Antonio Zandona

Division of Toxicology

PhD / Scientific Associate

Place and date of birth

Pula, 9 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

  • 2023 – Scientific Associate, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational HeaIth (IMROH), Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2021 – 2023 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
  • 2023. – 2026. Associate researcher within the European research project Horizon „Evolvable and rapidly adaptable monobodies: a broad-spectrum antiviral platform (EvaMobs)“ (PI: Claudio M. Soares)
  • 2022. – 2023.  Associate researcher within the Croatian-German bilateral project „Identifying interactions of renal and hepatic organic cation transporters (OCTs) with oximes, antidotes in the treatment of organophosphate poisoning“, (MZO, PI: dr. sc. I. Vrhovac Madunić)
  • 2022 – 2023. PI „Establishment of a cellular model of the blood-brain barrier for in vitro assessment of the passage of potential drugs into the brain“ (HAZU)
  • 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

  • 2024 – „Training on nicotinamide derivatives as a potential antioxidative shield against ROS-induced cell damage“, 14.1-12.4.2024., Biological Research Centre, Institute of Biophysics, Szeged, Hungary
  • 2023 – „Training on identifying interactions of renal and hepatic organic cation transporters (OCTs) with oximes,“, 14.5-27.5.2023., C-DAT, Greifswald, Germany
  • 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

  • 2022 – „CytoFLEX SRT Cell Sorter – Beckman Coulter“, 23rd-25th February 2022, HEBE, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 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


  • 2023 – EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant for foreign training at Institute for Biophysics, Szeged, Hungary
  • 2022 – FEBS Travel Fellowship to attend 25th IUBMB, 46th FEBS and 15th PABMB Congress, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 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; Madunić, Josip; Miš, Katarina; Maraković, Nikola; Dubois-Goeffroy, Pierre; Cavaco, Marco; Mišetić, Petra; Padovan, Jasna; Castanho, Miguel; Jean, Ludovic et al. Biological response and cell death signaling pathways modulated by tetrahydroisoquinoline-based aldoximes in human cells. Toxicology, 494 (2023) str. 153588-1536. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2023.153588
  2. Zandona, Antonio; Zorbaz, Tamara; Miš, Katarina; Pirkmajer, Sergej; Katalinić, Maja. Cytotoxicity-related effects of imidazolium and chlorinated bispyridinium oximes in SH-SY5Y cells. Arhiv za higijenu rada i toksikologiju, 73 (2022), 277-284.
  3. Gašo Sokač, Dajana*; Zandona, Antonio*; Roca, Sunčica; Vikić-Topić, Dražen; Lihtar, Gabriela; Maraković, Nikola; Bušić, Valentina; Kovarik, Zrinka; Katalinić, Maja. Potential of vitamin B6 dioxime analogues to act as cholinesterase ligands. International journal of molecular sciences, 23 (2022), 21; 13388, 18 doi:10.3390/ijms232113388.
  4. Zandona, Antonio; Jagić, Karla; Dvoršćak, Marija; Madunić, Josip; Klinčić, Darija; Katalinić, Maja. PBDEs found in house dust impact human lung epithelial cell homeostasis. Toxics, 10 (2022), 97-112 doi:10.3390/toxics10020097.
  5. Jurič, Andreja; Tariba Lovaković, Blanka; Zandona, Antonio*; Rašić, Dubravka; Češi, Martin; Pizent, Alica; Neuberg, Marijana; Canjuga, Irena; Katalinić, Maja; Lucić Vrdoljak, Ana et al. The effects of ketamine on viability, primary DNA damage, and oxidative stress parameters in HepG2 and SH-SY5Y cells. Arhiv za higijenu rada i toksikologiju, 74 (2023), 2; 106-114 doi:10.2478/aiht-2023-74-3727.
  6. 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
  7. Jurič, Andreja*; Zandona, Antonio*; Tariba Lovaković, Blanka; Rašić, Dubravka; Pizent, Alica; Kozina, Goran; Katalinić, Maja; Lucić Vrdoljak, Ana; Brčić Karačonji, Irena
  8. Cytotoxic, genotoxic, and oxidative stress-related effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP) in the human neuroblastoma SH- SY5Y cell line. Arhiv za higijenu rada i toksikologiju, 72 (2021), 4; 333-342.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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