Samira Smajlović

About me

Hello, I’m Samira, and I am a former Genetics and Bioengineering student as well as a student teaching assistant at International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, I am a member of the research team investigating reference genes for quantitative analysis using real-time PCR in human periapical inflammatory lesions.

My protein personality

My protein personality says that I am a transcription factor: an analyst that reads and responds appropriately to situations as they arise. I integrate information from multiple sources before acting and I am well regarded for my calm and collected demeanor.

Current research

From mid- April 2018, I am employed as an Early-Stage Researcher 3 in the research group led by prof. Vlatka Zoldoš. I am focused on epigenetic regulation of protein glycosylation and quality control mechanisms in protein synthesis.

Research goal:

To pave the way to identify possible novel therapeutic intervention points towards ageing related processes and diseases.

After much research in this area, it was proposed that the environment induces changes in development that have long term impact on later health, disease risk and longevity. Our aim is to study epigenetic regulation of genes previously identified by GWAS (Genome Wide Association Studies) to be relevant for protein glycosylation and to try to understand their functional roles. Moreover, my research involves identifying biomarkers (the alternations in gene expression that are correlated to a specific outcome) related to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. It aims to understand what causes disease which is essential to not only create treatments, but also to work towards ways of preventing the disease in the first place.

Thinking outside of the box

I spent one-month long secondment at Roche Diagnostics in Penzberg, Germany, in December last year. Intersectoral and interdisciplinary secondments are supposed to prepare ESRs to act as a bridge between several diverse disciplines and to help them experience working in different environment. During this time, I went through the process of glycan analysis using LC and MS mostly, all the way from data production via data analysis to data interpretation. Very much appreciating the opportunity to be able to learn from other members of the network!

Virtual Research Day and Ageing Workshop

During the Virtual research day, I gave a presentation (abstract) on the work done and the progress of my research as well as on the collaborative work inside the assigned ESR discussion teams. All the presentations, including mine,  were given feedback from the Scientific Advisory Board.

I also attended an online Ageing Workshop with a poster presentation about my research as well as a glycomics session chair. There was also a great opportunity for all the attendees to attend an author workshop given by an editor at Elsevier as well as a yoga session to regain balance and strength during the lockdown.

Besides the above mentioned, I participated in the 11th ISABS conference  2019 as a PhD student poster presenter. Additionally, I took part in a PhD Student Symposium at the University of Zagreb 2020 with an oral presentation.

Unimaginable participation and unexpected inspiration

Here, among three of my project colleagues, I shared work from home experience of mine during the last lockdown in Croatia and how I, as a wet lab researcher, adjusted to a new reality. Later that year, I was inspired to design COVID-19 related MCAA merch- guess what?! Yes, you are right. Face protective masks and mouse pads with an MCAA logo and a quote by Marie Curie: ” I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”


Creating something amazing together

Trough Marie Curie Alumni Association membership, different public engagement and science popularization activities such as European researchers’ nights, I am involved in reaching out the wider public and speaking about not only my research but also benefits of participating in MSC actions.



You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.”

Marie Curie