Renowned Croatian Scientist: Our Lab is Developing Revolutionary Drugs

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Croatian scientist has joined the global elite after he found biomarkers for lung cancer.

Igor Štagljar lives in Toronto, where he found out that the sky is the limit when it comes to science. He does not like to talk about himself, but he did say that his lab has demonstrated during the last 12 years that it belongs at the very top of the global science, reports on July 11, 2016.

He started his way to scientific successes with MYTH technology, which he developed at his laboratory at the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Life, University of Toronto. In layman’s terms, this is a tool scientists can use to analyze connections between membrane proteins, which play an important role in the development of some dangerous diseases. In 2005, the Scientist magazine has called it one of the top 10 technologies that will pave the way for the development of molecular biology in the upcoming decade.

Next came an even more progressive MaMTH technology. It allowed Štagljar to discover a biomarker responsible for one of the deadliest diseases of our time – lung cancer. The immense importance of this discovery is best illustrated by the fact that it has brought him an Innovation Oscar in Canada that is given for achievements that have potential to change the quality of life, as well as a possibility to have a global impact.

“Our prototype drug could enter the stage of clinical testing in 12 to 18 months. But, I must emphasize that this process could be delayed due to some unexpected complications. If it comes to commercial application, I will be truly proud that my team contributed significantly to the treatment of one of the most common cancers today – small cell lung cancer”, says Štagljar.

Asked whether he will become a billionaire in that case, he points out that he is not really thinking about the money. “Yes, this drug will probably bring a lot of money to the University of Toronto and the three people who worked on it, including me, but money was never a guiding principle for me. The most important thing for me is to do a job that I love and makes me happy”, he concludes.


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