Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cell Physiology

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.03.00  Medical sciences  Neurobiology   
4.06.00  Biotechnical sciences  Biotechnology   

Code Science Field
B000  Biomedical sciences   

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
secretory, vesicle, exocytosis, cytosolic, calcium, cAMP, glucose, lactate, membrane fusion, cellular edema, intelligent defficiency, Alzheimer's disease, neurodegeneration, diabetes
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (49)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  54657  Ena Begić  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
2.  55849  Kaja Belko Parkel  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2021 
3.  39123  PhD Mićo Božić  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2020  35 
4.  53473  Urška Černe  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  17 
5.  33901  PhD Patrizia D'Adamo  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2017  33 
6.  51962  PhD Dorian Dolanc  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021 
7.  50628  PhD Katja Fink  Neurobiology  Researcher  2017 - 2021  29 
8.  54658  Borut Furlani  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
9.  23345  PhD Mateja Gabrijel  Pharmacy  Researcher  2015 - 2019  47 
10.  37650  PhD Miloš Galić  Neurobiology  Researcher  2018 - 2021 
11.  26145  PhD Špela Glišović Krivec  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  51 
12.  27961  PhD Nina Grasselli Kmet  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2021  99 
13.  34319  PhD Alenka Guček  Computer science and informatics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  73 
14.  18548  PhD Helena Haque Chowdhury  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  155 
15.  36369  PhD Anemari Horvat  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  85 
16.  01302  PhD Matjaž Jeras  Biotechnology  Researcher  2015 - 2020  363 
17.  13300  PhD Matjaž Jereb  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2021  251 
18.  27585  PhD Jernej Jorgačevski  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  180 
19.  15666  PhD Marko Kreft  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  684 
20.  55841  Danaja Kuhanec  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2021 
21.  37492  PhD Eva Lasič  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2015 - 2018  44 
22.  34893  PhD Clara Limbaeck Stanic  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020  45 
23.  38243  PhD Marjeta Lisjak  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  21 
24.  28753  Milica Lukić  Neurobiology  Technical associate  2021  75 
25.  21493  PhD Maja Matis  Neurobiology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  32 
26.  34356  PhD Marko Muhič  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  22 
27.  23346  PhD Tina Pangršič Vilfan  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  49 
28.  37274  Miha Pate  Neurobiology  Technical associate  2016 - 2021 
29.  27747  PhD Samo Pirnat  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  15 
30.  28858  Natalija Planinc Strunjaš  Neurobiology  Technical associate  2021  41 
31.  21390  PhD Maja Potokar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  161 
32.  36486  PhD Pia Pužar Dominkuš  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Technical associate  2016 - 2017  42 
33.  32000  PhD Boštjan Rituper  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  65 
34.  54114  Erika Rus  Neurobiology  Technical associate  2020 
35.  53467  Zala Smole  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021 
36.  39164  PhD Tina Smolič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2021  31 
37.  15467  PhD Matjaž Stenovec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  202 
38.  34712  PhD Mojca Stojan Dolar  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2018  71 
39.  16418  PhD Gorazd Bernard Stokin  Neurobiology  Researcher  2020  175 
40.  51958  PhD Petra Tavčar Verdev  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  30 
41.  31572  PhD Saša Trkov Bobnar  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2015 - 2020  56 
42.  20214  PhD Nina Vardjan  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  267 
43.  32525  PhD Jelena Velebit Marković  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  40 
44.  37641  PhD Alexei Verkhratsky  Neurobiology  Researcher  2015 - 2020  151 
45.  54663  Julijan Vršnik  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
46.  53430  PhD Gerhard Wiche  Neurobiology  Researcher  2019 - 2020  21 
47.  03702  PhD Robert Zorec  Neurobiology  Head  2015 - 2020  802 
48.  34905  PhD Marko Žličar  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2021  22 
49.  52340  Maja Žugec  Public health (occupational safety)  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  12 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,195 
2.  1683  Celica BIOMEDICAL  Ljubljana  1506854  1,782 
CELL PHYSIOLOGY programme aims to understand the mechanisms by which cells communicate with each other in normal and pathologic conditions. Eukaryotic cells emerged 1-2 billion years ago and are characterized by subcellular organelles. These include SECRETORY VESICLES, storage for chemical messengers, playing an important role in cell-to-cell communication and are the OBJECT of our studies. Rapid communication between neurons consists of the propagation of action potentials along axons to nerve terminals, where the merger between the vesicle and the plasma membrane is triggered. This process is part of the late steps of REGULATED EXOCYTOSIS and leads to the formation of a water filled fusion pore, which mediates the exit of molecules, stored in the vesicle lumen, into the extracellular space. Not only neurons, practically all eukaryotic cells exhibit exocytosis, and we will study several cell types, including pituitary cells, astrocytes, adipocytes and clonal cells to address questions related to: i) VESICLE TRAFFIC AND MEMBRANE FUSION, ii) CYTOSOLIC SIGNALLING AND METABOLISM, iii) CELL PHYSIOLOGY IN DISEASE MODELS. Although the Nobel Laureate B. Katz started to investigate exocytosis over five decades ago, the knowledge of this process is still fragmental, mainly due to experimental inaccessibility. We will use METHODS, including super-resolution microscopy and electrophysiology, which we introduced in our labs to monitor physiological parameters at cellular, single organelle, and at single molecule level together by using cell cultures, tissue slices and transgenic animal (disease) models to correlate the cell function to pathologic and therapeutic significance. TRANSLATION. We strongly believe that this strategy will not only provide us with publishing in the highest visibility peer review papers as was the case in the past (J. Neuroscience, JBC, Neuron, Glia, Nature Drug Discovery Reviews, Nature Protocols, Nature Communications), but will also allow us to reach-out translational directions. During the last period we have been able to establish the lab GMP standards and developed (on the basis of membrane fusion experiments) an advanced cell-based medical product which entered into a clinical trial (EudraCT # 2012-005498-29). We will continue to file patent applications as we already have for the discoveries of platforms to screen for molecules targeting vesicle dynamics and metabolic changes in cells. The other aspect of translation is the dissemination of our results through education; we introduced new curricula at the University of Ljubljana (Fundamental Physiology, Molecular Physiology and Cell Engineering). FEASIBILITY & IMPLEMENTATION. Our team consists of highly motivated researchers, working within a quality management system compliant with the ISO:17025 standard, and the Cell & Tissue Establishment regulations, both audited by the Slovenian Accreditation (EU Accreditation System) and by the National Agency for Medical Products an Devices.
Significance for science
We believe that the work we are proposing is significant on several different levels (the relevance of the investigated research objects in this proposal have been acknowledged by the recently awarded Nobel Prize in 2013). First, it is interesting in its own right, providing new information about ubiquitous biological processes - exocytosis, vesicle traffic, cytosolic homeostasis of second messengers and metabolites - that at present are not well understood. Second, these are model systems for the study of ‘functional genomics and proteomics’. That is, for most complex biological processes involving the specific interactions of dozens of different genes and proteins, it is not possible to monitor the process in real-time in living organisms. For this one has to use single cells and multiple techniques, which can be used either individually or simultaneously in combination to address questions related to the properties of functional modules that contribute  to the function of cells and organisms as a whole, using also animal models of human diseases. Unitary exocytic events in pituitary cells and astrocytes, which outnumber neurons in brain, can be studied in this way. Understanding vesicle dynamics prior and after exocytosis can also be studied in single cells such as astrocytes, which are increasingly viewed as essential elements in information processing in the central nervous system in health and disease. The cytosolic events involving second messengers and metabolites that are associated with vesicle traffic are poorly understood and optical techniques in combination with fluorescent molecular probes provide an approach that promises new important directions to be opened in the future. In particular with the advances in super-resolution microscopy, advanced electrophysiology, the use of optical nanosensors and others. All of these methods are introduced into our labs. In combination with tissue slices the function of single cells can be placed in the framework of a cell association and then into animal models of diseases. Finally, it seems reasonable to hope that this work, while targeted to only a few types of diseases (cancer, neurodegeneration, intelligent dissability) will be useful for discovering new therapeutic processes and targets and thus helping to preserve and promote human health. Anterior pituitary hormones control bodily functions including growth, development, reproduction, and responses to stress. To understand neuroendocrine integration one needs to understand the mechanisms that control exocytosis. Therefore, the proposed research will not only examine fundamental physiological/biophysical aspects of exocytosis, vesicle traffic, cytosolic signaling with messengers and metabolites, but will additionally reveal new aspects of physiological regulation of hormone and neurotransmitter release, vesicle traffic and cytosolic homeostasis in terms of conditions related to cancer, neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s Disease, Intellectual Dissability), brain trauma and diabetes.
Significance for the country
Cell Physiology represents an essential discipline for the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic methods in modern molecular medicine. Therefore, the strategy to support fundamental and applied research cell sciences represents a strategy to deliver and support a much more rapid development of the whole society, including that in Slovenia. Fundamental research is essential for the education of future experts and also the lay public. The latter needs to be educated in terms of understanding the new developments in cell biology and molecular medicine. For example: the promising new discoveries in stem cell research, subcellular physiology, cell engineering, cell-based therapy, the biology and mechanisms of diseases, the mechanisms of treatment, and others need to be presented to the public. Furthermore, solving problems in the context of universal problems at the highest possible methodological level is increasing the visibility, credibility and competence of the whole society. Expertise in the field of Cell Physiology, which has a tradition of several decades in Slovenia, also in the industry of biologicals, is necessary to support a more rapid development for Slovenia, contributing significance for global efforts with the family of other nations.
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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