The 2014 Miroslav Zei Award for Exceptional Achievements in the Field of the Activities of the National Institute of Biology was presented to Associate Professor Dr. Metka Filipič.
Associate Professor Dr. Metka Filipič has been a member of the collective of the National Institute of Biology since 1996. Since 2005, she has served as head of the Department of Genetic Toxicology and Cancer Biology. In recent years, she has made a name for herself as a cutting edge scientist in the field of basic and applied genetic toxicology research.
Her research work covers:
- mechanisms for the genotoxic activity of cyanobacterial toxins, nanoparticles and mutagens that form in food at high temperatures;
- protective activity of matter of natural origin against the genotoxic effects of carcinogens found in food and the environment;
- mechanisms of the activity of the remains of cytostatics in the environment on non-target organisms.
Professor Filipič has published over 70 original scientific papers in journals with a high impact factor, three of which were review articles. Over the past five years, she published five articles in prestigious “A” journals and was the co-author of six chapters in monographic works.
She heads a number of national and international projects. Among the latter, the European CytoThreat project merits mention. The National Institute of Biology is a leading partner in this project in which researchers from seven European countries are taking part.
Professor Filipič is also highly innovative in developing new methods for determining genotoxicity. On the basis of her idea, she worked with co-workers from the Institute of Oncology to develop an alternative in vitro testing system for detecting genotoxicity. It is intended for testing new compounds in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries and for monitoring pollution in the environment. In 2001, this invention was awarded a patent by the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office.
She is also involved in teaching students in various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Under her mentorship, 30 students have received their bachelor’s degree and nine have received their doctorate.
As a member of scientific committees and as an expert, she is active in a number of Slovenian and foreign international organizations. She is also a member of several review boards, including those of the prestigious journals Mutation Research and Reviews in Mutation Research.
Professor Dr. Jana Žel, President of the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Biology, presents the award to Professor Dr. Metka Filipič. (Photo: Žiga Ivanc)