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Zlatko Dembic, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor (immunology, cell-biology & microbiology)

Molecular Genetics Group
Department of Oral Biology (IOB),
Faculty of Dentistry,

University of Oslo

Postal address >
Institutt for oral biologi (IOB),
University of Oslo,
Sognsvannsveien 10,
PB-1052 Blindern
0316 Oslo,

Tel: + 47 228 40 330 /
Fax: + 47 228 40 302

As a scientist with a medical background, it's natural that my research interests are placed at the crossroads of medicine and biology. Since the earliest days of my lab career I was attracted to molecular and cellular immunology. The more I learned, the more my interest evolved toward studying ontogeny and phylogeny of the immune system. The reason was simple: I wished to understand its function, and that is still my wish. During the last twenty years of the past century I've worked on important issues in immunology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology (Tübingen, Germany), the Basel Institute for Immunology (Switzerland; CH) and the Hoffman-La Roche AG (Basel, CH). We were the first to report the identification of genes underlying T-cell specificity and recognition (mouse T-cell receptor, in '86). Likewise, we led the research on molecular cloning of human cytokine receptors important for the effector phase of immunity such as the interferon-gamma receptor (IFNGR1; in '88) and the tumor necrosis factor receptor-2 (TNFR2; in '90). In 1995, I moved to the Institute of Immunology at the University of Oslo, Norway. Since then I broadened the scope of my research by working on T-cell development, cancer immunobiology, immunogenetics and susceptibility to cancer and infectious diseases. All of this would not have been possible without a substantial contribution from my academic collaborators and colleagues in Norway and Croatia. Some of these studies led me to propose a model about the workings of the immune system called the "integrity" model in the mid-nineties. It stresses that immunity is not only a defense system, but also a selector of potential symbionts and commensals. So far, my publication list has over 80 scientific contributions. Ten percent were published in top scientific journals (Nature and Cell) with myself as a prominent author (in half of them). I tend to take these achievements as evidence of the great fun and joy that basic research in immunology has given me over the past years. They are also the source of an unending motivation to study further what remains unknown - a progressively smaller part of human body.

Here are some representative articles (check here for more):

Some interesting sites and links:

  • The Molecular Genetics - Immunogenetics group
  • Scandinavian Journal of Immunology home and issues pages
  • Norwegian Society for Immunology
  • Mobilt Diskotek


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