Silva Katušić Hećimović

Silva Katušić Hećimović

Doc, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist
Head of the Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Disease Research
+385 1 457 1327


Krilo 5/030B

Bijenicka 54
10002 Zagreb


Silva_KatusicHecimovic_CV_ENG_09102018.pdf 99.55 kB


  • 1991 University of Zagreb Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, B.Sc.
  • 1995 University of Zagreb Faculty of Science (field: Chemistry, branch: Biochemistry), M.Sc.
  • 2000 University of Zagreb Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Ph.D.
  • 2001-2004 St. Louis, MO, USA Washington University School of Medicine, post-doc.

Specific research interests

molecular mechanism(s) of neurodegenerative diseases, molecular and cellular biology of alzheimer's disease


Croatian Science Foundation – call IP-06-2016 (2017-2021)

Title: Molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration in Niemann-Pick type C

Role: Principal Investigator

Bilateral project between DAAD (Germany) and MZOS (HR) (2016-2017)

Title: Elucidating BACE1 as a potential target for treating Niemann-Pick type C disease

Role: Principal Investigator


Bilateral project between Croatia and Serbia (2016-2017)

Ttile: Elucidating BACE1-substrate processing and distribution in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and their potential role in the disease pathogenesis

Role: Principal Investigator


Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) - “Projekt razvoja karijera mladih istraživača - izobrazba novih doktora znanosti” (2015-2018)

Role: Mentor

FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF (Marie Curie) (2014-2016)

Title: Presenilin 2 - a protector against Alzheimer's disease

Role: Coordinator

Awards and Achievements

  • 1991 University of Zagreb dean's award for the best student work in the year 1990/91.
  • 2001 Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship
  • 2002 The John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation postdoctoral fellowship
  • 2005 NIH-Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award - USA
  • 2008 Award J. J. Strossmayer (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts/ Zagreb fair), for the best publishing venture in science, for the book „Methods in molecular biology“by Andreja Ambriović Ristov (Editor-in-chief) and Anamaria Brozović, Branka Bruvo Mađarić, Helena Ćetković, Maja Herak Bosnar, Dubravka Hranilović, Silva Katušić, Hećimović, Nevenka Meštrović Radan, Snježana Mihaljević, Neda Slade, Dušica Vujaklija (Eds.).


  • Lectures and laboratory practice of the "Polymerase Chain Reaction Method" at the course Methods in Biology and Medicine „DNA and RNA“ organized by Rudjer Boskovic Institute
  • Lecturer of the course "Genetics of Neurodegenerative Diseases" at the graduate studies of the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
  • Lecturer of the course "Genetics of Neurodegenerative Diseases" at the Interdisciplinary graduate studies Molecular Biosciences of the University „J.J. Strossmayera“ in Osijek and Ruđer Bošković Institute
  • 2016 - Docent, Doctoral studies in "Molecular biosciences", J.J. Strossmayer University, Osijek

Featured Publications

Cermak S, Kosicek M, Mladenovic-Djordjevic A, Smiljanic K, Kanazir S, Hecimovic S. (2016) Loss of Cathepsin B and L Leads to Lysosomal Dysfunction, NPC-Like Cholesterol Sequestration and Accumulation of the Key Alzheimer's Proteins. PLoS One. 11(11):e0167428. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167428.

Drechsler S, Lynch MA, Novella S, González-Navarro H, Hecimovic S, Barini E, Tucci V, Castro RE, Vandenbroucke RE, Osuchowski M, Potter PK. (2016) With mouse age comes wisdom: A review and suggestions of relevant mouse models for age-related conditions. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 160:54-68. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.07.005.

Malnar M, Hecimovic S, Mattsson M, Zetterberg H. (2014) Bidirectional links between Alzheimer's disease and Niemann-Pick type C disease. Neurobiology of Disease, Neurobiol Dis 72 Pt A: 37.

Kosicek M, Wunderlich P, Walter J, Hecimovic S. (2014) GGA1 overexpression attenuates amyloidogenic processing of APP in NPC1-null cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 450: 160-5.

Ting SK, Benzinger T, Kepe V, Fagan A, Coppola G, Porter V, Hecimovic S, Chakraverty S, Alvarez-Retuerto AI, Goate A, Ringman JM. (2014) A novel PSEN1 mutation (I238M) associated with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in an African-American woman. Journal of Alzheimers Disease. 40: 271-5.

Kosicek M, Hecimovic S. (2013) Phospholipids and Alzheimer’s disease: alterations, mechanisms and potential biomerkers. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14: 1310-22.

Mattsson N, Olsson M, Gustavsson MK, Kosicek M, Malnar M, Månsson JE, Blomqvist M, Gobom J, Andreasson U, Brinkmalm G, Vite C, Hecimovic S, Hastings C, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Portelius E. (2012)  Amyloid-β metabolism in Niemann-Pick C disease models and patients. Metabolic Brain Disease. 27:573-585.

Malnar M, Kosicek M, Lisica A, Posavec M, Krolo A, Njavro J, Omerbasic D, Tahirovic S, Hecimovic S. (2012) Cholesterol-depletion corrects APP and BACE1 misstrafficking in NPC1-deficient cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease1822: 1270-83.

Kosicek M, Zetterberg H, Andreasen N, Peter-Katalinic J, Hecimovic S. (2012) Elevated cerebrospinal fluid sphingomyelin levels in prodromal Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience Letters 516: 302-5.

Malnar M, Kosicek M, Mitterreiter S, Omerbasic D, Lichtenthaler SF, Goate A, Hecimovic S. (2010) Niemann Pick type C cells show cholesterol dependent decrease of APP expression at the cell surface ad its increased processing through the beta-secretase pathway. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease 1802: 682-91.

Kosicek M, Kirsch S, Bene R, Trkanjec Z, Titlic M, Bindila L, Peter-Katalinic J, Hecimovic S. (2010) Nano-HPLC-MS analysis of phospholipids in cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer's disease patients - a pilot study. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 398: 2929-37.

Kosicek M, Malnar M, Goate A, Hecimovic S. (2010) Cholesterol accumulation in Niemann Pick type C (NPC) model cells causes a shift in APP localization to lipid rafts. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 393: 404-9.

Cam JA, Zerbinatti CV, Knisely JM, Hecimovic S, Yonghe L, Bu G (2004) The LDL receptor-related protein 1B retains APP at the cell surface and reduces amyloid-b peptide production. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279: 29639-46.

Hecimovic S, Wang J, Martinez M, Goate A (2004) Mutations in APP have independent effects on Ab and CTFg generation. Neurobiology of Disease 17: 205-218.

Wang J, Brunkan AL, Hecimovic S, Walker E, Goate A (2004) Conserved “PAL” sequence in presenilins is essential for g-secretase activity, but not required for formation or stabilization of g-secretase complex. Neurobiology of Disease 15: 654-666.

Schroeter EH, Ilagan MXG, Brunkan AL, Hecimovic S, Li Y-M, Xu M, Lewis HD, Saxena MT, De Strooper B, Coonrod A, Tomita T, Iwatsubo T, Moore CL, Shearman M, Goate A, Wolfe MS, Kopan R (2003) A presenilin dimer at the core of the gamma-secretase enzyme: insights from parallel analysis of Notch 1 and APP proteolysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A 100: 13075-80.

Hećimović S, Barišić I, Muller A, Petković I, Barić I, Ligutić I, Pavelić K (1997) Expand Long PCR for fragile X mutation detection. Clinical Genetics 52: 147-154.

Membership in professional associations / societies

  • Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Croatian Society for Alzheimer's Disease
  • Croatian Society of Human Genetics
  • Croatian Society of Clinical Genetics


  • 2009 Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

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