Kristina Djinović-Carugo is currently Head of the Department of Structural and Computational Biology and Professor of Structural Biology at the Max Perutz Labs. Previously, she was Head of the Structural Biology and Crystallography Unit of the Sincrotrone Trieste (Italy) from 1999 to 2004, and Director of the Laura Bassi Center for Optimized Structural Studies in Austria from 2010 to 2016. Kristina holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
“Kristina has shaped the field of integrative structural biology at the Perutz and the University of Vienna in a powerful and unique way during the last two decades. I am curious to see this next exciting chapter in her research unfold”, says Scientific Director Alwin Köhler. “Kristina will remain affiliated with us and I hope this new link between the Max Perutz Labs and EMBL will foster scientific exchange and innovation”.
Kristina’s research focuses on the structural biology of the Z-disc. This complex assembly of proteins serves as the attachment region for adjacent sarcomeres, the smallest contractile units of muscles. Mutations in Z-disc proteins cause muscular dystrophies and myopathies. Kristina’s group has used a combination of biochemical, molecular biophysics and complementary structural biology methods to determine the architecture and assembly of the Z-disc. On the long run, her work aims at understanding the molecular basis of diseases affecting muscles, particularly cardiomyopathies.