Igor Stagljar

University of Toronto (Canada)

Dr Igor Stagljar is a world-renowned scientist and a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Canada. He is also a Laboratory Head at the Mediterranean Institute of Life Sciences, Split, Croatia. He is a recognized expert in the field of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and PPI technology development. He has published over 120 research papers listed on PubMed, is the holder of 6 patents, and has been honored as one of the top inventors in Canada.

His visionary leadership has led to development of the Membrane Yeast Two-Hybrid (MYTH) and Mammalian Membrane Two-Hybrid (MaMTH) technologies, both of which have revolutionized membrane PPI research. During his entire career he has been an innovator, and his most recent development of MaMTH into a drug screening platform (MaMTH-DS) as well as the SIMPL technology has the potential to dramatically improve the development of therapeutics against membrane (MaMTH-DS) and soluble (SIMPL) PPI targets. He is currently directing major proteomics projects to map how integral membrane proteins interact to produce either healthy or diseased cells, to identify novel membrane PPI therapeutic targets, and to screen for novel drugs, in particular to target lung cancer. One such newly identified and repurposed drug that targets mutated protein on the surface of lung cancer cells is currently the subject of prompt clinical study at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. Dr Stagljar works tirelessly with leading clinicians and scientists worldwide to advance research on health issues such as cancer and, since recently, COVID-19.

Dr Stagljar is also a recipient of several prestigious distinctions for his outstanding contributions to biology including the Croatian Biological Society Plaque “Zdravko Lorkovic” – the highest accolade given by the Croatian Biological Society.  In 2015, the University of Toronto honoured Dr Stagljar with “Inventor of the Year” award for his contribution to Canada’s innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge. As principal investigator, Dr Stagljar secured over $38 million in research funds from a range of national and international funding agencies, non-profit foundations and pharmaceutical companies, such as Orionis Biosciences, Genentech, Merck, Evotec and Novartis.  Based on his academic successes, Dr Stagljar has co-founded two companies, Dualsystems Biotech Inc., a world-leading company in the field of interactive proteomics, and a new Toronto-based biotech start-up company Perturba Therapeutics.

Science and innovation are his two greatest passions and as a member of the Editorial Board of BioTechniques, BMC Biotechnology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, and Molecular Systems Biology Dr Stagljar remains connected to innovative and leading edge research.