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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Ivan Alić, DVM., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Centre: Centre for Genomics and Child Health

Telephone: 020 7882 2270


Ivan Alić was born 1985 in Gospić, Croatia. He obtained his DVM at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2009. From 2011 till 2016 he was assistant at Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and participated in teaching of “Anatomy of domestic animals”. He obtained his PhD in Neuroscience at Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, where in 2015 he also participated in teaching at the Dept. of Histology and Embryology. From 2016-2019 he was postdoc in the Prof Nizetic group at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 2019 he moved to London where he is currently a postdoc in Prof Nizetic’s group at the Blizard Institute.


Research Interests:

My interest is in understanding the changes in differentiation and neural cell morphology caused by physiological ageing, as well as pathologically accelerated ageing, and its relation to neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. In order to study these phenomena, cells derived from people with Down syndrome (DS) are a particularly informative model. I analyse neurons in the 2D, and cerebral organoid platforms and compare them to the tissues from human brain, from people with Down Syndrome, Alzheimer Disease (AD) and non-pathological controls.

In our 3D model (cerebral organoids) we are interested in modelling in vitro the development and prevention of AD pathology, and understanding the mechanisms applicable to neurodegenerative processes in the human brain.

In our 2D neuronal models we are interested in neurodevelopmental, mitochondrial, electrophysiological and synaptic defects, as well as accelerated aging and DNA damage/repair.


Key Publications

Ivan Alić*, Pollyanna A Goh*, Aoife Murray*, Erik Portelius*, Eleni Gkanatsiou, Gillian Gough, Kin Y Mok, David Koschut, Reinhard Brunmeir, Yee Jie Yeap, Niamh L O’Brien, Jurgen Groet, Xiaowei Shao, Steven Havlicek, N Ray Dunn, Hlin Kvartsberg, Gunnar Brinkmalm, Rosalyn Hithersay, Carla Startin Sarah Hamburg, David Wallon, Anne Rovelet-Lecrux, Hilkka Soininen, Emanuela Volpi, Joanne E Martin, Jia Nee Foo, David L Becker, Agueda Rostagno, Jorge Ghiso, Željka Krsnik, Goran Šimić, Ivica Kostović, Dinko Mitrečić, LonDownS Consortium, Paul T Francis, Kaj Blennow, Andre Strydom, John Hardy, Henrik Zetterberg & Dean Nižetić. (2020): Patient-specific Alzheimer-like pathology in trisomy 21 cerebral organoids reveals BACE2 as a gene-dose-sensitive AD-suppressor in human brain. Molecular Psychiatry (Nature). Epub 10th July 2020,
*these authors contributed equally as first author and are listed in alphabetical order.

David Koschut, Debleena Ray, Zhenhua Li, Emanuela Giarin, Jürgen Groet, Ivan Alić, Shirley Kow-Yin Kham, Wee Joo Chng, Hany Ariffin, David M. Weinstock, Allen Eng-Juh Yeoh, Giuseppe Basso, and Dean Nižetić (2020):  RAS-protein activation but not mutation status is an outcome predictor and unifying therapeutic target for high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Oncogene, Volume 40: 746-762

Gillian Gough, Niamh L. O’Brien, Ivan Alic, Pollyanna A. Goh, Yeap Yee Jie, Jurgen Groet, Dean Nizetic & Aoife Murray (2019) Chapter 3. Modelling Down syndrome in cells: from stem cells to organoids. Progress in Brain Research, Volume 251: 55-90, Preclinical Research in Down syndrome: From Bench to Bedside. Available online 20th November 2019. ISSN 0079-6123. Serial Volume Editor: Mara Dierssen

Ivan Alić, Nina Kosi, Katarina Kapuralin, Dunja Gorup, Srećko Gajović, Roland Pochet, Dinko Mitrečić (2016): Neural stem cells from mouse strain Thy1 YFP-16 are a valuable tool to monitor and evaluate neuronal differentiation and morphology. Neuroscience Letters. Epub 3rd October 2016,



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