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Dr. Marta Popović

Senior research associate
Internal phone number
Academic title
Assistant Professor

Ruđer Bošković Institute
Bijenička 54
HR-10000 Zagreb

Curriculum vitae


2017- present Group leader, Tenure-track Research Associate

Group members: Cecile Otten, PhD; Christine Supina, MSc; Ivan Anticevic, MSc; Marin Kutnjak, MSc

Group website:

Postdoctoral Researcher, 2014 - 2017 (DNA Damage and Repair Group - PI: 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: 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

Research Areas

Specific research interests


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: Marjetka Podobnik (SLO) and 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.


Teaching activities

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 3 PhD students, 1 Master student and 3 Bachelor and Erasmus students. I have completed supervision of five master theses at the Faculty of Sciences, two bachelor theses and six 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.

Publications - Conference journals

Sažetak izlaganja sa skupa

Publications - Conference unpublished

Neobjavljeni prilog sa skupa

Publications - Graded papers

Diplomski rad

Doktorska disertacija

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 27 scientific publications out of which 23 original articles, 3 review articles and 1 ebook, 13 published as a first author, 25 in Q1 journals, 1 in Q2 and 1 in Q4. Articles published as a first author are published in journals with very high impact factors (IF 9.8 - 16.9). Number of citations 686, h indeks 15 (Scopus, 24.02.2022).

Editor – Associate 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, ebook published March 2022 Citation: Kahl, V., Hoch, N., Popovic, M., eds. (2022). Genome Instability: Old Problem, New Solutions. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88974-691-0

Reviewer: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 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 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 (


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.

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