Dr. Marta Popović
2017- present – Group leader, Tenure-track Research Associate
Group members: Cecile Otten, PhD, Christine Supina, MSc, Ivan Anticevic, MSc
Group website: https://martafry.wixsite.com/popoviclab
Postdoctoral Researcher, 2014 - 2017 (DNA Damage and Repair Group - PI: Prof.dr.sc Kristijan Ramadan) working on the project: The role of SPRTN protease in the repair of DNA-protein crosslinks at CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, University of Oxford, UK.
Feb 2014 PhD in Molecular Biosciences, mentor: dr.sc. Tvrtko Smital, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
2008 - 2014 Doctoral studies in Molecular Biosciences (GPA 5.0/5.0), joint interdisciplinary postgraduate programme - University of Osijek, University of Dubrovnik and Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb
2006/2007 MSc in Environmental Sciences, Master thesis mentor: Rosa Maria Roman-Cuesta (MSc thesis - distinction), Oxford University Centre for Environment (OUCE), University of Oxford, UK
1999 - 2005 MSc in Biology, Master thesis mentor: Dr. Sanja Gottstein, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb (GPA 4.9/5.0), Zagreb, Croatia
1.2020-2023 ‘Structural characterization of factors involved in DNA-protein crosslink repair‘ - Slovenian-Croatian Bilateral Project (IPS-2020-01) (1.5 million HRK), Institute Ruder Boskovic, Croatia and National Chemistry Institute, Slovenia. Collaborators: dr.sc Marjetka Podobnik (SLO) and dr.sc. Nives Ivić (IRB, HR) ̴ 200,000 EUR (CRO side, project co-leader dr. Marta Popovic) + ̴ 300,000 EUR SLO side, project co-leader dr. Marjetka Podobnik
2.2018-2023 ‘Deciphering DNA-Protein Crosslink Repair in vivo using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in zebrafish model ’Croatian National Science Foundation Installation project grant (1.86 million HRK), Institute Ruder Boskovic, Croatia. ̴ 250,000 EUR Project leader dr. Marta Popovic
More information at group website:
Awards and Achievements
2006/2007 OSI/FCO Chevening Scholarship (Open Society Institute/Foreign Commonwealth Office), fully funded for MSc at Oxford University, fully funded for MSc at Oxford University, UK (full scholarship covering university fees, accommodation and life expanses and travel ̴ 35,000 EUR)
2002 – 2004 City of Zagreb scholarship City of Zagreb Scholarship for exceptionally gifted student (
̴ 10,000 EUR)Awards and prizes
2014 - Annual award ‘Zeljko Trgovcevic’ given by Croatian Genetics Society for the best publication by young scientists (Popovic et al., JBC, 2013)
2014 - Departmental award for best publication in 2013, Institute Ruder Boskovic, Zagreb, Croatia.
2013 – FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies), EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and IUBMB (International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) joint scholarship for the attendance at Spetsai summer school ‘Protein interactions, assemblies and human disease', Greece.
2012 –Student scholarship given by Croatian society for biochemistry and molecular biology’ for the attendance (presentation) at theFEBS3+ Meeting – From molecules to life and back,Opatija, Croatia.
2011 – Student scholarship for the attendance (presentation) at the 16th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO 16), Long Beach, California.
2010 – FEBS scholarship for the attendance (poster and short presentation) at the 35th Annual meeting of Federation of European Biochemical Societies – ' FEBS - Molecules of Life’ and YSF (Young scientist Forum), Goteborg, Sweden.
2009 – Best presentation award for young researchers at the 15th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO 15), Bordeaux, France.
Invited lecturer at the educational workshop for mentors 'The Importance of Mentoring and of Being Mentored', organized by interdisciplinary postgraduate programme ' Molecular Biosciences', 16/11/2019, Ruder Boskovic, Zagreb, Croatia.
Supervision of postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, Master and Bachelor students
I am currently supervising 1 Postdoc, 2 PhD students, 3 Master students and 2 Bachelor students. I have completed supervision of two master theses at the Faculty of Sciences during 2020, two bachelor theses and two student internships from the Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology at University of Zagreb and one Erasmus exchange student from the University of Ghent. During my work as a Research Assistant in a group of T. Smital, I was co-supervising two PhD students and one Master student which resulted in 4 publications.
1.Vaz, B.*, Ruggiano, A.*, Popovic, M., Rodriguez-Berriguete, G., Kilgas, S., Singh, A.N., Higgins, G.S., Kiltie, A.E., Ramadan, K. (2020) SPRTN protease and SUMOylation coordinate DNA-protein crosslink repair to prevent genome instability. BioRxiv, submitted to Cell reports (IF 8.11, Q1), in revision.
2.Popovic, M. *, Fielden, J.*, Ramadan, K. (2020) TEX264 at the Intersection of Autophagy and DNA repair. Autophagy (IF 12.04, Q1, 5%) (*equal contribution).
3.Halder, S. *, Torrecilla, I. *, Burkhalter, M., Popovic, M., Fielden, J., Vaz, B., Oehler, J.,..., Ramadan, K. (2019) SPRTN Protease and Checkpoint Kinase 1 Cross-Activation Loop Safeguards DNA Replication. Nature communications, 3142 (IF 13.8, Q1, 5%) (*equal contribution)
4. Fielden, J. *, Ruggiano, A. *, Popovic, M., Ramadan, K. (2018). DNA protein crosslink proteolysis repair: From yeast to premature ageing and cancer in humans. DNA Repair (Invited review article with partly original data) (*equal contribution) (IF 4.5, Q1, 5%)
5.Popovic, M.*, Vaz, B*., Ramadan, K. (2017). DNA-Protein Crosslink Proteolysis Repair. Trends in Biochemical Sciences (Invited review article with partly original data) (*equal contribution) (IF 16.9; Q1, 5%)
6. Popovic, M.*, Vaz, B*., Newman, J., Fielden, J., Aitkenhead, H., Halder., S…Gileadi, O., Ramadan, K. (2016) Metalloprotease SPRTN/DVC1 Orchestrates Replication-Coupled DNA-Protein Crosslink Repair. Molecular Cell. 64, 704–719. (*equal contribution) (IF 15.6; Q1, 5%)
7.Popovic, M.*, Mihaljevic, I.*, Zaja, R., Smital, T. (2016) Phylogenetic, syntenic, and tissue expression analysis of slc22 genes in zebrafish (Danio rerio). BMC genomics. 17:626. (*equal contribution) (IF 4.39; Q1).
8. Popovic, M.*, Lončar, J*., Krznar, P., Zaja, R., Smital, T. (2016) First characterization of MATE (Multidrug and Toxin Extrusion) proteins in zebrafish. Scientific Reports. Article number: 28937. (*equal contribution) (IF 5.8; Q1, 10%).
9.Popovic, M., Zaja, R, Fent, K., Smital, T. (2014). Interaction of environmental contaminants with zebrafish uptake transporter Oatp1d1 (Slco1d1). Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 280 (1), 149-158. (IF 4.45; Q1, 10%).
10.Popovic, M., Zaja, R., Fent, K., Smital, T. (2013) Molecular characterization of zebrafish Oatp1d1 (Slco1d1), a novel organic anion transporting polypeptide. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288 (47) 33894-33911. (IF 5.33; Q1, 10%).
11. Popovic, M., Zaja, R., Smital, T. (2010) Organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATP) in zebrafish (Danio rerio): phylogenetic analysis and tissue distribution. Comparative Biochemistry and physiology-A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology 155 (3), 327-335. (IF 3.1; Q1).
12. Popovic, M., Zaja, R., Loncar, J., Smital, T. (2010) A novel ABC transporter: The first insight into zebrafish (Danio rerio) Abch1. Marine Environmental Research 69 (SUPPL. 1), pp. S11-S13. (IF 3.45; Q1, 10%).
13. Popović, M., Gottstein-Matočec S. (2006). Biological aspects of the Spinicaudata (Branchiopoda, Diplostraca) in the largest alluvial wetland in Croatia. Crustaceana 79 (4), 423-440. (IF 0.79; Q2).
Membership in professional associations / societies
Croatian society of biochemistry and molecular biology - member
Croatian biophysical society - member
Croatian Association for Cancer Research (HDIR) - member
Croatian genetic society - member
Author of 24 scientific publications, out of which 10 as a lead author. 22 are published in Q1 and 1 in Q2 journals. Highest-impact publications are published as a lead author and three of those are published in very high impact journals (IF 9 -14). Out 24 publications, 21 are original articles and 3 are review articles with partly original data. H index - 14, Number of citations – 532 (Source: Scopus database, accessed 16.11.2020).
Editor – Guest editor for the special issue in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (IF 5.186, Q1, 15%): ‘Genome Instability: old problem, new solutions’, 2020/2021
Reviewer: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, BMC Genomics, PlosOne
Invited talks and conference proceedings
I have attended more than 20 conferences and gave 10 talks out of which 2 were invited: at FEBS conference that is planned in 2022 (‘Mechanisms of DNA-protein crosslink repair’) and at FEBS Society conference organized by Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (HDBMB) in 2019 (‘The role of proteases in DNA-protein crosslink repair‘).
I have been invited to chair the 'Cancer' session at EdinFishTech, Edinburgh, UK in 2019 and organize and chair an Early-bird session ‘Molecular toxicology and Environment‘ at FEBS 2022.
I gave a short talk at the Gordon Research Conference ‘Mammalian DNA Repair’ and a longer talk at Gordon Research Seminar in 2017 in Ventura, USA after publishing first-coauthor publication about the discovery of the role SPRTN protease in DNA repair in Molecular Cell.
Public outreach and media coverage
Invited interview/comment on Nobel prize for chemistry awarded in 2020 for discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in Radio show on Croatian Radio 1 'I like Platon', 09/10/2020 (https://radio.hrt.hr/aod/drag-mi-je-platon/356904/).
2014 – FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) certificate for work with laboratory animals (mouse), University Oxford, UK.
2013 - Summer school on ‘Protein interactions, assemblies and human diseases’, Spetses, Greece.
2012 - Education and Training in Basic Radiation Safety for Radiation Workers (to work with radiation sources used in scientific and research laboratories), University of Applied Health Studies, Zagreb, Croatia.
2009 - 10th International Summer School on Biophysics: Supramolecular Structure and Function, Rovinj, Croatia.