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Jozef Stefan Institute AP132

DC-THERA Third Party  

The Jozef Stefan Institute is the leading Slovenian scientific research institute, covering a broad spectrum of basic and applied research. The staff of more than 850 specializes in natural sciences, life sciences and engineering. The subjects concern production and control technologies, communication and computer technologies, knowledge technologies, biotechnologies, new materials, environmental technologies, nanotechnologies, and nuclear engineering. The mission of the Jozef Stefan Institute is the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge at the frontiers of natural science and technology to the benefit of society at large through the pursuit of education, learning, research, and development of high technology at the highest international levels of excellence. The Institute was founded in 1949. Initially established as an institute for Physics within the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, it is today involved in a wide variety of fields of both scientific and economic interest. After close to 60 years of scientific achievement, the Institute has become part of the image of Slovenia. The basic goals of the Institute are to provide expert scientific and applied output in the form of processes, products and consultancy, and to produce well-trained young scientists. The underlying philosophy is that these objectives can be achieved only if based on international class scientific research. With this in mind, the in-house research has been reinforced by building strong links to universities, other research institutions and industry. The Institute is closely connected with the Slovenian universities, where many scientists who initially developed their research talents at the Institute have been appointed to teaching posts, while still retaining their research positions or research teams at the Institute. Since 1985 more than 800 postgraduate students have gained their Ph.D. degrees at the Institute. Close collaboration with the Slovenian University Medical Centre has resulted in the development of medical equipment (tomography, electrical stimulators and appliances), the provision of isotopes for clinical research and treatment of patients, and the introduction of new research techniques and diagnostic methods into clinical medicine. The Institute devotes a considerable amount of effort to transferring the results of its research and knowledge to productive applications and to the market.


Research areas:
- Protein biochemistry
- Proteolysis and its regulation by inhibitors
- Programmed cell death
- Regulation of immune response
- Protein folding and aggregation
- Structural biology
- Physiological and pathophysiological role of proteases in cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative disorders
- Proteomics
- Chemical genomics
- Nanobiology
- Development of computational methods for structural biology
- Biotechnological methods for production of recombinant proteins and antibodies

The major goals of our research are to characterize the individual proteases (primarily from the cathepsin family) and their inhibitors (stefins, cystatins and related proteins) and to unravel the molecular mechanisms of processes leading to programmed cell death or regulating the immune response of the organism. In addition, our research is focused towards understanding the roles of proteases in various pathological processes, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and different neurological disorders (Huntington disease, …). An important area of research is also formation of amyloid fibers. For a better understanding of these processes a number of tools are needed, and therefore we are developing production of various antibodies and recombinant proteins (proteases and their inhibitors). We also participate in the development of activity-based probes for proteases suitable for work in cellular and in vivo models, and for testing pharmacologically-relevant compounds. In addition, we have a key role in establishing a center for proteomic research, which would cover the needs of whole Slovenia. One of the important areas is also understanding of the 3-D structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes at the atomic level, thereby linking the sequencing information with the mechanism of molecule action. In this way, the research is focused in target identification and validation, which are key areas of research in the field of biomedicine in connection with biotechnology.
Affiliated Persons
Scientific responsible
Contact Information
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Phone +386 1 477 3215
Fax +386 1 477 3984
Address Office: Jozef Stefan institute, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology, Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

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