Date of birth:
Place of birth:
- Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular Biology of Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, 10000 Zagreb
- +385 01 456 1197
- doctor of science
- research associate
- head – Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular Biology of Ruđer Bošković Institute
- full professor – Faculty of Science University of Zagreb
Membership in Academy:
- associate member – Department of Natural Sciences (5/12/2016 – …)
Đurđica Ugarković was born on May 28, 1959, in Gospić. In 1982 she graduated chemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. Since 1983 she has been working at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) where she received her PhD in 1988. She was elected scientific advisor at the RBI in 1998, and since 2005 she has been a full professor of biochemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb.
From 1988 to 1991 she attended postdoctoral training at the Laboratory for Applied Molecular Biology of the University of Mainz, Germany. During 1992, she spent two months, as a scholarship holder of the European Federation of Biochemical Societies, in the Genetics Laboratory of the University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and in 2008 she spent three months as a visiting scientist at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) in Majorca.
She is engaged in scientific research in the field of molecular genetics of eukaryotes, and has studied the regulation of gene expression in different eukaryotic systems. Her main scientific interest is to study the role of non-coding DNA in eukaryotic organisms, especially in the emergence of epigenetic modifications, that is, in gene regulation. Scientific research in this field began together with associates in 1991 at the RBI, and in 2000 she was elected to EMBO (European Academy of Molecular Biology) based on the results achieved. In 2006, the European Commission approved a 550,000 € for the project intended to investigate non-coding DNA.
She has published 75 scientific papers that have been cited 1,540 times, h-index 24. In collaboration with Springer publishing house, she edited two books: Centromere: structure and evolution (2009) and Long Non-coding RNAs (2011). She gave 27 invited lectures at international conferences and mentored 7 doctoral and master theses, i.e. 22 graduate theses.
In the period from 2001 to 2005, she was head of the Department of Molecular Biology of the RBI. She is the head of the Laboratory for Molecular Genetics of Eukaryotes (1991-2005) and the Laboratory for Evolutionary Genetics (from 2008 to the present) at the Department of Molecular Biology of the RBI. From 2010 to 2012 she was assistant director of the RBI for science and education. From 2002 to 2007 she was president of the Croatian Genetic Society.
She is a member of the Science & Society Committee, an EMBO section dedicated to the promotion of science (2006-2010) and the Standing Committee on Life Sciences of the ESF (European Science Foundation) (2008-2012).
She has been a project leader for the popularization of science among young people, within the Civitas association, since 2009. These projects, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, are successfully implemented in about 50 primary schools in eight Croatian counties.