Professor Marija Krstic-Demonacos

Chair in Molecular Medicine

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I took up my Chair in Molecular Medicine in the School of Environment & Life Sciences in April 2013. Prior to this I was a Wellcome Trust Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Manchester from 2003.  I completed my PhD in molecular endocrinology at the University of California San Francisco and postdoctoral studies in cancer biology at the University of Glasgow.  I have published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and am serving as an editorial board member of several international journals. In addition, commercialisation potential of my research is evidenced by the three patents I own. I have presented at numerous conferences and served as reviewer for many international funding bodies and journals.


I am involved in the design and delivering of the teaching of a variety of modules for biology and health professional courses. In particular, these include teaching genome regulation module to the biology students, serving as PBL academic and personal tutor for medical and biology students, supervising final year research project students that frequently enter postgraduate program studies. Furthermore I have contributed to personal tutoring for numerous tutorial groups providing to those students pastoral and educational support. I have devised the final year problem for molecular biology students and have provided titles for final year assay for Biology degrees and for student selected component for medical students. I am involved in all types of assessment procedures across different degrees and am leading development of Biomedical Master’s course. I have been an invited lecturer for the University of Belgrade as part of a ‘brain gain’ programme funded by the Austrian government and those lectures are now part of the Biology course curriculum. 

Research Interests

My research focuses on the investigation of mechanisms of gene regulation and cancer biology. In particular, my research group investigates molecular basis of cellular response to hormonal and stress signals, with the aim to analyse gene expression profiles in leukemia associated with drug resistance. My long term interests are in investigating the mechanisms by which clinically relevant drugs mediate their therapeutic effects in order to improve available treatments and to develop novel pharmacologically beneficial approaches. We also study effects of DNA damage on tumor suppressor p53 that is a gene mutated in over half of human cancers. The deregulation of DNA damage inducible signalling pathways plays a major role in the development of cancer and analysis of components of these pathways is vital for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of malignant tumours. Finally, my group focuses on pathway modeling and genome wide studies as a tool to understand the mechanisms of cellular signaling and to discover new therapeutic targets. These logical models are increasingly predictive and have potential use in personalized medicine. Commercialization potential of this research is currently being explored as indicated through ownership of three patents demonstrating high potential of for knowledge transfer strategies.

Overall my observations provide detailed insight in the molecular networks governing cellular survival in numerous physiological and pathological processes. This knowledge can find application in the pharmaceutical industry, has been highly cited and internationally recognized. Several collaborative projects with clinical partners are ongoing in order to translate this knowledge to clinic and to pursue goals of personalized medicine to generate an efficient roadmap that will lead rapidly and safely to effective individual treatment that will eliminate diseases and create better health care for all.

Qualifications and Memberships


1995: PhD in Endocrinology, Department of Biochemistry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

1987: MSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade. Serbia

1984: BSc in Molecular Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia


Endocrine Society (USA), full member since 2011

Society of Biology, full member since 2010

British Association for Cancer Research, full member since 2009

British Endocrine Society, full member since 2008

Biochemical Society, full member since 2007


1. Chen DW, Saha V, Liu JZ, Schwartz JM, Krstic-Demonacos M. Erg and AP-1 as determinants of glucocorticoid response in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Oncogene, in press, doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.321

2. Simic I, Adzic M, Maric N, Savic D, Djordjevic J, Mihaljevic M, Mitic M, Pavlovic Z, Soldatovic I, Krstic-Demonacos M, Jasovic-Gasic M, Radojcic M, A preliminary evaluation of leukocyte phospho-glucocorticoid receptor as a potential biomarker of depressogenic vulnerability in healthy adults, Psychiatry Res. 2013 Mar 7.

3. Davies L, Paraskevopoulou E, Sadeq M, Symeou C, Pantelidou C, Demonacos C and Krstic-Demonacos M, Regulation of glucocorticoid receptor function by the stress responsive cofactor, Mol Endocrinology,25, 58-71, 2011

4. Xenaki G, Onikatze T, Stratford IJ, Dive C, Krstic-Demonacos M, Demonacos, C, PCAF is a HIF-1α cofactor that regulates p53 transcriptional activity in hypoxia, Oncogene, 27, 5785-5796, 2008

5. Demonacos C, Krstic-Demonacos M, Smith L, Xu D,  O'Connor DP, Jansson M, La Thangue NB,  A new effector pathway links ATM kinase with the DNA damage response, Nat Cell Biol, 6, 968-976, 2004

6. Krstic MD, Rogatsky I, Yamamoto KR, Garabedian MJ, Mitogen-activated and cyclin-dependent protein kinases selectively and differentially modulate transcriptional enhancement by the glucocorticoid receptor, Mol Cell Biol, 17, 3947-3954, 1997