Zlatko Dembic

Zlatko Dembic

As a scientist and a medical doctor, Dr. Dembic’s research interests are at the crossroads of medicine and biology, related to molecular and cellular immunology. During the last twenty years of the past century he’s worked on important issues in immunology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology (Tubingen, Germany), the Basel Institute for Immunology (Switzerland; CH) and the Hoffman-La Roche AG (Basel, CH). His team was the first to report the identification of genes underlying T-cell specificity and recognition (mouse T-cell receptor, in '86, Nature). Likewise, his team led the research on molecular cloning of human cytokine receptors important for the effector phase of immunity such as the interferon-gamma receptor (IFNGR1; in '88, Cell) and the tumor necrosis factor receptor-2 (TNFR2; in '90, Cytokine). In 1995, Dr. Dembic moved to the Institute of Immunology at the University of Oslo, Norway. Since then he broadened the scope of his research by working on T-cell development, cancer immunobiology, immunogenetics and susceptibility to cancer and infectious diseases. All of this would not have been possible without a substantial contribution from his academic collaborators and colleagues internationally, and especially in Norway and Croatia. Some of these studies led him to propose a model about the workings of the immune system called the "integrity" model in the mid-nineties. It stresses that immunity is not only a defense system, but also a selector of potential symbionts and commensals. The use of soluble mediators (cytokines) in communication between immune cells is perhaps only in part similar to neural networks, as interacting cells constitute mobile units within the body. Dr. Dembic’s publication list has over 80 scientific contributions. Ten percent were published in high impact factor scientific journals (Nature, Cell etc) with himself as a prominent author (in half of them). Perhaps, they stand as a witness of delight that he had by doing scientific research.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Immunology, Cell Biology, and Microbiology, University of Oslo, Department of Oral Biology, Norway