceptibility as factors of developmental origins of health and disease, METALORIGINS (funded by Croatian Science Foundation, grant No. IP-2016-06-1998, PI: M. Piasek)
  • 2012 – 2014 Exposure to metals and their effects in pregnancy and postnatal period (funded by Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, MSES grant No. 022-0222148-2135, PI: M. Piasek)

Teaching at university level

Associate at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology in the Department of Food Quality Control, Laboratory for Nutrition Science. Lecturer in course Interaction of Essential and Toxic Elements (course coordinator: I. Rumora Samarin, PhD)

Co-mentor or supervisor during the preparation of thesis of graduate students at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology (seven times until 2024)

Lecturer in 1st ToxLearn4EU Summer School held at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia from July 3 to July 14, 2023 (local organizer M. Gerić)

Additional training

  • 2023 Dubrovnik Summer School on Molecular Biosciences in Medicine with the International Oxidative Stress Symposium, Dubrovnik organized by University of Dubrovnik, University of Osijek and Ruđer Bošković Institute
  • 2013 Fundamentals of Designing and Communicating Scientific Research, Zagreb, Croatia organized by Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb and Association for the Promotion of Multimedia Education (UMNA), Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2013 Course in Health risk assessment: principles and applications, Stockholm, Sweden organized by Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2011 EUROTOX Basic Toxicology Course, Belgrade, Serbia organized by EUROTOX, Serbian Society of Toxicology and Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia


  • Young Scientist Award (the CROTOX fellowship Award), 5th Croatian Congress of Toxicology, October 9-12, 2016 Poreč, Croatia

Select Publications

  1. Sulimanec Grgec, A., Kljaković-Gašpić, Z., Orct, T., Tičina, V., Sekovanić, A., Jurasović, J., Piasek, M. 2020. Mercury and selenium in fish from the eastern part of the Adriatic Sea: A risk-benefit assessment in vulnerable population groups. Chemosphere, 261, 127742.
  2. Sulimanec Grgec, A., Jurasović, J., Kljaković-Gašpić, Z., Orct, T., Rumora Samarin, I., Janči, T., Sekovanić, A., Grzunov Letinić, J., Matek Sarić, M., Benutić, A., Capak, K., Piasek, M. 2022. Potential risks and health benefits of fish in the diet during the childbearing period: Focus on trace elements and n-3 fatty acid content in commonly consumed fish species from the Adriatic Sea. Environmental Advances 8, 100226.
  3. Sekovanić A, Piasek M, Orct T, Sulimanec Grgec A, Matek Sarić M, Stasenko S, Jurasović J. 2020. Mercury exposure assessment in mother–infant pairs from continental and coastal Croatia. Biomolecules 10(6), 10060821.


  • Croatian Society of Food Technologists Biotechnologists and Nutritionists
  • Croatian Society of Toxicology


  • Science Popularization – lectures and workshops for children of preschool and school age, students and teachers in STEM fields and adult population within the institutional project IMImobil

List of publications