Meet invited speaker Dr Tanja Jovanovic

28-10-20 Carianne Buurmeijer

We are pleased to introduce Dr Tanja Jovanović, University of Belgrade, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Virology, one of the speakers at the FEMS Online Conference on Microbiology 2020

Session 1: The Control of Viral diseases by vaccination – new challenges, 28 October · 14.00 – 16.15
Presentation: Viral vaccines – from Jenner to new technologies

COVID-19 Round Table Saturday 31 October 13.30 – 16.30
Presentation: New Coronavirus – myth and reality

Dr Tanja Jovanovic
Could you introduce us to your research field?

In the last twenty years, I am leading a project focusing on the biological consequences and medical importance of genetic variability in viruses. In particular, these studies are based on the study of variability in viruses causing persistent viral infections such as Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis B and C viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, Human Papillomavirus, Polyomaviruses, and others. This research has yielded a significant of publications. What is certainly a significant contribution of my research, is continuous introduction of modern diagnostic methods contributes to a significant improvement in the quality of health care in Serbia and therapeutical approaches in personal medicine.”

Could you describe your professional journey until you arrived at this research field?

I began my career in microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade in 1982, where as a student I first undertook master’s and then doctoral studies, and began her research in the field of virology. At the very beginning of career, I studied the importance of Human Cytomegolovirus (HCMV) in immunocompromised and transplanted patients, as well as in pregnant women, and successfully completing M.Sc. thesis titled “Immune Response to Cytomegolovirus in Pregnant Women” as early as 1984. Next, she continues my research on immunology and immunopathology of persistent viral infections. Studying an experimental model of virus-induced demyelination in the brain of infected rodents, I found that a specific immune response plays a significant role in tissue damage. I has created an experimental rat model of herpetic encephalitis as a equivalent to Multiple Sclerosis, a demyelinating disease of humans. As part of this research, I stayed at Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Guy’s Hospital in London with the renowned professor Cedric Arthur Mims. I defended my doctoral thesis (“Immunology and Immunopahology of Experimental Encephalomyelitis Induced by Herpes simplex virus in mice and rats”) in 1989. With the title of Doctor of Medical Sciences, at the Ministry of Science competition, I was given the opportunity to independently lead research projects that enable me not only to continue to successfully pursue scientific research, but also to gather a group of motivated and talent young researchers as my associates.

For many scientists, this will be their first Online / Virtual conference, what do you think are the pros and cons of this format compared to in-life conferences?

First, the very fact that the conference can actually take place in times of pandemic without the dangers of infection. Next, you have to prepare everything in advance, not in the last minute.


The FEMS Online Conference on Microbiology is planned to be small to medium sized, happening in alternate years to the Congress of European Microbiologists and organized in close collaboration with a local microbiology society. Here, intercontinental, European, regional, and local scientists, from all stages in their career and from all demographical backgrounds, can participate in a high-profile conference. This year, it is based on an intense collaboration with the Serbian Society for Microbiology and boasts a variety of regional speakers. Our commitment at FEMS is to help support microbiologists do their work, promote the best in microbiology research and knowledge to the world, and bring microbiologists together to share that knowledge. This event supports that commitment: giving high value for money at a low registration fee it opens possibilities for networking and exchanging knowledge and experiences to all.



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