News

8.-11.12.2023 10th Socratic Lectures consisted of three events: an Organ recital of Roberta Schmid from Naples, Italy at the Church of Assumption, Tromostovje, on Friday, 8.12. 2023. The next day, scientific symposium took place online. The plenary lecture on mesenchymal stem cell extracellular vesicles was donated by prof. Bernd Giebel from Essen, Germany, followed by 17 scientific sections. The symposium was organized by the Centre of livelong learning of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of LJubljana in collaboration with Universities from Georgia, Spain, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. There were about 200 participants from 21 countries. The subjects of interest were medicine, natural sciences, green transition, digital transition, business, social sciences and education. There were two sections on extracellular particles. At the closing of event Agata Angelika Sojecka and Borys Urbanowicz from Poland performed The swan (by C. Saint Saens) and Apres un reve (By G. Faure) on harp and viola, respectively. On Monday, 11.12.2023 the accompanying social event was held at the Academy of Music, Palace Kazina. The event included classical and contemporary music performed by musicians and by scientists. The program of the symposium and of the concert will remain depicted on the Socratic lectures sheet until publication in the symposium Proceesings.   

20.5.2023 Concert devoted to 15 years of Socratic Lectures was held at the Hall of Julij Betteto, Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana. The programme included F. Chopin Polonaise, Op 40, No 1 performed on the piano by Elena Startseva Somun, G. Donizetti, Sonata for flute and harp in G minor performed by Anita Prelovšek on the flute and Lara Pelikan on the harp, L. van Beethoven Sonata for violin and piano Spring performed by Vittorio Sbordone on the violin and Keith Goodman on the piano, C. Saint Saens The swan from Animal carneval performed by Anita Prelovsek on the flute and Lara Pelikan on the harp, M. Ravel Sonata for violin and piano No.2 (Allegretto and Blues, moderato) performed by Branko Brezavscek on the violin and Elena Startseva Somun on the piano, J. Ibert Entr'acte performed by Anita Prelovsek on the violin and Lara Pelikan on the flute and F. Mendelsohn The wedding march performed by Jana Jamšek on the organ. The addition to the programme was the first public performance of the K Goodman Sonata for violin and piano performed by Inga Ulokina and the composer. After the concert a social event with music took place in the Club of the Academy of Music, featuring Baron Valvasor composed and performed by Aleona von Sultanova; the composition was first published in the Proceedings of the Socratic Lectures. Musicians and scientists performed together and created a unique atmosphere of a night that will be remembered.

Our guests from Naples, Italy were Vittorio Sbordone: Graduated in violin at the "Domenico Cimarosa" Conservatory of Avellino and in Chamber Music at the "San Pietro a Majella" Conservatory of Naples. He collaborates on a regular basis with the San Giovanni Orchestra conducted by K. Goodman, but boasts interesting forays into rock, folk and pop, together with his Quartetto Archi d' Autore. The recording work "Napolion" published by the production company "Il Picchio" is by him, while for "Arrivante", also published by the same record company, he played the role of Arrangement and Composition in collaboration with the Lampedusano artist Antoine Michel, and Keith Goodman: Italian-American musician who studied at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, where he graduated in Piano, Composition, Conducting, Instrumentation for band, choral music.He is the author of numerous award-winning compositions and performed at various events.He carries out concert activity in Italy and abroad. (Spain, China). Since 2009 he has been the permanent conductor of the San Giovanni Orchestra, since 2013 of the Vox Artis choir. In 2018/19 he was conductor of the orchestra of the Parthenope University of Naples. He has editorial and recording publications to his credit.

19.5.2023 9th Socratic Lectures took place on Friday, May 19 online, from  17.45 p.m. to 20.00 p.m. The lecturer was dr. Marija Ipavec who conveyed to the students her 45 years experience with wearing an above the knee prosthesis. 

21.1.2023 8th Socratic Lectures took place on Saturday, January 21 online, from  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There were 7 sections (Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Musculo - Skeletal Health, Prosthetics, Physics, Nanostructurome and Crossroads of Science, Medicine, Art and Education. Plenary lecture featuring excellent science was given by prof. Sergej Tomić, Belgrade, Serbia. There were 100 Lecture contributions to scientific sections with about 130 attendants of the symposium from 14 countries. The symposium included 56 undergraduate students from University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, 10 students from Doctoral School of University of Ljubljana, 16 contributions to posters and 18 members of organizing committee.                  

1.12.2022 The annual meeting of the ARRS project J3-3066 took place online. the results of work packages (WPs) were presented as listed below: WP1: Effect of sample processing on plasma and on EV isolates, Kralj-Iglič: Tasks 1.1. (Effect of centrifugation on plasma and EV isolates) and 1.2. Modeling of distribution of particles in samples during centrifugation. Podobnik, Hočevar: Task 1.3. (Imaging of plasma with electron microscopy), WP2. Assessment of molecular content of samples (ELTE, UL BF; leading partner ELTE), Schlosser: Task 2.1 (ELTE) Glycan profiling of plasma and of EV isolates,    Drobne: Task 2.2 (leading partner UL BF) Assessment of samples for concentration of growth and inflammation factors.  Kogej: Characterization of plasma by DLS.  Deliverable D2.2.1 (month 12): Report on the setting of methods to assess molecular characteristics of EVs, WP3. Implementation of plasma in clinical practice (UL FHS, UMC DORL; leading partner UMC DORL). Battelino: Report on the progress of the work, WP4. Optimization of method for plasma preparation. Penič: report on the development of the sensor for the erythrocyte boundary movement, WP5. Dissemination of results (all partners; leading partners UL FHS and ELTE) Task 5.1 Publication of results in scientific journals.

14.2.2022 The member of our laboratory Marko Jeran received an award from the Major of the city of Ljubljana Zoran Janković for his contribution to the youth research activity.

11.12.2021 6.th Symposium Socratic Lectures took place online. The symposium featured excellent science with the plenary lecture of dr. Antonella Bongiovanni from National Research Council of Italy and 7 scientific sections. The Proceedings of the symposium and the individual contributions are published online https://www.zf.uni-lj.si/si/predstavitev/zalozba/socratic-6

10.12.2021 The member of our laboratory prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič and prof. Aleš Iglič from the Laboratory of Physics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, received the Zois Award for achievements in the field of physics of biological and inorganic nanostructures. The Zois award is the highest national award for science in the Republic of Slovenia. It states that it was awarded for deepening of the understanding of mechanisms of cellular functions and intercellular communication through experimental, theoretical, and clinical research in the field of biological membranes, membrane nanostructures, external vesicles, and inorganic nanostructures. Video of the award ceremony: National Radio and Television Slovenia (RTV) News from the Slovenian media: University of Ljubljana: Zois's awards and recognitions 2021  Časoris: Who are the awardees for excellence in science?  N1: Known recipients of the Zois and Puh Lifetime Achievement Awards Delo: Awards for top scientists

1.12.2021 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana in collaboration with Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary, National Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Metals and Technology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Biopechnical Faculty, Faculty of Electrotechnics and Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology with supporting partner National Research Council of Italy and Domel d.o.o. will start the project "Optimization of platelet and extracellular vesicle rich autologous blood plasma for treatment of postoperative wounds in otorhinolaryngology". The project (about 0.5 M Eur) will be financed by Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and Hungarian National Innovation Office (NKFIH). Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics is a coordinating partner in the project.

4. 10. 2021 The kick off meeting of the COST project: RNA communication across kingdoms: new mechanisms and strategies in pathogen control took place online. The coordinator of the project is Prof. Amy Buck from University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. A brief description of the project aims is given below. Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics is involved in the project through membership of Prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglic.

A new frontier in RNA biology has emerged in the last decade with findings that RNA is found outside of cells and can transmit information between cells, organisms and species as a form of communication. RNA communication is associated with numerous infectious diseases in both animals and plants but efforts at understanding, harnessing and blocking the mechanisms are disjointed between different disciplines. While there are coordinated efforts to advance the field of extracellular RNA (exRNA) in the USA, the focus is primarily on clinical aspects of exRNAs as biomarkers. Advancing the budding field of exRNA and harnessing its potential in understanding and treating disease urgently requires mechanistic understanding, in particular to understand how RNAs are selected for export, how they traffic outside the cell and how they integrate in a functional pathway in a recipient. This COST action will promote European leadership in this area by integrating a network of researchers examining intercellular and inter-organismal RNA transfer mechanisms across all three domains of life, with a specific focus on host-pathogen interactions. Pathogens provide a unique tool with which to probe the basic mechanisms of exRNA, since many pathogens have evolved to mimic and inhibit host cell processes including RNA transmission. In this COST action we will promote an integrated approach to advancing the exRNA field and aligning applications of the field with sustainable development goals in infectious disease and pest control based on coordinated objectives: i) define an agenda for exRNA research that is rooted in mechanistic understanding, ii) elevate new models for the study of exRNA, iii) align investigators across diverse systems (animals, plants, microbes, fungi)and iii) identify gaps in knowledge and integrate new disciplines into the exRNA field, iv) bridge dialogue between basic and applied research in RNA communication.

28. 09. 2021 International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) has launched a new journal Journal of Extracellular Biology. A member of the Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič is a member of the Editorial board. A platform with description of the journal and instructions for authors can be found in https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/27682811/homepage/

17. 09. 2021  Manca Orel and Kristina Berglez, 4th year students at the Gymnasium and Veterinary School of the Biotechnical Education Center Ljubljana were awarded Krka award for the work entitled “Air pollution with floating (PM) particles and the study of their impact on cell membranes”. They presented the results of a three-year research under the mentorship of Marko Jeran, a member of the Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics, Faculty of Health Sciences and co-mentor dr. Ana Kroflič from the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana.

16.7.2021 Darja Božič defended her PhD Cum laude within the Doctoral School of the University of Ljubljana, field Biosciences under the supervision of prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič and co-supervision of prof. Ksenija Kogej.

8.7.2021 Technical Meeting of the Ves4us project took place online. Members of the laboratory attended the meeting where recent results of the partners were discussed.

3-8. 7.2021 FEBS conference took place online.   The members of the LKBF participated with posters and a contribution to the cultural programme https://network.febs.org/posts/science-meets-music-a-composition-for-the-45th-febs-congress​ 

28.6.2021 Marko Jeran was awarded two prizes (for mentorship and coordination of the project) within the field of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Medicine at the National competition for young researchers in Murska Sobota. The authors were high school students Kristina Berglez and Manca Orel.

21.6.2021 Karin Schara, M.D. (an associated researcher) defended her PhD within the Doctoral School of the University of Ljubljana, field Biosciences under the supervision of prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglic. 

23.4. 2021 A B.Sc. student Luka Irenej Pečan was awarded 3.th prize for his research work entitled Quantitative determination of biologically active compounds in industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa L.) and its Microbiological Quality in 30.th International meeting "Step into the Future". The event was organized online by the Bauman Moscow State Technical University and the Russian Youth Engineering Society. The mentor of the work was a member of the Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics Marko Jeran while the co-mentors were a former member dr. Roman Štukelj and prof. Karmen Godič Torkar, all from the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana.

16.4. 2021 Symposium Socratic Lectures took place online. The symposium featured tree sections: Emergent problems in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Emergent problems in Physiotherapy and Free topics. The members of the organizing committee were prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič, prof. Klemen Stražar, prof. Anže Kristan, prof. Renata Vauhnik, prof. Darja Rugelj and dr. Anita Prelovšek. Cultural program was be performed by Giovanni Masi and Anita Prelovšek.

15.4. 2021 Matevž Tomaževič, M.D. (an associated researcher) defended his PhD within the Doctoral School of the University of Ljubljana, field Biosciences under the supervision of prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglic and co-supervision of prof. Matej Cimerman from the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. 

18.2.2021 A call to submit to Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences entiled "Membranous Nanostructures - Micro World Communication Infrastructure" was launched at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/Membranous_Nanostructures  Prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič is the guest editor of this issue. We will be happy for the contributions.

18.2. 2021 Proceedings of the 4.th International Symposium Socratic Lectures was published online.
https://www.zf.uni-lj.si/images/stories/datoteke/Zalozba/Sokratska_2021.pdf

1.2. 2021 National Recognition Prometheus for Communication and Promotion of Science in Slovenia for our member Marko Jeran. Slovenian Science Foundation awarded our colleague Marko Jeran from Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics at Faculty of Heath Science and Laboratory of Physics at Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, with the National recognition Prometheus for communication and promotion of science in Slovenia. The justification of this extraordinary reward reads: “The award is received for outstanding achievements in the from: communicating and promotion of the values of science to young people (pupils and students), bringing science closer to the general public, promoting science through events, popular science or professional publications and scientific excellence. He has mentored 76 research works/ projects for young people.”

26.1. 2021 A Research topic in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology - section Nanobiotechnology was launched. The special issue entitled Micro, Nano and Molecular Mechanisms of Cross-Domain Communication to Tackle Environmental Problems (with guest editors Veronika Kralj-Iglič, Gabriella Pocsfalvi and Albert Lebedev) is wellcoming submissions. Please see https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/19231/micro-nano-and-molecular-mechanisms-of-cross-domain-communication-to-tackle-environmental-problems?utm_source=F-RTM&utm_medium=TED1&utm_campaign=PRD_TED1_T1_RT-TITLE

11.12. 2020 Christmas Technical Meeting of the Ves4us project took place online. Members of the laboratory attended the meeting where recent results of the partners were discussed.

11.12.-13.12. 2020 Socratic Symposium and Socratic Lectures took place online. This year, the Symposium featured tree sections: Emergent environmental pollution problems, Biophysics of membranes and Cellular nanovesicles. The last section was organized by the members of the EU Commission – funded project Ves4us (Extracellular vesicles from a natural source for tailor-made nanomaterials) from Palermo and Naples, Italy and Ljubljana, Slovenia. Poster section to accompany lectures and symposium was organized at the homepage of the Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, www.lkbf.si. The contributors were from Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, Unites States of America, Serbia, and Slovenia. Socratic lectures featured excellence in science. The lectures were donated by prof. Leonid Margolis from NIH, Bethesda, USA, prof. Gabriella Pocsfalvi, National Council of Research, Napoli, Italy, dr. Vesna Spasovski, Institute of Molecular Biology, Belgrade, Serbia, prof. Duško Spasovski, Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery, Clinics Banjica, Belgrade, Serbia and prof. Bojana Beović, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. There were about 60 attendants at the joining section on December 11 and about as many at the lectures on December 12 and 13.This year’s hot themes were COVID-19, viruses, extracellular vesicles and degenerative joint diseases.

We are especially grateful for the gifts of musicians Elena Startseva-Somun, Vittorio Sbordone, Anita Prelovšek and Emil Somun, who supported the scientific part with the cultural program on both days. Music attracted to the computer also the family members of the participants, including pets. The array with pictures of everyone who celebrated a moment of science and art, that appeared at the monitor was memorable. 

2.12. 2020 Member of the laboratory prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglič has become a member of the Slovene Society (Slovenska matica, http://www.slovenska-matica.si/). Slovene Society was founded in 1864 as an institution for the scholarly and cultural progress of Slovenes.

1.12. 2020 Associate member of the laboratory prof. Gabriella Pocsfalvi from National Research Council of Italy, Napoli, Italy, will start coordinating a project entitled GreenEV: Development of a novel continuous Extracellular Vesicle production system. Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics is a partner in the project.

greenEV is a new European project granted by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) 2019 Individual Fellowships call of Horizon2020 Programme that aims to develop a novel continuous production of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from a sustainable cellular agriculture system. EVs developed in greenEV will be exploited as nanovectors to deliver bioactives for recipient cells in nutraceutical and cosmeceutical formulations.

greenEV is a two-year project with a total budget of 183 473€ financed by the Research Executive Agency of the European Community. The scientific coordinator is Gabriella Pocsfalvi, Institute of Biosciences and BioResources, BBR-CNR and the experienced researcher is Maneea Mabrouk Abdelkhalk Moubarak from Damanhour University, Egypt. The beneficiary of the grant is the National Research Council of Italy.

In greenEV, the Extracellular Vesicles and Mass Spectrometry (Evs-MS) Group of IBBR-CNR led by Gabriella Pocsfalvi will team up with Prof. Pasquale Chiaiese (Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Federico II, Italy), Prof. Veronika Kralj-Iglic (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Prof. Jozsef Jeko (Agricultural and Molecular Research, University of Nyíregyháza, Hungary) to carry out a uniquely interdisciplinary research.

Functional foods boosted with bioactive nutrients to enhance health and mitigating disease conditions are experiencing a rapid progress. Encapsulation is becoming an important strategy to enhance the bioavailability of poorly absorbed compounds and developing healthy foods. In this context, novel nano-scale approaches to create alternative delivery options for nutraceuticals are emerging. GreenEV aims to develop a continuous culturing system for the manufacturing of non-mammalian nanovesicles, and exploit them for the encapsulation, release and bioavailability enhancement of selected nutraceuticals. Plants cells have been shown to physiologically release phospholipid membrane-surrounded vesicles into the apoplast and the environment. These vesicles are morphologically similar to mammalian EVs. The process that drive the vesicle formation and their release through the semi-rigid cell wall is not trivial, and will be studied in the project. None of the greenEV’s objectives has been addressed before and all have high potential to expand the knowledge in the field and to drive the research activity towards industrialized continuous production of EVs.

The research objectives are integrated with concerted training objectives in EV research, omics, outreach program, dissemination events and considerable transfer of knowledge in plant biology from the researcher to the IBBR host group. For more information: Gabriella Pocsfalvi, greenEV sci. responsible, E • gabriella.pocsfalvi@ibbr.cnr.it, T • +39 3355607140(Mobile)