Group: Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Key members: Vesna Spasojević-Kalimanovska, Aleksandra Zeljković, Tamara Gojković, Sandra Vladimirov

Contact: gojkotamara@gmail.com, sandra_vladimirov@yahoo.com, aleksandra.zeljkovic@pharmacy.bg.ac.rs 

Research activities: Our research group is primarily focused on analysis of non-cholesterol sterol (NCS) and oxysterol in atherosclerosis-related diseases. We examined whether determination of cholesterol synthesis and absorption markers, in combination with parameters of advanced lipid status (HDL and LDL subclasses, LCAT and CETP activity), inflammation and oxidative stress could be used to reveal different patterns of cholesterol metabolism and to estimate the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Our results indicate that the assessment of cholesterol synthesis and absorption efficiency allows more accurate evaluation of individual characteristics of cholesterol homeostasis. Such approach could ensure more precise estimation of the risk for coronary artery disease development, as well as prediction of individual response to hypolipemic therapy. Currently, we are exploring the association between plasma NCSs and oxysterols in patients with colorectal cancer. Also, we are planning to broaden our research on various different pathological conditions (including preeclampsia, nephrotic syndrome etc.), with an aim to provide a deeper insight into the mechanisms of wide-range cholesterol functions.
Also, we are constantly improving pre-analytical and analytical aspects of NCS and oxysterol analysis, broadening the range of analyzed sterol compounds by GC and LC/MS-MS and optimizing the analytical protocols. 
The ultimate goal of our research is a future application of these biomarkers in clinical laboratory practice. 

Key papers related to ENOR:

1.    Gojkovic T, Vladimirov S, Spasojevic-Kalimanovska V, Zeljkovic A, Vekic J, Kalimanovska-Ostric D, Djuricic I, Sobajic S, Jelic-Ivanovic Z. Can non-cholesterol sterols and lipoprotein subclasses distribution predict different patterns of cholesterol metabolism and statin therapy response? Clin Chem Lab Med. 2017;55(3):447-457. 
2.    Gojkovic T, Vladimirov S, Spasojevic-Kalimanovska V, Zeljkovic A, Vekic J, Arsenijevic J, Djuricic I, Sobajic S, Jelic-Ivanovic Z. Preanalytical and analytical challenges in gas chromatographic determination of cholesterol synthesis and absorption markers. Clin Chim Acta. 2018;478:74-81. 

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