Dominko is globally recognized for her research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Her work has spanned embryonic transfer, cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer, and the basic science of early embryogenesis. She is currently at the forefront of the science of cellular reprograming, exploring how mature human skin cells can be coaxed to become more like stem cells able to recapitulate damaged tissues throughout the body.
"This is wonderful recognition for an important body of work and for Tanja’s ongoing commitment to advance science and education," said Karen Kashmanian Oates, Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences at WPI. "Through her efforts, Tanja not only honors her homeland, but brings honor to WPI and the faculty and students who work with her. Tanja’s engagement of science across borders has created informal, yet essential, networks of science diplomacy. We look forward to the exciting work that will come from these collaborations."
After earning an MS in large animal reproduction and obstetrics and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Dominko came to the United States in 1990 to enroll in a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There she earned a PhD in endocrinology and reproductive physiology, working in the lab next door to Professor Jamie Thomson, who made history by isolating the first embryonic stem cells, initially from primates and then from humans.
"I have always been interested in reproductive physiology, and when I was at Madison two important things happened that shaped my career," Dominko says. "First, there were the discoveries by Jamie Thomson. Then, two of my friends, Ian Wilmut and the late Keith Campbell in the UK, successfully cloned the sheep Dolly. So I guess it was a case of b
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