1993-1996 Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, University of Zagreb, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
1990-1993 M.S. in Organic Chemistry, University of Zagreb, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
1986-1990 B. Sc., University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Zagreb, Croatia
2020 - Associate Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
2016- Director Honors in Chemistry Program
2014- Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
2014 Visiting Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL
2010-2013 Assistant Member, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Port St. Lucie, FL
2007-2009 Research Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
2003-2007 Research Associate, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
2003-2003 Research Director, Chaperone Technologies, Audubon, PA
2000-2003 Staff Scientist, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA
1998-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA
1998 Postdoctoral Fellow, College of France, Paris, France (Laboratory of Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry)
1997-1998 Postdoctoral Fellow, National Center for Scientific Research, Institute for Natural Compounds, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
1995 Ph.D. Internship, Institute of Technology, Chemistry Center, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden; Laboratory of Prof. Jan Kihlberg
1990-1996 Associate Scientist, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Zagreb, Croatia
a) MUC1, a high-molecular weight glycoprotein, secreted and expressed at the cellular surface of various epithelial tissues, is the major carrier of altered glycosylation in carcinomas. The functional significance on the molecular level of the changes in O-linked MUC1 glycosylation in cancer is still difficult to determine due to the intrinsic genetic instability and cellular heterogeneity of tumors. In addition, the cluster glycoside effect and steric hindrance effect of neighboring glycans on binding to glycan-binding proteins (lectins) have not been well characterized and are poorly understood due to the lack of availability of rigorously controlled and structurally defined model compounds. To address this knowledge gap, my group has designed and prepared novel tools to study a particular carbohydrate recognition mechanism, as well as developed a novel analytical assay for low affinity glycan-protein interactions based on AlphaScreen technology, using a range of biophysical techniques to probe the biological significance of cellular glycosylation. These tools are an invaluable tool for increasing our understanding of the role of MUC1 in cancer cell biology and immunology. Based on our experimental evidence of importance of the peptide part in the recognition process, a detailed elucidation of the affinity and specificity amongst lectins for glycans as they exist in their natural cellular context, conjugated to a protein, is needed for biomedical applications. I served as the PI in these studies.
b) As part of a team project, I have studied the role of type IV collagen glycosylation on integrin binding, and consequently, modulation of cell recognition and signaling. We have found that reduced glycosylation significantly impacted binding of integrins and proposed a possible “cryptic sites” mechanism by which tumor cells may invade the basement membrane and extracellular matrix, the sequence of events leading to the development of tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Furthermore, we have investigated how glycosylation of ADAM17 affects its activity and inhibition. Our results suggest that glycosylation of ADAM17 can affect cell signaling in disease, and might provide opportunities for therapeutic intervention using exosite inhibitors. My role on these projects was the synthesis of substrates (non-glycosylated and glycosylated), as well as with incorporated FRET labels.
My early contribution to science was in the field of antibacterial research during my postdoctoral studies at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. I was involved in the design and synthesis of naturally-occurring peptide antibiotics on a scale that would allow determination of their antibacterial efficacy, activity spectrum, mode of action, and structure-activity relationship analysis. My accomplishments in the field of antibacterial peptides include: development of a new efficient method for the synthesis of the head-to-tail cyclic peptides on a scale required for drug development; discovery of a new bacterial target of proline-rich cationic antibacterial peptides; and development of new peptide therapeutics for treatment of UTI infections and peptide-based drug delivery systems.
M. Cudic, J. D. Wade, and L. Otvos, Jr. (2000) “Convenient synthesis of a head-to-tail cyclic peptide containing an expanded ring.” Tetrahedron Lett. 41: 4527-4531
2018 Summer Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter FL
This course provides an overview of the main aspects of biochemistry by relating molecular interactions to their importance within biological systems. The organization of macromolecules is addressed through a discussion of their hierarchical structure, and a study of their assembly into complexes responsible for specific biological processes.
2016 Chemical Literature, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
The main objective of this course is to assist students in understanding the body of information which constitutes the chemical literature, and in developing the skills required to effectively and efficiently utilize that literature both as students, and ultimately as effective and productive scientists.
2015 Advanced Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the study of proteins and their importance within biological systems.
2014 Kinetics and Energetics of Reactions, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
An examination of how the fundamentals of energetics influence chemical processes, illustration of their relevance, and applications to biological systems. Topics include: thermodynamics of chemical processes, chemical equilibria, and reaction kinetics.
2014 Visiting Professor, General Chemistry I/Lab, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Nova Southeastern University
Course covered the studies the fundamental principles of chemistry, including chemical stoichiometry; the properties of gases, liquids, and solids; solutions; chemical equilibria; atomic and molecular structure; periodic properties of the elements; and an introduction to thermodynamics. Course also included laboratory sessions.
2009-2010 Adjunct Faculty, Organic Chemistry I/Lab, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Nova Southeastern University
Course covered the chemistry of carbon compounds, including their structure, nomenclature, preparation, reaction mechanisms, analysis, and properties. Course also included laboratory sessions.
2008 Instructor, Bioanalytical Instrumentation, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University
Lecture on Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy
2005-2007 Instructor for Fundamentals of Biochemistry, team taught, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University
The course covered general, organic, and biochemistry topics
Course utilized traditional and web-assisted teaching techniques
One of the first podcasted courses at FAU
2005 Special Topics in Science in Everyday Life, Lifelong Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University
Topics included areas of medicinal chemistry and biochemistry