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Commemoration in Honor of Professor Greta Pifat-Mrzljak

Mar 10th 2010

A commemoration in honor of our dearly departed colleague, Professor Greta Pifat-Mrzljak, was held today at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. Together with many dignitaries and scientists the ceremony featured contributions from the General Director of the RBI, Danica Ramljak, PhD, the Rector of the University of Zagreb, Dr. Aleksa Bjeliš, the Director of the Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystem research in Austria, Professor Peter Laggner, the Austrian Ambassador to Croatia and Mr. Jan Kickert. Professor Robert Huber a Nobel Prize winner from the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, attended the commemoration as well.

For much of her active scientific career, Professor Greta Pifat-Mrzljak worked in the Laboratory for Magnetic Resonance in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the RBI. Her scientific research work was concerned with the investigation of the relationship between the structure and function of biologically important macromolecules (hemoglobin, human lipoproteins) with the help of spectroscopic methods (NMR, ESR, FTIR and fluorescence) and a strong focus towards application in biomedicine.

Professer Greta Pifat-Mrzljak organized and led ten International Summer Schools on Biophysics. The schools, entitled Supramolecular Structure and Function, continue to be held under the auspices of the IRB and, among many sponsors, are supported by IUPAB and UNESCO. This year, the American Biophysical Society awarded Professor Pifat-Mrzljak with the 'Emily M. Gray' prize for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of scientific research and development of education in the field of biophysics. She was the winner of the Annual National Award for the popularization and promotion of science (1997), the initiator and organizer of the action Nobel Laureates for Peace in Croatia (1992). In 2002, she received the 'Austrian Medal for Science and the First Class Art'.

As part of the commemoration, a tree was sewn at the RBI in memory of Professor Greta Pifat-Mrzljak. The tree and the accompanying plaque have been donated by the Nobel Laureate, Professor Manfred Eigen, and Dr. Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch.

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