Ivan Đikić

Professor at Goethe University Frankfurt and director of Institute of Biochemistry

Ivan Đikić is a leading expert in the fields of ubiquitin biology and cancer research. He is professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt, director of the Institute of Biochemistry and a fellow of the Max Planck Society. He maintains an active research lab that enables multidisciplinary teams of scientists to study molecular principles of life and discover pathological alterations that lead to the development of human diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and infection.

For his scientific work, Ivan Đikić received numerous awards, including the Jung Prize for Medicine and the Leibniz Prize, the highest scientific honour in Germany. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the German Academy Leopoldina, the European Academy, and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ivan Đikić is committed to the education of the next generations of scientists globally. His efforts to popularize science in his homeland were recognized by the highest state honours, The Order of Duke Branimir, bestowed by the President of Croatia.

Presentation title: Therapeutic approaches against COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 was a big surprise and challenge for the whole world considering that it is a new, unknown virus for which we did not have tests, drugs or vaccines. Necessary and correct epidemiological measures have succeeded in overcoming the first wave of a pandemic with limited human losses in a number of countries. Nevertheless, these measures have affected the economy and the lives of citizens. Science, in the shortest possible time, had to give answers to the questions of how the virus spreads, what it can really cause and what impact it has on the organization of the health and education system. Meanwhile, comprehensive efforts of the entire scientific community have gathered a lot of valuable new data, appropriate genetic, antigenic and serological tests have been created, and several drugs have shown efficacy. In addition, a number of vaccines are in the final stages of clinical trials. But despite these encouraging results, the SARS-COV-2 virus continues to spread pandemically around the world.

In my presentation, I will look at the ongoing efforts to mobilize science and technology to develop new, more effective therapeutic approaches against COVID-19, including effective and safe vaccines and specially tailored coronavirus drugs.