Dr. Damjana Rozman

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Slovenia

D. Rozman is a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Ljubljana (UL). She performed her post-doctoral training at Vanderbilt University by prof. dr. Michael R. Waterman. At Faculty of Medicine UL she heads the Centre for Functional Genomics and Bio-Chips and engages in undergraduate/graduate education (Biochemisty & Molecular Biology, Basics of Gene technology. Functional genomics, Systems medicine). She represents the Slovene node of the ESFRI infrastructure ELIXIR (Coordinated by EBI-EMBL in Hinxton), participated in training within the FP7 ISBE (coordinated by Imperial College, London) and was responsible for training within FP7 Coordinated action CASyM (coordinated by Juelich GmbH, Berlin, 2012 – 2017 ). She supervised 16 Ph.D. students (currently 4) and 10 post-docs from Slovenia, Poland, Spain, Croatia and Hungary. She is active in expert committees, such as International Society for Microsomes and Drug Oxidation, International Society for the study of Cytochromes P450 , served as Expert of the Research Directorate General EU for omic technologies in personalised/systems medicine, was a member of the Advisory Board for Systems Biology at BMBF, Germany and External Examinator for Systems Biology at University of Manchester. She was among founding members of the European Association for Systems Medicine and is a member of the Management Board. D. Rozman is experienced in organizing of international scientific meetings and advanced courses. She is also among founding members of European Association for Systems Medicine (EASyM) and also a current member of the Management Board.

Research interests:

- Mammalian cytochrome P450 lanosterol 14a-demethylase (CYP51) from the cholesterol synthesis pathway and link to the progressive non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in females and males.

- Sterol intermediated of cholesterol synthesis as natural ligands of the nuclear receptor RORC and link to liver pathologies.

- Cross talk of cholesterol homeostasis with other signalling pathways (metabolism of cholesterol lowering drugs, cAMP signalling, circadian regulation): experimental approaches and modelling.

Scientific achievements:

- 2008 – 2018: 69 SCI original publications and reviews (PubMed) in biochemistry and molecular biology, endocrinology and metabolism, hepatology. reproduction biology, pharmacology & pharmacy.

- International patent and patent application

- Over 2300 citations, h-index 30 (Web of Science)

- Leading several Slovenian and international (FP7, Horizon2020) research projects, scientific coordination of the FP6 functional genomics project »Steroltalk«, deputy speaker of Coordinating actions Systems Medicine Europe CASyM.

- Initiating the functional genomics efforts in Slovenia and establishing the basis for the Slovenian ESFRI infrastructure ELIXIR

- In 2009 the Slovenian National Science Award (Zois Award) for special achievements in biochemistry and molecular biology.

-In 2016 the Lapanje award from the Slovenian Biochemical Society.


Damjana Rozman, PhD, SESSION CO-CHAIR

DAY 2: September 12, 2019 | Session 2 | 1:00 PM - 2:10 PM


Day 2: September 12, 2019 | Session 2 | 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Comparative Oncogenomics of Liver Disease: the Sex Matters

Damjana Rozman, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Slovenia

It is largely accepted that female and male liver metabolism differ substantially. Over 1,000 hepatic genes differ in their sex dependent expression and the multifactorial liver pathologies usually prevail in one or the other sex. It is thus surprising that little research is focused on understanding the molecular causes behind the sexual dimorphic liver pathologies. In our work we developed a mouse model with diminished cholesterol synthesis due to a knock-out in a cholesterol synthesis gene Cyp51. These mice present with nonalcoholic hepatitis that finally results in the female prevalent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). By integrative analyses of the mouse HCC transcriptomes and the human HCC transcriptomes from public databases, we identified the disbalanced cholesterol metabolism as one of the risk factors for sex-dependent devastating liver damage. Females were more affected and have a more aggravating disease phenotype. These findings are novel since most literature data suggest that (a) increased cholesterol is linked to the progressive liver disease; (b) HCC is a male prevalent disease. It is now clear that in addition to common variants in the genes, such as PNPLA3 and TM6SF2, some rare or even private mutations can contribute to liver pathologies, and that the incidence of HCC in females raises sharply after the menopause.

In conclusion, we identified a subgroup of liver pathologies with more aggravating phenotype in the females. These findings open new venues towards more personalized approach for liver disease intervention strategies, where we might search for different targets in females and males.