Kućan Željko, F.C.A.
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
- Zagreb, January 5, 2023
Kućan Željko, F.C.A.
- fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- doctor of Science
- Professor (retired) – Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
Functions in Academy:
- secretary – Department of Natural Sciences (01/01/2007 – 12/31/2010)
Membership in Academy:
- full member – Department of Natural Sciences (07/24/1991 – 1/5/2023)
- extraordinary member – Department of Natural Sciences (05/17/1990 – 07/24/1991)
- associate member – Department of Natural Sciences (06/07/1977 – 05/17/1990)
Željko Kućan, a Croatian biochemist, was born in Zagreb on May, 24 October 1934. He graduated in Chemistry (1958) and received his Doctorate (1964) from the Faculty of Science in Zagreb. From 1958 he worked at the Institute “Ruđer Bošković”, where in 1972–76 he was head of the Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry and founder and head of the Laboratory for Biosynthesis. He specialized in the Rockefeller Institute in New York (1961–63), was a visiting researcher (1969–72) and an associate professor (1977–79) in the Biochemical Department of New York University. Since 1983, full professor of biochemistry of the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, since 1988 the Head of the Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dean of the Faculty (1990–94), founded the Department of Biochemistry in 1995. It deals with the biochemistry of nucleic acids and the mechanism of transmission of genetic information. Participated in the discovery of the breakdown of deoxyribonucleic acid in irradiated bacteria, is the initiator of research into transportal ribonucleic acid (tRNA) in Croatia. Since 1990, he has been an extraordinary and since 1991 full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was president of the Croatian Biophysical and Croatian Biochemical Society. He received the Award for Scientific Work “Ruđer Bošković” (1991) and the National Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).
- 1941-1953 Elementary and High Shool in Zagreb
- 1953-1958 Study of Chemistry (orientation: Biochemistry) Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb (K. Balenović)
- 1964 Ph. D. in Biochemistry, University of Zagreb (B. Miletić)
- 1956-1958 Ruđer Bošković Institute fellowship
- 1961-1962 International Atomic Energy Agency Fellowship
- 1961-1963 – The Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y. (work on protein biosynthesis with Fritz Lipmann).
- 1969 – 1972 – research associate, and
- 1977/78 and 1978/79 – visiting associate professor at Department of Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, N.Y., with R.W. Chambers
- 1958 – 1983 Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb (assistant in the Department of Radiobiology, then at various positions in the Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry)
- 1972-1976 Head of the Department
- 1972-1983 joint appointment as Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb.
- 1983- Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Science
- 1985-1988 Chairman, Department of Chemistry 1990-1994 Dean, Faculty of Science
Teaching experience (permanently since 1972)
- General Biochemistry for students of Chemistry and Biology
- Nucleic Acids and Protein Synthesis – an advanced course, offered also to graduate students of Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
- Croatian Chemical Society
- Croatian Biochemical Society ( Former President)
- Croatian Biophysical Society
- 1991 Member, Croatian Academy of Science and Arts
- 1991 National Award “Ruđer Bošković”
- Nucleic acids and protein synthesis; structure-function relationships in tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases
- Over 50 papers in major international journals, over 80 conference papers, numerous contributions to domestic journals and books.