SMUL Council

Dr. Alenka Čopič, Centre national de la recherche scientifique – CNRS, Paris, France

dr. Alenka ČopičAlenka Čopič started her scientific career in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Ljubljana, where she studied neurotoxic phospholipases A2 from snake venom. She went on to obtain a PhD in cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley, studying clathrin-mediated intracellular trafficking under the mentorship of Randy Schekman (recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 2013). She then joined the group of Liz Miller at Columbia University, where she combined postdoctoral research with teaching in an innovative undergraduate program Frontiers of Science. Her research focused on biogenesis of COPII vesicles from the endoplasmic reticulum: she identified membrane protein crowding as an important parameter affecting vesicle formation. After moving to France, she joined Institut Jacques Monod in Paris in 2013, and she obtained a Marie Curie career integration grant and a permanent CNRS position in 2014.

Her current research involves two main topics related to protein-membrane interactions: protein coating of lipid droplets and protein-mediated lipid transport between cellular compartments. She uses different model systems, from yeast and cell culture to reconstituted in vitro models, and she combines cell biology and imaging with biochemical and biophysical approaches. She directs a small research group that currently consists of one PhD student and one postdoctoral researcher, and usually one student apprentice. She maintains strong research ties with the University of Ljubljana, in particular with Institute of Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine, with the group of Prof. Uroš Petrovič at the Biotechnical Faculty, and others. She is also a collaborator on an ERC Synergy consortium that involves groups in France and in Sweden.