President of section
Prof. Ivana Novakovic, MD, PhD
Institute of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade
Marina Đurišić, PhD
Mother and Child Health Care Institute of Serbia “Dr Vukan Čupić”, New Belgrade
Valerija Dobričić, PhD
Neurology Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade
The Serbian Genetic Society was founded in 1968 in Zagreb, as part of the Yugoslav Genetic Society. Medical Genetics Section is one of the five sections making the Serbian Genetic Society.
Medical genetics, a scientific field dedicated to studies of the inheritance, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention of diseases caused by changes in the genetic material, starts to blossom in the beginning of the XX century with the scientific recognition of Mendel’s laws.
Intensive development of human and medical genetics starts with the assessment of human chromosome number by Tjio and Levan in 1956 and the discovery of the first chromosome aberration, trisomy 21 or Down syndrome, by Lejeune and co-workers in 1959.
Medical genetics and more specifically medical cytogenetics started to expand very rapidly as the result of fertile collaboration between medical doctors and biologists. Most of the laboratories dedicated to cytogenetic investigations in our country were created during the period between 1960 and 1970. The very first cytogenetic laboratory was launched at the Military Medical Academy in 1960 by Professor M. Kicic. In the early sixties, in the Laboratory for Experimental Oncology, tissue culture techniques aimed at obtaining chromosome preparations were introduced for the first time by Dr B. Nešković and his collaborators B. Garzicic, S. Zivkovic and B. Soldatovic, all biologists.
Nowadays the biggest centers studying genetic diseases are located in Belgrade and Novi Sad. These are: Military Medical Academy, Institute for Mental Health, Institute for Mother and Child, Clinical Center Zvezdara and others. The School of Medicine of Belgrade University has itself several institutes and clinics working in the field of medical genetics: Institute of Biology and Human Genetics, Children Hospital, Institute of Hematology, Gynecologic Clinic etc. In smaller towns such as Cuprija, Nis, Kragujevac, Subotica cytogenetic laboratories are also spreading out.
Military Medical Academy, Belgrade
The Cytogenetic Section of the Military Medical Academy (MMA) is the oldest centre in Serbia for chromosome aberration studies. Nowadays a large number of scientists, divided in several experimental laboratories, are dealing with cytogenetics and molecular genetics: Institute of Medical Studies, Department of Clinical and Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Institute of Pathology, with its Department of Cytogenetics and the Centre for Preventive Medicine with its Department of Radiologic Protection. Prof. Zvonko Magic and his collaborators Natasa Strelic, Bojana Cikota, Vesna Ilic and Gordana Supic are mainly focused on molecular genetics of malignant diseases, Biljana Todoric- Zivanovic and her associate Milica Strnad on cytogenetics in malignancies as well as Dusanka Mirkovic.
Institute of Mental Health, Belgrade
The Centre for Medical Genetics was initially created as a cytogenetic laboratory in 1964. The first group of researchers were: Prof Slavka Moric, Dr Branko Garzicic, Vjerica Markovic, Zivana Laca and Prof. Kalicanin. The very first karyotypic analysis in Serbia has been done in their laboratory. Today, a team of biologists and medical doctors, Natasa Arandjelovic, Jelisavcic Marko and Danijela Petrovic, are devoted to screening of various chromosomal aberrations with the emphasis on Down syndrome. The Institute for Mental Health has the biggest repository of Down syndromes in the Balkans. In cooperation with the Clinic for Gynecology, a centre for GC and prenatal diagnosis of chromosomopathies has been organized. The head of the Centre and contact person is Dr Snezana Brankovic-Niksic.
Institute of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, Belgrade
The Laboratory for Cytogenetic Studies was established in 1965. The promoters were: Prof. M. Anaf, Dr Stefanija Markovic, Dr Vukosava Diklic, Dr Ksenija Mijin, Dr B. Garzicic. Successively new members joined the laboratory: Dr Marija Kosanovic, Dr Smiljka Dukic, Dr Jovanka Nikolis, Ljiljana Rumenic, Dr Miroslava Micic, Dr Ljiljana Lukovic, Dr Jelena Milasin, Dr Marko Babic and Dr Maja Krajinovic. The main directions of research were: cytogenetics of disorders in human reproduction; cytogenetics of chromosomal syndromes, cytogenetic analysis of malignant tumors. For the first time in Serbia, methods for studying meiosis in infertile men are introduced (Dr M. Micic) as well as methods for chromosome analysis in solid tumors (Dr J. Milasin). During the last ten years, molecular genetics has been introduced too, and several fields have been developed (genetics of neuromuscular diseases, oncogenetics, pharmacogenetics etc) led by Dr Ivana Novaković, Dr Vera Bunjevački, and their younger co-workers Dr Tanja Kuveljic, Biljana Jekic and Momcilo Ristanovic.
Children Clinic, University Clinical Center (UCC), Belgrade
The Laboratory for Cytogenetics was founded in 1966 with the support of Dr B. Soldatovic, Dr B. Garzicic and Branislava Ajdaric. Prof. Danica Korac was the principal investigator and she organized GC for chromosomopathies and congenital anomalies. Prof. Marija Nikezic, endocrinologist, along with her associates was conducting cytogenetic analysis of sex abnormalities; Prof. Emilija Stojimirovic, hematologist, with her coworkers was devoted to cytogenetics of hematologic malignancies. Now the principal researchers in the laboratory are Prof. Slobodanka Grkovic and MSc Vesna Ivanovic-Deretic.
Institute of Hematology, UCC, Belgrade
Prof. Z. Rolovic, hematologist with his associate Dr Milena Ciric established in 1968 the Laboratory for Human Cytogenetics at the Clinic for Internal Medicine (School of Medicine). In 1984 the laboratory was transferred to UCC where Dr Angelina Novak and other co-workers of Dr Rolovic, had the opportunity to apply the cutting edge of molecular-cytogenetic methods in the research of hematological malignancies and different endocrinological pathologies. Now, the principal investigator in the laboratory is MSc Vesna Djordjevic, assisted by Jelica Jovanovic, Marija Dencic and Sandra Bizic.
Institute for Gynecology and Obstetrics UCC, Belgrade
The Laboratory for Medical Cytogenetics, was founded in 1972 by the academician Prof Vojin Sulovic. The Laboratory is dedicated to karyotype analyses of individuals with reproductive disorders and children with congenital abnormalities; there is a well organized GC with prenatal diagnostics of chromosomopathies. The laboratory is now led by Bojana Petrovic.
Clinical Centre “Zvezdara”, Belgrade
The cytogenetic laboratory was founded in 1973 by Dr B. Pendic, hematologist, in cooperation with cytogeneticists Dr Nada Barjaktarevic and Dr Vitana Kostic. The genotoxic effects of ionizing radiation were one of the focal points of the laboratory. Chromosome changes in ascites were for the first time in our country, analyzed in this laboratory, 25 years ago. Molecular genetics is now being introduced in the laboratory.
Mother and Child Health Institute, Belgrade
The Laboratory for Human Cytogenetics was founded in 1982 by Prof. B. Gazicic; since 1992 the head of the Laboratory is Prof. Marija Guc-Scekic. Diagnostics of prenatal and postnatal chromosopathies, are routinely conducted in the laboratory. The Institute has organized systematic screening for some genopathies. Dr Dimitrije Vulovic with his assistants conducted the first screening of phenylketonuria on infants in our country (1965-1968), only two years after the first screening of this disease has been performed in the USA. Dr Vulovic and Dr Ljubomir Stojanov have conducted screening for hypercholesterolemia in school aged children (1982); Prof. Milos Banicevic organized a screening for hypothyroidism (1983). It is worth noting that an excellent centre for molecular diagnostics of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, cystic fibrosis, neuroblastoma, etc. has been launched. In this laboratory are currently working Prof. Marija Guc-Scekic and her associates Marina Djurisic, Tanja Lalic and Danijela Petronijevic.
Department of Human Genetics, School of Dentistry, Belgrade
The Department of Human Genetics at the School of Dentistry has evolved from the Institute of Biology and Human Genetics (Medical School). Dr Jelena Milasin and Dr Branka Popovic are mainly focused on molecular genetics of various head and neck malignancies, whilst Dr Babic is dedicated to studies of the maxillofacial complex and its anomalies in relation to sex chromosome aberrations. Several PhD students are also actively engaged in the laboratory: Ana Gvozdenovic, Aleksandar Boro and Marina Pesic.
Institute of Child and Youth Health Care, School of Medicine, Novi Sad
The Cytogenetic Laboratory was created in 1986 by Prof. Aleksandar Krstic. Nowadays it is a modern and well organized Centre for Medical Genetics with up-to-date GS for inherited disorders and congenital malformations. EUROCAT has been introduced for the registration of congenital anomalies. Prenatal diagnostics is also well developed. Everyday help in diagnosis of rare syndromes is being offered to smaller medical centres all over the territory of Voivodina through an excellent network. There is also a screening program for phenylketonuria. A Department for Molecular Genetics has been established as well. Dr A. Krstic has been in charge of this Department for many years with the help of Dr Feodora Popic Paljic and Prof. Jadranka Jovanovic. Prof. Milorad Velisavljev, pediatrician, created a repository of congenital malformations and gene defects for the territory of Voivodina.
Cytogenetic Laboratory, School of Medicine, Nis
The Cytogenetic Laboratory of the Institute of Pathology was created in 1970 by Prof. V. Savic. Now, a new Laboratory for Molecular Medicine within the Pediatric Clinic of the Clinical Centre of Nis has been created. The team of geneticists is made of biologists, Ljiljana Brankovic, Radovan Milicevic, Desanka Radulovic and Dragana Jugovic.
Clinical Centre, Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kragujevac
The Laboratory for Human Genetics of The Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics has been created in 1986 by prof S. Arsenijevic. The main laboratory orientation is pre- and postnatal diagnostics of chromosomopathies. The head of the laboratory is MSc Tanja Novakovic, assisted by several collaborators: MSc D. Loncar, Verica Andonovic, D. Dimitrijevic, N. Stojanovic.
Laboratory of Radiobiology, Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Vinca
Animal and human cytogenetic analyses, aimed at studying the effects of X-irradiation on chromosomes, were conducted for many years by Dr Nada Savkovic. Dr Branka Krajincanic studied the effects of cytostatics on karyotype in patients with hematological malignancies. Today, Dr Gordana Joksic, in charge of cytogenetic research, is developing methodologies introduced by her predecessors in the field of radiosensitivity and radioprotection.
School of Veterinary Medicine, Belgrade
Prof. B. Soldatovic and Prof. Drazen Zimonjic have founded a laboratory dedicated to research of genotoxic effects exerted by different substances on animal and human cells. It is now a renowned laboratory specialized in various tests for genotoxicity, led by Prof. N. Djelic.
School of Pharmacy, Belgrade
The School of Pharmacy has also an experienced team conducting research on genotoxicology; the laboratory is led by Dr Biljana Spremo and her associate Lada Zivkovic.
Following the initiative of the Institute of Biology and Human Genetics of the School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Human Genetics has been included in the curricula of all the Medical and Dental Schools of Serbia. Medical Genetics exists at the School of Special Education and School of Biology, University of Belgrade. There is an optional subject, Clinical Genetics at the School of Medicine of Novi Sad.