Department of Biochemical Engineering


Božidar Šantek, PhD

Phone: + 385 1 4605 290
Fax: + 385 1 4836 424


Renata Bošnir

Phone: + 385 1 4605 071
Fax: + 385 1 4636 424

The Department of Biochemical Engineering has its origin in the Department of Technical Microscopy and Technical Microbiology at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Zagreb. The first head of the Department was Professor Bogdan Varićak, who, as early as the academic year of 1945/46, lectured in subjects “Technical Microscopy” and “Technical Microbiology”. Thanks to his great dedication, he equipped the newly established department with microscopes and apparatus. His pioneering work ended in 1951 with his passing. The lectures were carried out by Boris Vrtar, PhD, for several years, and from 1958, the teaching and running of the Department was taken over by Assistant Professor Vera Johanides, PhD. Initially, the Department had only four employees and, together with the Department of General Chemistry and Food Technology, it served as the backbone of the Food and Technology Department of the (at that time) Faculty of Technology. By transforming that department into the Biotechnology Department, in 1961, the Chair of Biotechnology was established, consisting of: Laboratory for Biology with Technical Microscopy, Laboratory for General Microbiology, Laboratory for Industrial Microbiology, Laboratory for Brewing Technology and Laboratory for Chemistry and Antibiotic Technology. The chairpersons were Prof. Vera Johanides, PhD and Prof. Gavra Tamburašev, PhD. Based on the reorganization that followed, since 1980, within the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, the Department for Biochemical Engineering has five laboratories and one section:

  • Laboratory for Biology and Microbial Genetics
  • Laboratory for Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Microbiology and Malting and Brewing Technology
  • Laboratory for Cell Technology, Application and Biotransformation
  • Laboratory for General Microbiology and Food Microbiology
  • Laboratory for Antibiotic, Enzyme, Probiotic and Starter Cultures Technology
  • Section for Bioinformatics

The Department of Biochemical Engineering teaches modules in all undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate doctoral and specialist study programmes at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. These include natural and engineering scientific disciplines and are based on the latest scientific discoveries in the biotechnological production of traditional products, such as alcoholic beverages, vinegar, bakery, fodder and food yeast, starter cultures, ethanol, organic acids, amino acids, enzymes, antibiotics, steroid hormones, vitamins etc., as well as in the area of modern (so-called High-Tech) biotechnology based on genetic engineering and hybridoma technology (monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, diagnostic agents, enzymes, antibiotics, probiotics as living drugs, therapeutic proteins, hormones, enzyme inhibitors, signal molecules, etc.) and on the application of bioprocess engineering in exploitation of renewable resources for energy, biofuels and different biochemicals production.

The research of the Department’s staff includes exploitation of renewable resources for different purposes, application of integrated bioprocesses systems for the production of organic solvents, studies of probiotics, prebiotics and functional starter cultures, palindromic elements in genomes and mechanisms of gene replacement in yeast, mycotoxins in food and feed, improvements in application of animal and plant cell technology, biocatalysis and extraction with green solvents, studies of biologically active compounds, and the influence of mutagens and antimutagens on molecular cell processes, the development of bioinformatics tools in the field of genomics, proteomics and nutrigenomics, in silico evaluation of potential drugs etc.

The Department staff collaborate with numerous companies on the development of biotechnological processes and products and through international and national research and professional projects contribute to the development of products and services in all branches of biotechnology.

The following members of the Department were awarded honorary title of professor emeritus: Prof. Vera Johanides, PhD, Prof. Marija Alačević, PhD, Prof. Senadin Duraković, PhD and Prof. Zlatko Kniewald, PhD.



Laboratories and Cabinets
Laboratory for Biology and Microbial Genetics
Laboratory for Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Microbiology and Malting and Brewing Technology
Laboratory for Cell Culture Technology and Biotransformations
Laboratory for General Microbiology and Food Microbiology
Laboratory for Antibiotic, Enzyme, Probiotic and Starter Cultures Technology
Laboratory for Bioinformatics


Name and surname Academic title Job title
Sunčica Beluhan PhD Full Professor
Ksenija Durgo PhD Full Professor
Jadranka Frece PhD Full Professor
Višnja Gaurina Srček PhD Full Professor
Mirela Ivančić Šantek PhD Full Professor
Blaženka Kos PhD Full Professor
Ksenija Markov PhD Full Professor
Jasna Novak PhD Full Professor
Vlatka Petravić Tominac PhD Full Professor
Ivana Radojčić Redovniković PhD Full Professor
Tonči Rezić PhD Full Professor
Anita Slavica PhD Full Professor
Igor Slivac PhD Full Professor
Antonio Starčević PhD Full Professor
Ivan-Krešimir Svetec PhD Full Professor
Božidar Šantek PhD Full Professor
Lidija Šver PhD Full Professor
Vesna Zechner-Krpan PhD Full Professor
Ana Bielen PhD Associate Professor
Marina Cvjetko Bubalo PhD Associate Professor
Janko Diminić PhD Associate Professor
Reno Hrašćan PhD Associate Professor
Andreja Leboš Pavunc PhD Associate Professor
Mario Novak PhD Associate Professor
Mladen Pavlečić PhD Associate Professor
Kristina Radošević PhD Associate Professor
Marina Svetec Miklenić PhD Associate Professor
Antonija Trontel PhD Associate Professor
Jurica Žučko PhD Associate Professor
Tomislav Vladušić PhD Assistant Professor
Martina Banić PhD Senior Scientific Assistant
Iva Čanak PhD Senior Scientific Assistant
Nenad Marđetko PhD Senior Scientific Assistant
Katarina Butorac PhD Scientific Assistant
Ana Dobrinčić PhD Scientific Assistant
Ana Huđek Turković PhD Scientific Assistant
Anđela Miljanović PhD Scientific Assistant
Dora Pavić PhD Scientific Assistant
Martina Bagović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Nina Čuljak mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Anja Damjanović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Angela Matanović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Mia Radović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Ana Slišković mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Ljiljana Blažević Technical Associate
Vesna Jurišević Technical Associate
Ana Kozina Technical Associate
Ines Kuk Technical Associate
Grozdana Kuleš Technical Associate
Igor Livada Technical Associate
Maja Valentić Technical Associate
Marina Vnučec Technical Associate
Zlatko Kniewald PhD professor emeritus
Jagoda Šušković PhD professor emeritus


Name and surname Academic title Job title
John Cullum PhD Full Professor
Ksenija Vitale PhD Full Professor
Ruža Frkanec PhD Senior Scientist
Anto Vrdoljak PhD Senior Scientific Associate
Nives Pustišek PhD Scientific Associate
Leonida Kutle PhD Lecturer
Mirta Weber Sušanj PhD Lecturer
Slaven Reljić PhD Research Assistant
Alemka Jaklin Kekez Associate
Krešo Bendelja PhD Associate
Alenka Gagro PhD Associate
Alemka Markotić PhD Associate
Mirjana Turkalj PhD Associate

Courses (preddiplomski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Probiotics and starter cultures 173442 (PDN), 173443 (DBPI i DMB), 53725 (DN), 53743 (DPI, DUSH), 239517 (DN) 3
Antibiotic Technology 39781 (PDBT), 53707 (DBPI) 4
Basic of Human Physiology 252789; 32438 5
Biochemical EngIneering 39803 8
Biology (BT) 239472 7
Biology (N) 240358 -
Biology (PT) 239335 7
Biology 1 24139; 24161; 24195 5 (N:4)
Biology 2 24159; 24162; 24202 5 (N:4)
Biotechnological Aspects of Wine Production 39786; 53627 4
Biotechnological enzyme production -
Biotechnological production of drugs and fine chemicals -
Biotechnology 1 24115 2
Biotechnology 2 32427 6
Biotechnology 3 39805 6
Biotechnology 4 39808 5
Brewing Technology 53710; 39779 4
Digital biotechnology 252782 3
Enzyme Technology 39780 (PDBT), 53709 (DBPI) 4
Food microbiology 39782(BT) 32417(PT) 252792(N) 32437(N) 5
Food microbiology 165611 3 (doktorski); 5 (poslijediplomski specijalistički)
Genetic Engineering 39804 4
Good manufacturing practise for pharmaceuticals -
HPLC-analysis of Low Molecular Weight Compounds 39865 3
Immunology for Nutritionists 239438; 39843 3
Introduction to Biotechnology 239467 3
Microbiology 252769(BT) 32420(BT) 252717(PT) 64884(PT) 252785(N) 32431(N) 8(BT) 6(PT) 5(N)
Molecular genetics 252777; 32425 5
Professional practice 3
Raw Materials in Biotechnological Production 252771 6
Technology of Vitamin and Hormone Production 39785 (PDBT) i 53713 (DBPI) 4

Courses (diplomski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Mycology 53257 3
Probiotics and starter cultures 173442 (PDN), 173443 (DBPI i DMB), 53725 (DN), 53743 (DPI, DUSH), 239517 (DN) 3
Animal and plant cell technology 53245 (DMB) i 53226 (DBPI) 4
Bacteriology 53259 3
Basics of Tissue Engineering 66748 2
Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Techniques 53616 8
Biogas Production from Raw Materials 66747 4
Bioinformatics 33007; 53249 4
Bioprocess Design 53694 4
Bioprocess Kinetics 53223; 53264 6
Biotechnological Vinegar Production 66746 4
Biotransformations 53268 3
Ecogenetic Studies 33004; 53255 2
Genetics of Eukaryotes 31704; 53250 4
Genetics of Industrial Organisms 53262 3
GMOs in Food Production 53261 3
Gut Microflora, Nutrition and Health 54283 (DN), 54284 (DUSH); 239521(DN) 4
Human Physiology 53266 4
Immunology 53242 4
Interaction of Molecules and Receptors 53260 2
Isolation and Purification of Biotechnology Products 53650 6
Mechanisms of Evolution 53256 3
Microbial Ecology 166959 3
Microbiological, Chemical and Physical Monitoring in Brewing Process 53302 3
Nutrigenomics 239447; 66827 4
Physiology of industrial microorganisms 53222; 53241 6
Phytoremediation 66750 3
Production of Therapeutic Proteins 53608 3
Programming in Bioinformatics 53272 2
White Biotechnology 53233 4

Courses (poslijediplomski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Food microbiology 165611 3 (doktorski); 5 (poslijediplomski specijalistički)
Sustainable development and biotechnology 165594 3

Courses (doktorski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Advancess in biotechnological processes for lactic acid production 3
Applied proteomics 165624 3
Biochemical engineering and bioprocess techniques 165661 5
Bioinformatics of industrial microorganisms 165592 3
Biotechnological preparation and improvement of food and beverages 165651 3
Biotechnological production of algae and their metabolites 165652 3
Ecogenetics 165603 3
Evolution and biotechnology 165605 3
Food microbiology 165611 3 (doktorski); 5 (poslijediplomski specijalistički)
Industrial processing of renewable raw materials 167439 3
Kinetics of biotechnological processes 165662 5
Mechanisms and effects of biologically active compounds on cell cultures 165629 3
Microbial ecology 165664 5
Microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal system 165639 3
Microbial genetics and genetic engineering 165665 5
Molecular genetics of antibiotics biosynthesis 165613 3
Molecular Nutrition and Genomics 165658 5
Molecular-genetic methods in control of microbiological food safety 165601 3
Nutrigenomics 165636 3
Plant biotechnology 165646 3
Probiotics, prebiotics and functional starter cultures 165598 3
Processing development in malt and beer production 165597 3
Regulation of metabolism of industrial microorganisms 165663 5
Scientific projects and intellectual property protection 165648 3
Signal transduction in cells 165610 3
Stereoselective biotransformations 165609 3
Sustainable development and biotechnology 165594 3
Technology and application of animal cells 165635 3

Courses (poslijediplomski specijalistički)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Food microbiology 165611 3 (doktorski); 5 (poslijediplomski specijalistički)
Gut Microflora, Nutrition and Health 54283 (DN), 54284 (DUSH); 239521(DN) 4
Indicator microorganisms in Food Quality Control 3
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