Working place: Senior Research Associate
Telephone number: +386 (0)59 23 28 19
Department: Department of Biotechnology and Systems Biology
My current research activities can be divided in three parts:
Work in this field is mostly performed as contract research with partners from Europe and USA, such as AveXis, a clinical-stage gene therapy biotech company.
Focus of research activities is on:
I’m involved in development of new methods for GMO detection, recently mostly focusing on digital PCR. In collaboration with Norwegian Veterinary Institute, through the cooperation in the EU FP7 programme project DECATHLON, we have developed novel multiplex approaches for GMO quantification. We published highest level of multiplexing for quantification of a group of targets (you’re welcome to read our maize and soybean multiplex papers). We were also the first group to publish 4-plex absolute quantification of individual targets with droplet digital PCR (4-plex paper). Both of the multiplex approaches are available as protocols in Digital PCR book chapter.
As deputy head of GMO diagnostics group I’m actively involved in optimization of process for official control of GMOs, which is routinely performed in our department.
My early research work was focused on development of a new (alternative) methods for detection of genetically modified organisms (e.g. NAIMA) and on functional analysis of different genes involved in interaction of potato and potato virus Y (e.g. 1,3-beta-glucanase gene). Both of these topics were vital parts of my PhD thesis.
We further improved NAIMA method within Slovenian research project Q-Finder and EU FP7 programme project Q-DETECT, to be able to simultaneously detect RNA and DNA targets after multiplex isothermal amplification (RNA and DNA NAIMA paper).
Work on functional analysis of genes continued with setting up a system for virus-induced gene silencing studies in Solanum venturii, what was made possible through my two month visit of dr. Visser’s laboratory at Wageningen University and Research. This system could not be performed without fluorescently tagged potato virus Y (GFP-PVY paper).