2 Novo

The National Institute of Chemistry, with more than 75-years tradition in scientific excellence, sets new milestones in science and in the field of technology transfer in the Slovenian research ecosystem.

With this Centre of Excellence for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy we will set a new milestone in the Slovenian healthcare system. The Centre of Excellence will connect Slovenian experts with the counterparts from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.



the problem that we address, and the solution that we develop

As an EU13 Member State with a less developed R&D infrastructure compared to more research-intensive Member States, Slovenia is below the European average in the R&D segment.

In more research-intensive countries, the opportunities to strengthen national healthcare systems through the in-house development and production of advanced therapies are already being effectively addressed through the establishment of high-tech biomedical organisations.

In response to this challenge, we are establishing the Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy, which will enable both professional advances and better knowledge transfer to the Slovenian healthcare industry. The biotechnology companies established on the basis of the Centre’s knowledge will increase the number of new jobs in a highly promising field.

With excellent people we will create excellent results

Prof Dr Roman Jerala

Prof Dr Roman Jerala

National Institute of Chemistry

Innovative use of synthetic biology for the programming of molecules and cells for improved efficacy and safety of advanced treatments

Roman is the Head of the Department of Synthetic Biology and Immunology, where, with a large group of motivated collaborators, covers the range from atoms to organisms. The focus of research is on the development of new biomedical technologies and the translation of biomedical discoveries for advanced therapies. They entered the field of synthetic biology through extremely successful student research projects at the iGEM competition, which began at MIT with meetings of teams from all over the world.

Jernejule Light

Prof DR Jernej Ule

National Institute of Chemistry and UK Dementia Research Institute at King’s College London

Research liaison between Slovenia and Great Britain

Jernej is the Head of a research group, which operates uniformly in two locations: five members at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana and eleven at the Francis Crick Institute in London. The work at the National Institute of Chemistry  is funded entirely by the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant). Since recently, he has also been appointed as the director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at King’s College London. The research group is exploring the role of regulating RNA molecules in neurodegenerative diseases, and thus tries to discover the potential for new technologies for the treatment of these diseases based primarily on gene therapy. More information about the research group is on the website  UleLab.


DR Duško lainšček

National Institute of Chemistry

Expert in the field of genome modification

Duško is a leading Slovenian expert in genome modification using the CRISPR/Cas system also with the aim of creating immunotherapy cell products. He has extensive experience in the study of therapeutic applications in vivo.


National Institute of Chemistry and UCL/KCL

Development of synthetic RNA biology tools for advanced gene therapy

Miha is Sir Henry Wellcome Senior Fellow (UCL/KCL London), working between the Francis Crick Institute, EMBL, and The National Institute of Chemistry. He is developing novel systems biology approaches and functional RNA biology tools for improving the specificity of gene and cell therapies.

Mojcabenčina Original


National Institute of Chemistry

Knowledge and innovation hand in hand for advances in medicine

Long-time collaborator at the Department of Synthetic Biology and Immunology, where she leads a team of research colleagues in the field of ultrasound applications in conjunction with synthetic biology and immunology to regulate molecular biological cell processes, and an infrastructure group for the rendering of cell processes by fluorescent techniques. She teaches intellectual property protection at the Biotechnical Faculty and Microbiology at the higher education Institute Physiotherapy. She is an official representative for the protection of industrial property rights at the European and the Slovenian patent office. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as: Zois Award for Outstanding Achievements in Immunology and Synthetic Biology, Pregl’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievements in Chemistry and Related Disciplines, “Socrates Award for High School Didactics” (SOVA) and the award Prometheus Science for Excellence in Communication.

Tomaž bizjak, mphil 

National Institute of Chemistry

Bioscience enterprise and science communication

He obtained skills in early-stage venture creation at the University of Cambridge, an MPhil Bioscience Enterprise. in 2016, he was nominated for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” of the University of Cambridge and “Leaders of Tomorrow” of the Global GapSummit competitions.




University College London

Director, Translational Research Office

She has extensive experience in developing therapies (gene & cell, small molecules, antibodies, oligos) to clinical benefit gained from over 25 years working in large pharma and academia. Her experience has spanned the drug discovery & biomarker pathway, leading projects through target validation, lead optimisation, candidate selection through to the clinic. Jane as Director of the Translational Research Office (TRO) at UCL works at the interface between academia, NHS and Industry. She has extensive experience of differing organisational cultures and a deep understanding of the life sciences research & innovation ecosystem in the UK/EU. The TRO comprises a team of 22 highly experienced applied scientists supporting academics deliver novel therapeutics, including advanced therapies, diagnostics and devices. The TRO are instrumental in developing the organisational translational culture, capability and processes necessary to deliver the UCL and the NIHR funded Biomedical Research Centre’s mission of “Accelerating translation for health and wealth”. Embracing diversity and working in partnership is key to this vision.


University College London

Head, Translational Research Group

She joined UCL Translational Research Office (TRO) in 2014 and has been leading the Translational Research group since 2016. The TRO collaborates with academics, industry partners and external funding bodies, to facilitate the translation of UCL’s emerging research into therapies and medical products. Pamela is the project manager for substantial late pre-clinical/early clinical advanced therapy projects, with a particular emphasis on CAR T cells and Rare diseases. The TRO has supported the translation of more than 100 active projects securing public funding to the value of greater than £150 Million. Projects are nurtured from preclinical activity into the clinic through to securing VC investment with 5 advanced therapy spin-outs having IPO’d on the Nasdaq (securing >$770M investment). Prior to joining UCL, Pamela gained extensive experience of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry at Novartis/Ciba-Geigy where she led small molecule and biologics projects for respiratory and thrombosis indications.

C0125996 Giampietro Schiavo Researcher Meeting N

Prof Dr Giampietro Schiavo FMedSci FRSB

University College London

Deputy Director of the Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Gipi, Professor of Cellular Neuroscience, is Deputy Director of the Queen Square Institute of Neurology, UK Dementia Research Institute Investigator and academic lead of the ARUK Drug Discovery Institute at UCL. He has a long-term interest in the mechanism of entry of neurotrophic factors and their receptors at synapses and their recruitment to signalling endosomes moving along the axonal retrograde transport pathway. This essential trafficking route, which delivers many organelles and molecular complexes to the neuronal soma, is impaired in several human pathologies, such as motor neuron and Alzheimer’s disease. The current focus of Gipi’s team is the identification of novel pharmacological nodes to restore axonal transport in human and rodent disease models.

Schorge Stephanie

Prof Dr Stephanie Schorge

University College London

Head of the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology at UCL

Stephanie Schorge is the Sophia Jex-Blake Professor of Physiology and head of the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology at UCL. Her research focuses on how manipulating neuronal excitability with gene therapy can be used to relieve neurological disorders, including non-genetic epilepsies. She is currently leading an MRC-DPFS funded programme to bring gene therapy to a first-in-human clinical trial for refractory epilepsy. Professor Schorge and collaborators at UCL have developed a portfolio of gene therapy approaches and are co-founders of a new UCL Spinout company to bring these to clinical trials.


JurgenkuballProf Dr Jürgen Kuball

The University Medical Centre Utrecht

He chairs the Department of Hematology at the UMC Utrecht Cancer Centre. Clinical activities focus around acute leukemia and allogeneic stem cell transplantation and he is medical director of the stem cell transplantation program. His research activities focus around tumor immunology and the ATMP development of a next generation of engineered immune cells. Within this context he is scientific co-founder of the UMC Utrecht spin-off company GADETA and holder of multiple patents dealing with engineered immune cells. Kuball is also active member of EBMT and chairs since 2019 the Legal Regulatory Affairs Committee (LRAC) of EBMT.

Technische Universität Dresden (TU DRESDEN)


Prof Dr Ezio Bonifacio

Technische Universität Dresden

He is Professor at the Technische Universität Dresden and has been actively working in the area of immune therapy for type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. He has been instrumental in developing, harmonizing and applying measurements of autoimmunity to understand the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes and to aid in the disease prediction. In 1999, he became Director of the Beta cell replacement programme in Milan with a strong emphasis on cell therapy. He moved to Dresden in 2007 to help develop the diabetes cell therapy programme. He has experience in clinical translation of cell therapy, has established large scale European screening and prevention trials through the Global Platform for the Prevention of Diabetes (GPPAD), is the Speaker for one of the four German DFG Next Generation Sequencing Competence and most relevant to the role in this application he is the Speaker of the German Cluster4Future on cell and gene therapy SaxoCell, which aims to develop this are as an experimental, clinical and industry strength in Saxony.

CHARITÉ Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CHARITÉ)

Prof. Petra Reinke Bih Charité

PROF DR Petra Reinke

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

She is Professor of Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Transplantation at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and was Medical Director of Nephrology and Transplantation and Head of the Kidney Transplant Outpatient Clinic. She is the founding director of the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT) and head of the GMP Facility for developing new T-cell-based therapeutic strategies. She is one of the founding members of the (BIH)-Berlin-(Brandenburg) Centre for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), was a member of the steering committee 2006 – 2021 and vice speaker in 2021. From 2019 – 2021 she was CART Coordinator (Charité) of the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA). Prof. Reinke has broad experience in leading and coordinating international consortia. She is currently coordinator of the EU HORIZON 2020 “ReSHAPE” consortium, the EU HORIZON-HLTH-2021 (HORIZON-RIA) “geneTIGA” consortium and was in the past coordinator of the EU FP7 consortium “BIO-DrIM” (2012-2018). She was also steering committee member and work package leader in the EU FP7 consortium “ONE- Study” (2010-2015), in the EU FP6 consortium “RISET” (2005-2010), co-PI of an Immune Tolerance Network project (ITN) (2000-2003) and of a ROTF grant (1997-2000). She is a programme board member of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform of the Medical Research Council (MRC, UKRMP) and a member of several editorial boards of various scientific journals and has published more than 300 peer reviewed articles.