Antonio Zandona

Biochemistry and Organic Analytical Chemistry Unit

PhD / Postdoctoral Researcher

Place and date of birth

Pula, 9th February 1992


  • 2017 – 2021 PhD, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, study: Chemistry – biochemistry, disertation: Structure – cytotoxicity relationship of oxime reactivators of phosphylated acetylcholinesterase (Mento: M. Katalinić, PhD)
  • 2014 – 2016 MSc, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, study: Molecular biotechnology, thesis: Overexpresion of selected genes and resistance of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae on growth inhibitors (Mentor: I.K. Svetec, PhD)
  • 2010 – 2014 BSc, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, study: Biotechnology, final work: Application of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents to lipase-catalyzed butil acetate synthesis (Mentor: I.R. Redovniković, PhD)

Work Experience

  • 2021 – Postodoctoral Resratcher, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational HeaIth (IMROH), Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2016 – 2021 Research Assistant, PhD student, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational HeaIth (IMROH), Zagreb, Croatia

Fields of interest

  • Influence of oxime reactivators and potential drugs on cell level, mechanisms of toxicity on cell level and activation and/or inhibition of signaling pathways
  • 2021 – 2024. Associate researcher within the national research project „Development of Bioactive Molecules for Neurodegenerative Diseases Treatment; Croatian science foundation grant“ (HrZZ, PI: dr. sc. Anita Bosak)
  • 2020 – 2021. Associate researcher within the project hrvatsko-slovenske bilateralna suradnja „Promjena vijabilnosti mišićnih stanica pod utjecajem oksimskih analoga“ (MZO, PI: dr. sc. Maja Katalinić)
  • 2019 – 2021. Associate researcher within the project of Croatian-Chinese scientific and technological cooperation suradnja „Effects of selected pesticides on neuronal acetylcholinesterase expression; Croatian-chinese scientific and technological cooperation“ (MZO, PI: dr. sc. Z. Kovarik)
  • 2020 – 2021. PI „Evaluation of kinetic parameters and cell effects of new antidotes based on vitamin B6 for the treatment of poisoning by highly toxic organophosphates“ (HAZU)
  • 2018 – 2019. PI „Cell response to exposure to chlorinated bispyridinium compounds“ (HAZU)
  • 2017 – 2023 Suradnik-istraživač na nacionalnom znanstvenom projektu “Molekularni mehanizmi toksičnosti protuotrova i potencijalnih lijekova – CellToxTargets” (HRZZ, voditeljica: dr. sc. Maja Katalinić)

Additional training

  • 2021 – Training on HBEC-5i human blood-brain barrier model for oxime antidote transport studies: cultivation, integrity and penetration“, 30th August – 15th October 2021, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2019 – „Training on flow cytometry“, 28th May – 14th June 2019, Institute for pathophysiology and Institute for anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2019 – „Training on primary cell cultures, cell lines and protein detection“, 26th January – 8th  February 2019, Laboratory for molecular neurobiology, Institute for pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Courses and workshops

  • 2020 – „Excellent Lab Book for an Excellent Career“, 17th and 18th December 2021, Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and FEBS Workshop on Education
  • 2019 – “Better skills for better jobs: Education and training for successful research careers” FEBS Workshop 25th and 28th September 2019, Lovran, Croatia
  • 2019 – “Skeletal muscle research – from cell to human 2019“, 26th-28th May 2019, Workshop, Institute for pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2018 – “Innovative methods and use of technologies in education”, 4th-5th April 2018, FEBS Workshop, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2017 – “Skeletal muscle research – from cell to human“, 28th-30th May 2017, Workshop, Institute for pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ljubljana, Slovenia


  • 2021 – Grant to attend the 6th Croatian Congress of Toxiciology, Rabac, Croatia
  • 2020 – EMBO Short Term Fellowship for for foreign training
  • 2020 – Best poster award at Symposium of PhD students of Faculty of Science, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2019 – Poster award at HDBMB2019 Congress, Lovran, Croatia
  • 2019 – 2nd best Communication Challenge presentation at FEBS Network, 19th YSF 2019, Krakow, Poland
  • 2019 – Grant to attend the FEBS 19th YSF 2019 and 44th FEBS Congress 2019, Krakow, Poland
  • 2018 – Travel Fellowship for the 13th International Meeting on Cholinesterases and 7th International Conference on Paraoxonases, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • 2016 – Rector’s award – „Influence of a transformation method on a spectum of the recombination events in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae“ (research area: biotechnical – genetics)

Select Publications

  1. Zandona, Antonio; Maraković, Nikola; Mišetić, Petra; Madunić, Josip; Miš, Katarina; Padovan, Jasna; Pirkmajer, Sergej; Katalinić, Maja. Activation of (un)regulated cell death as a new perspective for bispyridinium and imidazolium oximes. Archives of toxicology, 95 (2021), 2737-2754. doi:10.1007/s00204-021-03098-w
  2. Zandona, Antonio; Lihtar, Gabriela; Maraković, Nikola; Miš, Katarina; Bušić, Valentina; Gašo- Sokač, Dajana; Pirkmajer, Segej; Katalinić, Maja. Vitamin B3-Based Biologically Active Compounds as Inhibitors of Human Cholinesterases. International journal of molecular sciences, 21 (2020), 21; 8088, 19. doi:10.3390/ijms21218088
  3. Zandona, Antonio; Katalinić, Maja; Šinko, Goran; Radman Kastelic, Andreja; Primožič, Ines; Kovarik, Zrinka. Targeting Organophosphorus Compounds Poisoning by Novel quinuclidine-3 Oximes: Development of Butyrylcholinesterase-Based Bioscavengers. Archives of toxicology, 94 (2020), 9; 3157-3171. doi:10.1007/s00204-020-02811-5
  4. Zandona, Antonio; Katalinić, Maja. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: Diversity and physiological importance for neurodegenerative disorders and development of organophosphate antidotes. Periodicum biologorum (2020)- doi:10.18054/pb.v121i3-4.10547


  • 2020 – Croatian Society of Toxicology – member
  • 2020 –Member of the Working group for young scientists within the Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 2018 – 2020 – Representative of Assistants to the Scientific Council of the Institute
  • 2017 – Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (HDBMB) – member