Innovative training in methods for future data

Samira Smajlović

I come from Srebrenik, a small town located in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am a former Genetics and Bioengineering student as well as a student teaching assistant at International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a member of the research team investigating reference genes for quantitative analysis using real-time PCR in human periapical inflammatory lesions. 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.

From mid-April 2018, I am employed as a research associate at Faculty of Sciences at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. 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. 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, this 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. Collectively, our goal is to pave the way to identify possible novel therapeutic intervention points towards ageing related processes and diseases.

I am keen on sharing my knowledge with younger generations either through laboratory exercises or projects they are involved in to give as much contribution as possible both to science and to provide help and support to students. Furthermore, to make this world a better place, trough Marie Curie Alumni Association membership, different public engagement and science popularization activities, I am involved in reaching out the wider public and speaking about not only my research but also benefits of participating in MSC actions.