Aleksandra Usenik

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Structural biology group lead by Prof. Dušan Turk I have been mainly involved in structural biology studies of recombinantly expressed cell wall proteins (CWPs) from Clostridioides difficile. The crystal structures of multi-domain Cwp8 and Cwp6 from C. difficile revealed the cell wall binding type 2 (CWB2) module (Usenik et al., 2017) that is shared among 29 CWPs of C. difficile 630 and represents one of the two evolutionary conserved surface layer (S-layer)-anchoring modules in Gram-positive bacteria. The aim of our studies is to gain structural insight into the CWPs to understand the functions of these proteins acting either alone or as a part of the surface (S-) layer assembly. Since no atomic resolution models of S-layers from pathogenic bacteria, such as C. difficile, have been determined so far, we hope our studies will significantly improve the knowledge in this field of research. I have also participated in structural and biochemical characterization of the system responsible for the export of CWPs and proteins involved in biosynthesis of the secondary polysaccharides that mediate anchoring of the CWPs to the cell wall.

CORE QUALIFICATIONS

molecular biology (molecular cloning and mutagenesis), protein expression, protein purification, protein crystallization, biochemical characterization of proteins

EXPERIENCE

2018 – NOW POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER/ RESEARCH ASSISTANT, Jožef Stefan Institute

2013-2018 PhD STUDENT/ASSISTANT with BA, Jožef Stefan Institute

Membership: Slovenian Biochemical Society

EDUCATION

2013-2018
Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School

PhD; Structural and biochemical characterization of autolysins from Staphylococcus aureus Mu50

2008-2013
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

BA in Biochemistry; Preparation and use of recombinant aminopeptidase C from Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris to increase the crystallizability of proteins

Livija Tušar

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

specificity of enzymes, new approaches in data analysis by using statistics and machine learning

CORE QUALIFICATIONS

Current positions

Research associate in the research group “Structural biology” (80%), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Structural Biology, IJS (starting in 2014)

General Director, Centre of Excellence for Integrated Approaches in Chemistry and Biology of Proteins (20%) (starting in 2010)

Teaching Appointments

Assistant Professor of Statistical design of experiments and modelling (Compulsory course type in the study program Food safety in the agri-food chain, 4 ECTS, 2nd level), University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences (starting in 2006)

EXPERIENCE

2010-2014 Research associate in the research group “Proteolysis”, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Structural Biology, IJS

2006-2010 Researcher, Department of Pharmacokinetics studies, Development center Slovenia, Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.

2004-2006 Undersecretary, Ministry of higher education, science and technology, Multilateral department

2001-2004 Counsellor to the Government, Ministry of education, science and sport, Multilateral department

1999-2001 Counsellor to the Government, Ministry of science and technology, Multilateral department

1996-1999 Independent researcher registered at Slovenian research agency.

1988-1996 Early stage researcher from company SRC d.o.o. in National institute of chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenija

1987-1988 Early stage researcher from company DSSS SOZD Kemija in National institute of chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenija

Memberships: Slovenian Biochemical Society, FEBS

EDUCATION

2006 State exam in Public Administration

1993-1998 Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology

1987-1990 M.Sc. in Chemistry, University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology

AWARDS

1990 Boris Kidrič Fund, Invention and improvement Award