Maja Osmak

Maja Osmak

Ph. D.

+385 1 456 0939

Senior Scientist

Krilo 5/9

Laboratory for Genotoxic Agents
Division of Molecular Biology
Ruder Boskovic Institute
Bijenicka cesta 54
HR-10000 Zagreb

CV engl. finalni.doc 41.00 kB



1969-1974:  Department of  Biology , Faculty of Natural Science, University of Zagreb, B. Sc. degree received in  1974.

1975-1982 : University of Zagreb, graduate courses toward M. Sc. in biology received in 1978. Ph. D. in biology  received in 1982

Postdoctoral study

1984-1985:  University of Southern California, USC Medical School, Department of Radiation Oncology, Los Angeles

Research Areas

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Natural Sciences



1. Cell response to cytotoxic compounds and resistance development (2007-)

2. Biological response to damage – collaborative project  (2003-2005) Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of Republic of Croatia 

3. Cell reponse to physical, chemical and biological noxa ( 2002-2006) Ministry of Science and Technology of Republic of Croatia

4. Cell response to genotoxic agents (1996 -2002) Ministry of Science and Technology of Republic of Croatia

5. Mechanisms involved in cell resistance to genotoxic agents.  (1993-1996) Ministry of Science and Technology of Republic of Croatia


1. ZD0473 as a possible agent to overcome resistance of tumor cells to cisplatin (2010-2011), with  dr. sc. Koeberle R. from Institute of Toxicology, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

2. Diaryltriazenes - a new group of potential anti-cancer drugs (2009-2010), with prof. S. Polanc from Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology University of Ljubljana,  Slovenia 

3. Molecular mechanisms determining cellular susceptibility to platinum drugs (2008-2009), with prof. G.Fritz from Institute of Toxicology, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

4. Rho GTPases and  adhesion-mediated tumor cell resistance to cisplatin (2006-2007), with prof. G. Fritz from Institute of Toxicology, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

5. Synthesis and evaluation of new potential cytostatics from diazene family (2006-2007), with prof. S. Polanc from Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology University of Ljubljana,  Slovenia 

6.  Increase in efficacy of anticancer drugs by silencing of target genes in tumor cells (2006-2007),  with dr. sc. S. Panov from Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University "St. Cyril & Methodius", Republic of Macedonia

7. New potential anti-cancer drugs: diazenes and their derivatives (2004-2005), with prof. S. Polanc from Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

8. Diazenes as potential anti-cancer drugs  (2001-2003), with prof. S. Polanc from Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana,  Slovenia    

Awards and Achievements

Krka’s reward for thesis

Croatian State Reward for Science 2003


1. Cell response to genotoxic agents, Molecular and cellular biology, Faculty of Natural Science, University of Zagreb

2. Neuronal cells: from cell damage to cell death, Neuroscinece, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb

3. Resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapy, Molecular bioscience, University Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek, University of Dubrovnik and Ruđer Bošković Institute

4. Resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapy – new strategies of treatment, Pharmaceutical-biochemical science,  Faculty for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb

5. Radiobiology, Clinical oncology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb


8 Ph.D. thesis, 8 M.Sc.thesis, 11 Graduation thesis 

Featured Publications

1. Osmak, M. : Repeated doses of gamma rays induce resistance to N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in Chinese hamster cells. Radiat. Res., 115 : 609-616, 1988.

2. Osmak, M., Korbelik, M., Suhar, A., Škrk, J., Turk, V.: The influence of  cathepsin B and leupeptin on potentially lethal damage repair in mammalian cells. Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys., 16 : 707-714, 1989. 

3. Osmak, M., Perović, S.: Multiple fractions of gamma rays induced resistance to cis-dichlorodiammi-neplatinum (II) and methotrexate in human HeLa cells. Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys., 16 :1537-1541, 1989.

4. Osmak, M., Užarević, B. : Mechanisms involved in resistance of preirradiated Chinese hamster V79 cells to cytotoxic drugs are multifactoral. Res. Exp. Med., 191 : 413-421, 1991.

5. Osmak, M., Horvat, Ð.: Chromosomal analysis of Chinese hamster V79  cells exposed to multiple gamma-ray fractions : induction of adaptive response to mitomycin C. Mutat. Res., 282: 259-263, 1992. 

6. Osmak, M., Eljuga, D.:  The characterization of two human cervical carcinoma HeLa sublines resistant to cisplatin. Res. Exp. Med., 193: 389-396, 1993.

7. Osmak, M., Kapitanović, S., Miljanić, S.:  Low doses of gamma rays can induce the expression of mdr  gene. Mutat., Res., 324: 35-41, 1994.

8. Beketić-Orešković, L., Jakšić, M., Orešković, S., Osmak., M.: Hyperthermic modulation of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) resistance in human larynx carcinoma cells. Int. J. Hyperth., 13: 205-214, 1997. 

9. Osmak, M., Vrhovec, I., Škrk, J.: Cisplatin resistant glioblastoma cells have increased concentrations of urokinase plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1. J. Neuro-Oncol., 42: 95-102, 1999.

10. Osmak, M., Nikšić, D., Brozović, A., Ambriović Ristov, A., Vrhovec, I., Škrk, J.: Drug resistant tumor cells have increased levels of tumor markers for invasion and metastasis. Anticancer Res., 19: 3193-3198, 1999. 

11. Osmak, M., Bordukalo, T., Košmrlj, J., Kvajo, M., Marijanović, Z., Eljuga, D., Polanc, S.: Diazenes: modificators of tumor cell resistance to cisplatin. Neoplasma, 46: 201-206, 1999.

12. Osmak, M., Svetić, B., Gabrijelčič-Geiger, D., Škrk, J.: Drug-resistant human laryngeal carcinoma

cells have increased levels of cathepsin B. Anticancer Res., 21: 481-484, 2001.

13. Moskatelo, D., Benjak, A., Laketa, V., Polanc, S., Košmrlj, J., Osmak M.: Cytotoxic effects of diazenes on tumor cells in vitro. Chemotherapy, 48:36-41, 2002.

14. Ambriović-Ristov, A., Gabrilovac, J., Čimbora-Zovko, T., Osmak, M.: Increased adenoviral transduction efficacy in human laryngeal carcioma cells resistant to cisplatin is associated with increased expression of integrin avb3 and Coxsackie adenovirus receptor. Int. J. Cancer, 110: 660-667, 2004.

15. Brozović, A.; Fritz, G.; Christmann, M.; Zisowsky, J.; Jaehde, U.; Osmak, M.; Kaina, B.: Long-term activation of SAPK/JNK, p38 kinase and fas-L expression by cisplatin is attenuated in human carcinoma cells that aquired drug resistance.  Int. J. Cancer, 112: 974-985, 2004. 

16. Jakopec, S.; Dubravčić, K.;  Polanc, S.;  Košmrlj, J.; Osmak, M.: Diazene JK-274 inducs apoptosis-like cell death in human cervical carcinoma cells. Toxicol. In Vitro, 20:217-226, 2006.

17. Brozović, A.; Osmak, M.: Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by cisplatin and their  role in cisplatin-resistance. Cancer Lett., 251: 1-16, 2007.

18. Čimbora-Zovko, T.,  Ambriović-Ristov, A.; Lončarek  J.; Osmak, M.: Altered cell-cell adhesion in cisplatin-resistant human carcinoma cells: A link between b-catenin/plakoglobin ratio and cisplatin resistance. Eur. J. Pharmacol., 558: 27-36, 2007. 

19. Brozović, A., Majhen, D., Roje, V., Mikac. N., Jakopec, S., Fritz, G., Osmak, M., AmbriovicRistov, A.: αVβ3 integrin mediated drug resistance in human laryngeal carcinoma cells is caused by glutathione dependent elimination of drug induced reactive oxidative species. Mol. Pharmacol. 74: 1-9, 2008.

20. Brozovic A, Damrot J, Tsaryk R, Helbig L, Nikolova T, Hartig C, Osmak M, Roos WP, Kaina B, Fritz G:Cisplatin sensitivity is related to late DNA damage processing and checkpoint control rather than to the early DNA damage response. Mutat Res., 670: 32-41, 2009.

21. Brozovic A., Ambriović-Ristov A., Osmak M.: The relationship between cisplatin-induced oxygen species, glutatione and BCL-2, and resistance to cisplatin. Critical Rev. Toxicol., 40: 347-359, 2010.

22. Burja B., Čimbora-Zovko T., Tomić S., Jelušić T.,  Kočevar M., Polanc S., Osmak M.: Pyrazolone-  fused combretastatins and their precursors: synthesis, cytotoxicity, antitubulin activity and molecular modeling studies. Bioorg. Med. Chem., 18: 2375-2387, 2010.

23. Čimbora-Zovko T., Fritz G., Mikac N., Osmak M.: Downregulation of RhoB GTPase  confers resistance to cisplatin. Cancer Lett., 295: 182-190, 2010.

24. Čimbora-Zovko, T., Brozovic, A., Piantanida, I.,  Fritz, G., Virag, A., Alič, B., Majce, V., Kočevar,  M., Polanc, S., Osmak, M.: Synthesis and biological evaluation of 4-nitro-substituted 1,3,-diaryltriazenes as a novel class of potent antitumor agents.Eur. J. Med. Chem., 46: 2971-2983, 2011.

25. Helbig, L., Damrot, J.,  Huelsenbeck, J.,  Koeberle, B.,  Brozovic, A., Osmak, M., Fiket, Z.,  Kaina,   B., Fritz, G.: Late activation of stress-activated protein kinases/C-JUN-N-terminal kinases triggered by cisplatin-induced DNA damage in repair defective cells. J. Biol. Chem., 286:12991-3001, 2011.

Membership in professional associations / societies

Croatian Genetic Society, Societas Biologorum Croatia, Croatian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Croatian Society for Cancer Research,  European Mutagen Society, European Association for Cancer Research


Head of Laboratory for Genotoxic Agents
Invited lectures

15 invited lectures hold on international and national scientific meetings and institutes


for several national and international scientific journals and grants proposals.

Functions in scientific boards

National Scientific Board for election in scientific position  (2009-)

Scientific Board of Ruđer Bošković Institute, President: 1995-1997, 2005-2007

Scientific Board of the Division of Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, President: 1993-1995, 1997 – 1999, 2001- 2003

Commission of the Ministry of Science and Technology of  the  Republic of  Croatia for the projects from the field of biology 1996-1998

Croatian Society for Radiation Protection, President: 1995-1997

Editorial board (membership)

Radiology and Oncology

Organisation of scientific meetings

Member of scientific/organizing committees at 9 international and domestic conferences (once the president of scientific committee)


Krka’s reward for thesis

Croatian State Reward for Science 2003

The main field of interest

Cell response to genotoxic stress

Molecular mechanisms involved in resistance of mammalian cells to genotoxins



Patent application Nr. 381-03/09-010/0144 (major authors M. Osmak and S. Polanc)


170  papers (100 in journals cited in Current Contents, 8 chapters in books, 1 textbook).

Citations: over 900 times, h-index 15