University of Ljubljana , Slovenia
2010 – present: Head of the Group for nano and biotechnological applications, Faculty of electrical engineering, University of Ljubljana
2015 – present: Senior Research Associate, Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
Mojca Pavlin is a Head of the Group for nano and biotechnological applications and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of electrical engineering, University of Ljubljana. Since 2015 she is also a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana.
She joined the Faculty of electrical engineering in 1998 and Faculty of Medicine in 2015.
After her basic training as a Physicist at University of Ljubljana, she had received her PhD in fields of biomedical engineering and biophysics in 2003.
In 2007 she received Luigi Galvani award of the international Bioelectrochemical Society for exceptional achievements of young scientists in field of bioelectrochemistry. In 2010 she established a young research group Group for nano and biotechnological applications at Faculty of electrical engineering, University of Ljubljana. Wider field of my work during my PhD studies was theoretical (analytical, numerical) and experimental analysis of the biochemical and biophysical effects present during exposure of biological cells to the external electrical fields. She has applied effective medium theories to analyse electromagnetic properties of complex media, such as cells suspension, tissue and also magnetic composites. Large part was focused on electroporation, a phenomenon where high-voltage electrical pulses increase cell membrane permeability and thus enable intake of drugs and DNA molecules in cells, e.g. electrochemotherapy of tumors and electrogene therapy. She participated in several national and european research projects. This reasearch continued during her postdoctoral project “Electrical properties and molecule transport during cell electroporation in suspensions”. From 2006 she was principal investigator of several successful research project focused on gene electrotransfer, nanoparticles based drug delivery adn (»Mechanisms of DNA transfer in electrogene transfer«) that concentrated at analysis of mechanisms of gene electrotransfer in order to improve understanding of processes and to enhance gene electrotransfer efficiency.
My current field of work includes different areas of biomedicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology. I was PI of several interdisciplinary research projects, the results were published in 46 SCI papers, with over 1000 citations.
The research of our group can be divided in the three segments:
- Research of cancer cells metabolic pathways and related mechanisms in vitro on different cancer cell models. We analyze the effects of nutrient availability and different modulators of cellular metabolism (e.g. metformin) and analyze cell migration, viability and cell signaling with the final focus on translation of the results into clinical environment.
- Biotechnology applications with electroporation method – gene electrotransfer/silencing from in vitro to 3D in vitro tissue models, uptake of small molecules and gene silencing from tumor to primary human cells.
- Development of magnetic nanoparticles and nanotoxicology; aim is to develop nanoparticles (NP) for biomedical applications (cancer therapy, cell labelling), development of nanoparticle carrier system for drug delivery in urothelial cancer therapy, analysis of NP uptake mechanisms and cytotoxicity in relation with immune response analysis. Development of protocols for assessment of long-term nanotoxicity and immunogenicy of nanoparticles.
2010 – Lecturer at postgraduate courses of the interdisciplinary doctoral program Biosciences UL
Mentor of five PhD student and several masters and graduate student in different fields from biology to biochemistry.
Collaboration with industry
Collaboration in research activities in application of magnetic nanoparticles in biomedicine with private institute Nanotesla Institute Ljubljana. Collaboration in industrial projects for development and application of magnetic composites with Nanotesla Institute Ljubljana and company Kolektor Magma, co-inventor of international patent.