Meet The Legendary Croatian Female Scientists

Katarina Anđelković

croatian female scientists
From left to right: Gabrijela Kobrehel, Slobodan Dokic, Gorjana Radobolja-Lazarevski and Zrinka Tamburasev

June the 9th, 2024 – There are some amazing Croatian female scientists that don’t get anywhere even close to the level of attention they should – here are a few of these remarkable women.

Gabrijela Kobrehel

Gabrijela Kobrehel was born in Obedisce in Moslavina. She graduated from the Faculty of Technology in Zagreb and worked at the Pliva Research Institute on chemical transformations of antibiotics, specifically synthesising new macrolide antibiotics. She published 25 scientific papers and protected over twenty inventions with patents in Croatia and worldwide.

She is the winner of numerous awards, including the “Hero of Chemistry” award, which was presented to her, and posthumously the leader of her team Slobodan Dokic, by the American Chemical Society. Gabrijela Kobrehel, Slobodan Dokic, and Gorjana Radobolja-Lazarevski were the team that discovered azithromycin, the active ingredient of Sumamed.

Sumamed, an antibiotic created in Croatia, is one of the biggest and certainly the most useful Croatian inventions, and it hasn’t left its throne for almost 40 years. During the pandemic, many doctors prescribed it to their patients as well.

Zlata Bartl

Known in Croatia as Aunt Vegeta, Zlata Bartl changed the fate of the Koprivnica company 64 years ago with her invention of a mixture of different spices.

She was a professor of chemistry, physics, mathematics and meteorology, and then worked as a chemical technician in the laboratory of Podravka. In her work, she has always liked to experiment. After she tried a soup from a bag that a friend brought from France, she herself produced the first bags of Podravka soups.

Not long after that, she took the next step to create a mixture that would not only be used in soups but in many other dishes, and Vegeta was born – a mix of salt and dried carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips and onions.

She received many awards and plenty of recognition for her work, and in 2007 she won the Vecernjak Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Lidija Colombo

One of the most outstanding Croatian female scientists of the 20th century secured her place in Croatian history with her work.

After graduating in mathematics and experimental physics at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Zagreb, Lidija Colombo started working at the Ruder Boskovic Institute, where she stayed until retirement. As the first woman in Croatia to receive a doctorate in physics, she had a successful career for which she was awarded several times.

In the 1960s, she was a member of the team of physicists at the Ruder Boskovic Institute that constructed the first laser in the then SFRY (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), and she is remembered as the founder of the first laboratory for molecular physics in Croatia.

She taught several physics courses and published over forty scientific papers. She edited Matematicko-fizicki List, a mathematics and physics journal, trying to popularise science and involve young collaborators in the paper’s work, writes Studentski.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment