Boris Turk - Biography#

Boris Turk (PhD, PhD; born in 1964 in Ljubljana, Slovenia) is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Structural Biology at J. Stefan Institute and Prof. of Biochemistry at University of Ljubljana. He is also Principal Investigator within Centers of Excellence for Integrated Approaches for Chemistry and Biology of Proteins and for Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies. He received PhD in Chemistry from University of Ljubljana in 1993 (F. Gubensek, J.G. Bieth supervisors) and a PhD in Medical and Physiological Chemistry from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala in 1996 (I. Bjork supervisor).

Boris Turk is one of the leading experts in the field of cysteine cathepsins. He has major expertise in protease biochemistry and biology including their role in disease, and in apoptosis, where he is involved in studies of cancer cells apoptosis. He discovered various Bcl-2 homologs as cellular substrates of cathepsins leading to apoptosis of cancer cells, which has a potential in anti-cancer therapy. His group has major experience in establishing biochemical and cellular assays for cysteine proteases, including validation of activity-based probes in complex systems, as well as in development of targeted drug delivery systems. He was the coordinator of the FP7 project LIVIMODE aimed at developing novel in vivo activity-based probes for proteases for early diagnostics and monitoring of diseases such as cancer and arthritis (2009-13). He is an EMBO member since 2007 and received a Zois Award for outstanding achievements in science in the field of signal transduction by proteases in 2011. He is also Secretary General of the European Cell Death Organization (ECDO), past President (2011-2013) and Secretary (2009-2011) of International Proteolysis Society and Executive Editor of Biological Chemistry.
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