Andreja Kozak

EDUCATION

PhD in nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2020
Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Thesis title: Targeting the tumor microenvironment with nanoparticles for treatment and diagnostics
Mentor: prof. dr. Olga Vasiljeva

M.Sc. in Biochemistry, 2015
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Thesis title: Targeting Cathepsin S with Stefin A-conjugated Liposomes in Inflammation
Mentor: prof. ddr. Boris Turk

B.Sc. in Biochemistry, 2013
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Thesis title: Characterization of Cytotoxicity of Potential Anticancer Drugs on Primary Murine Cells
Mentor: prof. ddr. Boris Turk

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

01/10/2015–Present: Young researcher
Jozef Stefan Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

My research is focused on targeting proteases, namely cathepsins in inflammatory diseases. We prepared a drug delivery system based on stefin A-functionalized liposomes to target cathepsins S and L. We evaluated the system in vitro and in vivo in a murine breast cancer model.
In the second part of my work I study the effect of aluminium-based nanoparticles on tumor cells and their microenvironment.
Additional responsibilities include supervision of undergraduate students.

PUBLICATIONS
    • Bratovs, A., Kramer, L., Mikhaylov, G., Vasiljeva, O., Turk, B. (2019). Stefin A-Functionalized Liposomes As A System For Cathepsins S And L-Targeted Drug Delivery. Biochimie, 166 (2019), 94-102.
    • Lerner, M. I., Mikhaylov, G., Tsukanov, A. A., Lozhkomoev, A. S., Gutmanas, E., Gotman, I., Bratovs, A., Turk, V., Turk, B. Psakhye, S. G., Vasiljeva, O. (2018). Crumpled Aluminum Hydroxide Nanostructures as a Microenvironment Dysregulation Agent for Cancer Treatment. Nano Letters, 18(9), 5401-5410.
CONFERENCES
    • “Stefin A as a ligand for cathepsins S and L-targeted drug delivery”, poster at the European In Vivo Optical Imaging User Group Meeting, Barcelona 2019; Award for most commended poster
    • “A system for cathepsins S and L-targeted drug delivery based on Stefin A-functionalized liposomes”, short talk at the 36th Winter School on Proteinases and Their Inhibitors, Tiers 2019
    • “Stefin A as a ligand for cathepsins S and L-targeted drug delivery”, poster at the 16. International Symposium on Proteases, Inhibitors and Biological Control, Portorož 2018
    • “Targeting cathepsins B, S and L with DARPin/stefinA-conjugated liposomes in cancer”, poster at the Mitochondria, apoptosis and cancer, Bled 2017
TRAINING AND ADDITIONAL SKILLS

Training: Laboratory Animals Training Course, European In Vivo Optical Imaging User Group Meeting 2019 (Workshop)
Languages: Slovene, English, (basics in Italian, Russian, German)
Digital skills: MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, basic programming skills (Python)