Prof. Tamara Lah is the Director of National Institute of Biology in Ljubljana, leading the 3rd largest public research institution for natural sciences. Before becoming Director, she was Head of Department of Genetic Toxicology and Cancer Biology and is still the programme leader of this research group. Since 1999 she is also Full Professor at Biotechnical Faculty and Faculty of Chemistry Chemical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, teaching Biochemistry and Cancer Biology and giving courses in Tumour Biology for graduate students in Biomedicine study programme at the Medical Faculty and Stem cells and Proteases at Josef Stefan Postgraduate School. She gained her postdoctoral experiences at the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan, USA, where she became an Assistant Professor (1984-1987); from 1991 to 1994 she was Visiting Professor and Director of Metastasis Research Laboratory at Albert Einstein Medical Centre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Basic research interests of Prof. Tamara Lah Turnsek comprise the role of proteases and their inhibitors in physiological and pathological conditions, in particular in cancer, such as breast, lung and brain tumours, in particular glioma. Cancer stem cells, in particular glioblastoma stem cells (GSC) are the focus on recent research. in long-term collaboration with Department of Neurosurgery of the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana and in Maribor, Her team was involved in clinical studies of finding novel biomarkers for early prognosis and therapy response testing. Recently she has been involved mostly in studying cellular interactions of cancer associated stem cells at transcriptomics and proteomics levels, using systems biology approaches. The potential application of mesenchymal stem cells is currently being investigated, showing that their effects on tumour tissue is highly depend on intra-tumoural heterogeneity.