Born 13. 10. 1976, Ljubljana, Slovenia,
Married, 3 children: 3, 5 and 7 years old
My lifelong vision is to dedicate all available time and resources to the research and scientific work since being a researcher is at the same time my occupation and hobby. My main vision is to establish new strategies to fight against antimicrobial resistant bacteria (AMR), which I find that metagenomics, nanotechnology and vaccination based approaches are the most promising. My current focus is to apply nanotechnology to overcome bacterial resistance mechanisms against the common antibiotics.
Some of my previous research work:
A) March 2014:
Establishment of private open not-for-profit research institute Institute of Metagenomics and microbial technologies.
B) October 2008 - March 2014:
Head of the research group at the private not-for-profit research SME Institute of Physical Biology, Ljubljana, Slovenia. I established research group investigating environmental microbial communities and my activities were: conducting research and mentoring. I have introduced genomic and metagenomic methods in microbial community analysis and research activities of bacteria-colloids interaction. One of achievements is system for pesticide degrading bacteria for drinking water.
C) October 2007 – October 2008
Postdoc at the ETH domain institute WSL, Switzerland. Investigating mineral weathering by bacteria attached on granite sand particles at the glacier forefront. Establishing weathering research activities. Research was based on molecular and cultivation techniques.
D) July 2005 – October 2007
Postdoc at University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty and Institute of Physical Biology. I was involved in several projects focused in investigation of effects of Hg pollution to the epilithic biofilm bacteria. I have been mentoring several B.Sc. students and performing practical courses. I have established molecular microbial ecology laboratory at both institutions.
E) September 2000 - October 2005
Undergraduate researcher at the University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia. I investigated animal-microbial interaction during metal induced stress. The approach and analysis were based on metagenomics tools. I have determined compensational effect of microbial adaptation to the Hg induced stress. This and similar achievements of my colleagues were the basis for the analysis of human microbial metagenomes.
I have been involved as the researcher, project leader and group leader in 24 projects of that are 7 international (6 FP7 and 1 Swiss), 12 national and 5 industrial.
Selected international grants:
1.) 1.1. 2013 - 1.1 2017: "Development of highly efficient, economically and environmentally viable solutions for the clean-up of oil spills caused by maritime transport or offshore oil exploration and related processes" - KillSpill, FP7 project, EU (http://www.killspill.eu/) - Leader and researcher
2.) 1.3. 2012 - 1.9. 2015: "New biocoating for inhibition of corrosion in metal surface" - Biocorin, FP7 project, EU (http://www.biocorin.eu/) - Leader and researcher
3.) 1.6. 2011 - 31.5. 2015: "The lab-free CBRN detection device for the identification of biological pathogens on nucleic acid and immunological level as lab-on-a-chip system applying multisensor technologies" - Multisense, FP7 project, EU - Leader and researcher
4.) 1.3. 2011 – 31.3. 2014: Biotreatment of drinking water resources polluted by pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants – Biotreat, FP7 project, EU - Leader and researcher
5.) 1. 6. 2010 – 31.6. 2012: Multifunctional approach to municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and water reuse scenarios - ClearH2O, FP7 project ERA-SME, EU - Leader and researcher
Selected national grants:
9.) 1.8.2007 - 31.12.2009: Development of multifunctional, mobile, integrated bioanalysis systems and methods for quick detection of threats in water and food - Slovenian National project - Leading researcher
10.) 1.1. 2009 - 31.12 2014: Research of the coastal sea - Slovenian national research program - Leader and researcher in the partner organisation
11.) 1.10.2013 - 1.10.2015: Development of functional textiles used for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer (malum perforans) - Slovenian National project - Leader and researcher in the partner organisation
12.) 1.8.2013 - 1.8.2015: Optimization and validation of new indicator systems in complex environmental matrices - Slovenian National project - Leader and researcher in the partner organisation
1. 2009 February: Invited lecture - House of experiments, Ljubljana, Slovenia; "Live water: Microbial communities in drinking water"
2. 2010 Maj: Invited lecture - Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany; “Are bacterial communities transformed by mercury or is it all around?”
3. 2013 October: Invited lecture - University of Nova Gorica; Shush... Listen! Microbes "On Air"
4. 2013 December: Invited lecture - Round table - University of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia; "From new technologies to smart systems for daily use in healthcare"
5. 2014 September: Invited lecture - Saratov Fall Meeting 2014, Russia; "When nanotechnology meets microbiology"
Organising research expeditions (shown 3 of 9)
1. March, September, February, August 2009 - Sampling expeditions with the same goal. Goal: Determining Hg pollution with analysis of attached bacterial communities. Place: Slovenia, Idrijca river. Size of expeditions: 3 to 10 researchers.
2. May 2010 - Sampling expedition in industrial setups. Goal: Obtaining samples in water wells at different depths for determining biofilm and corrosion promoting bacteria. Place: Slovenia, Dana ltd. Size : 7 researchers.
3. October 2012 - Sampling expedition in industrial setups. Goal: Obtaining samples in water and beverages bottling line for metagenomic analysis of Bacteria and Archaea. Place: Slovenia, Radenska ltd. Size of expedition: 4 researchers.
Organisation of International conferences
Topic session: Microbial functions in aquatic ecosystems, jointly with Jacco Kromkamp from NIOO KNAW, at the conference of the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography in 2009, Nice, France.
Examples of leadership in industrial innovation
Transferring knowledge into the industrial innovation through publishing of methodological papers (3 papers), patents, contract research (10 contract research projects), developing working prototypes (6 prototypes) and by knowledge transfer by establishment of spinoff companies (5 spinoff companies based on my research):
Prizes and Awards
I obtained 24 International, National and Industrial research awards and grants.
1. 2000 Prešeren national student award for the best research work in Slovenia. Awarded was research work about the involvement of sulfate-reducing bacteria in methylation of Hg inside the gut of Porcellio scaber
2. 2000 Research award from the Slovenian Ministry for Science and Technology for conducting research on adaptation of bacteria residing in guts of soil dwelling animals in the Hg polluted environments
3. 2002 FEMS – Federation of European Microbiologists award for research of determination of genetic paths of Hg methylation in sulfate reducing bacteria
4. 2004 WSF – World Scientists federation award for research of attached bacteria on gut epithelia
5. 2010 Award for the innovation - isolation of DNA from environment - Slovenian Chamber of Commerce
6. 2014 Award from L'Oreal foundation for the woman scientist of the year. Dr Lapanje was a supervisor
Peer reviewer of scientific journals
I have been invited as a reviewer in journals: Nucleic Acid Research (IF=8.28) - publisher: Oxford Journals, FEMS Microbiology Ecology (IF=3.56) - publisher: Wiley, Microbial Ecology (IF=3.28) - publisher: Springer, International Journal of Dermatology - only microbiological reviewing of skin infections (IF=1.34) - publisher: Wiley, Folia Microbiologica (IF=0.79) - publisher Springer, Acta Physologie Plantarum - only microbiological reviewing of plant associated bacteria (IF=1.30) - publisher: Springer, Environmental Pollution - reviewing pollution effects on microbial communities (IF=3.7) - publisher: Elsevier, Environmental Engineering Science (IF=1.15) - publisher: Mary Ann Liebert.
I am active in teaching as the co-supervisior of 6 BSc, 1 MSc and supervisor of 7 PhD students. 4 researchers earned PhD recently. In addition I was launching "Young Scientist Azbe" programme to bring microbiology closer to school and preschool children.
I have contributed more than 149 bibliographic records with total 27 published original scientific articles, 63 conference contributions, 4 book chapters, 15 research reports for industry, 8 patent applications and 4 patents.
Frasson D, Udovičić M, Frey B, Lapanje A, Zhang D-C, Margesin R, Sievers M. 2015. Glaciimonas alpina sp. nov. isolated from alpine glaciers and reclassification of Glaciimonas immobilis Cr9-12 as Glaciimonas alpina. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol ijs. 0.000174.
Zrimec J, Lapanje A. 2015. Fast prediction of DNA melting bubbles using DNA thermodynamic stability. IEEEACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinforma TCBB 1–17.
FAVET, Jocelyne, LAPANJE, Aleš, GIONGO, Adriana, KENNEDY, Suzanne, et al. Microbial hitchhikers on intercontinental dust : catching a lift in Chad. The ISME journal, ISSN 1751-7362, 2013, vol. 7, issue 4, pp. 850-867, doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.152.
ZRIMEC, Jan, KOPINČ, Rok, RIJAVEC, Tomaž, ZRIMEC, Tatjana, LAPANJE, Aleš. Band smearing of PCR amplified bacterial 16S rRNA genes : dependence on initial PCR target diversity. Journal of microbiological methods, ISSN 0167-7012. [Print ed.], Nov. 2013, vol. 95, no. 2, pp. 186-194, doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2013.08.002.
HUBAD, Barbara, LAPANJE, Aleš. The efficient method for simultaneous monitoring of the culturable as well as nonculturable airborne microorganisms. PloS one, ISSN 1932-6203, 2013, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 1-9
KOVAČ VIRŠEK, Manca, HUBAD, Barbara, LAPANJE, Aleš. Mercury induced community tolerance in microbial biofilms is related to pollution gradients in a long-term polluted river. Aquatic toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 144-145, pp. 208-217
KOPINČ, Rok, LAPANJE, Aleš. Antibiotic susceptibility profile of Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis is altered in low-iron conditions. Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, ISSN 0305-7453, Aug. 2012, vol. 67, iss. 12, pp. 2903-2907
HUBAD, Barbara, LAPANJE, Aleš. Inadequate hospital ventilation system increases the risk of nosocomial Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Journal of hospital infection, ISSN 0195-6701, 2012, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 88-91
LAPANJE, Aleš, WIMMERSBERGER, Celine, FURRER, Gerhard, BRUNNER, Ivano, FREY, Beat. Pattern of elemental release during the granite dissolution can be changed by aerobic heterotrophic bacterial strains isolated from damma glacier (Central Alps) deglaciated granite sand. Microbial ecology, ISSN 0095-3628, 2012, vol. 63, iss. 4, pp. 865-882