Laboratory for early human development

Laboratory for early human development

Analyzeing expression pattern of different developmental factors during development of different human organ systems.

Laboratory for early human development 

 Laboratorij za istraživanje
ranog razvoja čovjeka
Head of research group 
Prof Katarina Vukojević

Investigations on the spatial and temporal expression of gene products- proteins involved in regulation of early human development are crucial for understanding the roles of those genes in normal development and morphogenesis of different human tissues and organs. Knowledge about their normal expression pattern detected directly in human tissues is important in revealing possible mechanisms underlying certain anomalies and diseases appearing as a consequence of disturbed human development. Our main interest is to analyze expression pattern of different developmental factors such as pro-apoptotic, anti-apoptotic and mitotic developmental factors, intermediate filament proteins, growth factors, BMP-s and specific receptors during development of different human organ systems (ex. spinal cord, spinal ganglia, kidneys, upper and lower jaw, tooth and pituitary gland), using morphological and immunohistochemical techniques. Special emphasize is put on the pathways of differentiation of specific cell lineages from the immature cell populations. Ultrastructural characteristics of apoptotic, mitotic and differentiated cells and their distribution within the developing tissues, as well as appearance of primary cilia in kidney tubules will be also analyzed. Additionally, congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) will be investigated on mouse knock-out models of genes responsible for CAKUT. Recognition of genes participating during early human development has also important applications in clinical practice because of close relationship of developmental plasticity and neoplasm. Therefore, neoplastic development and some anomalies and diseases resulting from disturbed temporal and spatial expression of the investigated genetic factors will be followed clinically in early childhood.

Lead researcher: Katarina Vukojević
Funded by Croatian Science Foundation - HRZZ
Project beginning: 1st February 2018 
Genski izražaj u ranom razvoju čovjeka
Lead researcher: prof. Mirna Saraga-Babić
Funded by: Ministry of Science and Education - MZOŠ 
Duration: 2007 - 2012
*for complete project list, please, follow the link
Group members
Prof Mirna Saraga-Babić, MD, PhD, lead researcher [CV]
Prof Katarina Vukojević, PhD, Head of research group [CV]
Assist prof Snježana Mardešić, MD, PhD, associate [CV]
Assist prof Sandra Kostić, biotehn., associate [CV
Assist prof Natalija Filipović, DVM, associate
Prof Marijan Saraga, MD, PhD, associate
Prof Ivana Bočina, PhD, associate
Ivana Restović, PhD, associate
Marica Maretić, MSc, professional associate
Photo gallery 

Future directions 
Congenital anomalies of the kidney and the urinary tract in the knock-out mouse model; gene expression of candidate genes for diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract; diabetes and renal disease; gene expression during normal embryonic and fetal periods of different organ systems; close relationship of developmental plasticity and neoplasms; close relationship of development processes and chronic diseases of aging.

Selected publications and doctoral theses 

Interests and topics: Human embryo, development, apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation, CAKUT, carcinogenesis, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, histology
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