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Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Tanja Dominko Named Slovenian Ambassador of Science for 2013
Date:12/10/2013

eing in the right place at the right time, to be connected with these people, and then to be able to move my work into the area of stem cell biology, cloning, and ultimately regenerative cellular therapies."

After a postdoctoral fellowship at Madison, and another in the lab of Gerald Schatten, PhD, at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Dominko was recruited to Worcester for a senior research position at Advanced Cell Technology Inc. She came to WPI in 2006 as an assistant research professor and CEO of a start-up company she founded called CellThera, which moved into WPI’s Bioengineering Institute. In 2008 Dominko was appointed associate professor of biology and biotechnology at WPI; she received tenure in 2012.

In recent years, Dominko has become increasingly active with colleagues in Slovenia. She has organized a series of biotechnology courses and seminars in Slovenia for scientists and graduate students. Several WPI life sciences professors have lectured in Slovenia at Dominko’s invitation. Her work in Slovenia accelerated in 2011 when she was invited by Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, president of the University of Nova Gorica, to develop a new center to focus on the science of aging and the development of biomedical technologies to help an aging population. The result was the Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at UNG, where Dominko is the founding director.

The center now has seven full-time faculty members and a growing research portfolio. This year 15 WPI undergraduates are working on their Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs) in Slovenia. "Things are coming together beautifully at the center," Dominko said. "It’s been a wonderful experience, not just for me, but for all the scientists and students involved. Today, science is a global effort. The more
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