Young Researchers Career Development Project

training for graduate students

Funding institution: Croatian Science Foundation (CSF/HrZZ)

Training institution: MedILS (awardee/mentor: Katarina Trajković)

Duration: 2020.– 2023.


This grant is awarded to the mentor of a prospective PhD candidate and supports the student's salary over a four-year period. The student will receive training in the “Biology of Robustness“ group at MedILS under the mentorship of Katarina Trajkovic. The focus of his/her doctoral thesis will be investigation of cellular parabiosis – phenotypic suppression of age-related phenotypes in damaged cells by the surrounding healthy cells via cell-to-cell communication. Cellular parabiosis project has been funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (CSF/HrZZ; project ID: IP-2019-04-3504; and entails collaborations with Northwestern University in Chicago (USA), Ruder Boskovic Institute in Zagreb (Croatia) and University of Goettingen (Germany).

The first goal of the project is to identify experimental systems with functional cellular parabiosis. To that end, we will examine several age-related phenotypes, such as malignancy, senescence and oxidative and proteotoxic stress, as well as genetic deficiency underlying Niemann Pick type C neurodegenerative disorder. Our second goal is to discover cellular and molecular machineries responsible for cellular parabiosis. The project results are expected to establish basis for an innovative approach to slowing aging by stimulation of cellular parabiosis.

During the training, the student will learn to independently design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret the results. Rich academic life and experimental work at MedILS will be complemented by a visit to the University of Goettingen and participation at international and local scientific meetings and outreach events.

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