Preliminary program

Invited lecturers

Željko Jurjević, USA

Dr. Jurjević is the National Mycology Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc., holding both a master’s and doctorate degree in Plant Pathology. He is a former holder of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and was a Post-doctoral Associate at the University of Georgia. A former Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, he has written over 65 publications and has presented over 40 papers at national and international professional meetings. He is a co-author on the discovery of over 100 new fungal species in collaboration with various research facilities from the USA and Europe. He also has acted as a referee for numerous peer-reviewed journals. His expertise includes fungal identifications, plant disease and protection and mycotoxins. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Phytopathological Society, Croatian Microbiological Society, Phytopathologia Mediterranea, the Mycological Society of America, the Fulbright Association and an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) serving on the AIHA Proficiency Analytical Testing Board or AIHA-EMPAT, LLC.

Donat Magyar, Hungary

Dr. Donát Magyar (PhD) is an aerobiologist in the National Public Health Center. He is graduated at the Szent István University, Institute of Environmental and Landscape Management. He studied mycology at the University of Milan in 1996/97. After his university studies, he joined the Hungarian Aerobiological Network in NPHC and continued his research on airborne spores at the University of Perugia in 2000. He was working in the Plant Protection Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 2001 and 2008 where he continued his research on air spora. He defended his PhD thesis in 2006 (Creating new concepts of fungal diversity of the atmosphere). In 2008 he returned to NHPC. He was a WP co-leader in SINPHONIE project (Schools Indoor Pollution and Health: Observatory Network in Europe 2010-2012), head of the Department of Air Hygiene (2013-2017) and head of the Hungarian Aerobiological Network (2014-2017) and leader of a working group on aerobiology in a national project focusing on improving the Hungarian health service (2017-2018). He is Committee Member of the European Aerobiological Society, appointed national expert in three COST (European Union) aerobiology-related projects, honorary member of the Accademia Trevigiana, Guest Editor of the member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Microbiology, Fungi and Their Interactions. He was awarded with several prizes, including Young Aerobiologist Award, Pro Renovanda Cultura Hungariae and Medallion Béla Fenyvessy for Public Health. In the last decade, he investigated indoor air quality and mold problem of more than 500 buildings.

Isabelle Oswald, France

Dr. Isabelle Oswald is the director of the INRAE Research Center in Food Toxicology, Toxalim in Toulouse, France. She works in the team “Biosynthesis and Toxicity of mycotoxins” whose main objectives are (1) to characterize the production of secondary metabolites by fungal species (2) to determine the toxic effects of mycotoxins using pig as a model and a target species. Dr. Oswald has more than 250 international publications. She is an expert for EFSA, the European Food Safety agency; ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety and JEFCA, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Since 2018, she is among the top 1% highly cited researcher in the Web of Science. In 2018, she received the INRAE “Lauriers” a lifetime achievement award for her work on mycotoxin and in 2022 the Legion of Honor from the French government.

Jelka Pleadin, Croatia

Prof PhD Jelka Pleadin is a Master of Biotechnological Engineering having a PhD degree in Biotechnical Sciences. She is a Scientific Advisor in Tenure and the Head of the Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry of the Croatian Veterinary Institute in Zagreb. Her research is devoted to the development and application of analytical methods for determination of food of animal origin quality as also detection and quantification of residues of forbidden substances, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxic effects of different contaminates. From 2011 she is lecturer within the frame of undergraduate and postgraduate vocational studies in the field of food quality & safety at the University of Zagreb, Osijek and Mostar. She published one university book, ten book chapters and over 400 professional and scientific papers in indexed foreign and domestic journals. She currently acts in the capacity of chief project coordinator and team member of several national and international scientific and expert projects concerned with food quality, safety and authenticity. She was a member of numerous Scientific and Organizing Committees and an invited lecturer at several national and international scientific meetings. She was awarded the 2016 National Science Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of Biotechnical Sciences. Prof PhD Jelka Pleadin is currently the President of the Scientific Council of the Croatian Veterinary Institute.

Alberto Ritieni, Italy

Tshepiso J. Makhafola, South Africa

Professor Makhafola is a biochemist with a PhD from the University of Pretoria (2015). He is the Assistant Dean for Research, Innovation and Engagements and the Director of the Centre for Quality of Health and Living in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at the Central University of Technology; Free State. His research focuses on genotoxicity in particular on the use of natural products for prevention of mycotoxin-induced genotoxicity and carcinogenicity – one of the under-reported health issues facing developing countries. He holds a Y rating from the NRF, and he is the recipient of the NRF-BELSPO award and the NRF-FRF award. He is a member of the Toxicology Association of South Africa (TOXSA) and South African Association of Botanists (SAAB). He is appointed as an extraordinary lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Pan African Cancer Research Institute (PACRI).

Daniela Jakšić, Croatia

Daniela Jakšić, MPharm, PhD is an assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb. She teaches graduate practical course Microbiology with Parasitology and Applied Microbiology. Her scientific interests include filamentous fungi, namely assigned to the genus Aspergillus, their secondary metabolites, and corresponding mechanisms of actions in vitro and in vivo. Her special expertise includes identification of Aspergilli and characterization of physicochemical and toxic properties of mycotoxin sterigmatocystin. She co-authored 20 scientific articles published in international journals and participated at numerous international and domestic conferences with over 30 scientific presentations. She is a member of several professional societies and since 2017 she is a Secretary of the section for Mycology and Mycotoxicology of Croatian Microbiological Society. In 2021 she was awarded with “Jasenka Pigac” award for Young Scientist by Croatian Microbiological Society.

Manuela Zadravec, Croatia

Manuela Zadravec, DVM, PhD in veterinary science, senior research associate in the Laboratory for feed microbiology of the  Croatian Veterinary Institute in Zagreb. Her main research is focused on the microbiological quality of feed, particularly moulds contamination, and their molecular and traditional identification. Also, she is an expert in microscopic analysis of feed linked to processed animal proteins, botanical impurities, and physical contamination. She published one book chapter and over 100 professional and scientific papers in indexed foreign and domestic journals. She is a team member of a national scientific project concerned with food quality, safety, and authenticity. She is a member and secretary of the Croatian Microbiology Society, and a board member of the Europen Feed Microbiology Organisation and the International Association for Feedingstuff Analysis – Section Feedingstuff Microscopy.

Dean Karaica is a Master of Experimental Biology with a PhD degree in Biology. As a young researcher he currently works in the Molecular Toxicology Unit at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia. His research is mainly focused on investigating the localization and expression patterns of membrane transporters in mammalian organs, as well as their role in different (patho)physiological and otherwise biomedically relevant conditions. He holds two FELASA accredited certificates for conducting in vivo research on laboratory animal models such as mice, rats and zebrafish. He has over a decade of experience in using immunochemical methods for studying protein localization and expression patterns. Thus far, he participated in 6 scientific projects (3 ongoing) in the fields of physiology and toxicology that were/are funded by the Croatian Science Foundation and/or the European Union. He co-authored 18 scientific articles published in international journals and held over 40 scientific presentations at numerous international and domestic conferences. He is a member of Croatian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Croatian Laboratory Animals Science Association. Currently, he is responsible for establishing zebrafish facility and implementing zebrafish as a novel in vivo research model at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health.

Dario Lasić is Nutritionist, with PhD degree in Biotechnical Sciences. He is
the Head of the Department for Health Safety and Quality of Food and
Objects of Common Use, at the Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public
Health in Zagreb, Croatia. His scientific interests include advanced
physicochemical and toxic properties on the state-of-the-art analytical
techniques, such as most important contaminants, like mycotoxin content in food
and feed. He teaches graduate course: Nutrition with Sanitary Control, as well as practical course: Chemical Analysis of Food, at the University of Applied Health Sciences in Zagreb. He co-authored one book chapter, more than 30 scientific articles published in international journals. He is a member of 3 Scientific Committees and participated at numerous international and domestic conferences with oral presentations. He also permanently acts as a reviewer for several high-impact international and domestic peer-reviewed journals.
He currently acts as project coordinator and team member of several national and international scientific and expert projects concerned with food quality, safety and authenticity.