Milica Pešić


Research Interests

cancer research,
overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer,
natural product drugs,
new therapeutic approaches,
models of cancer multidrug resistance,
multidisciplinary approaches in cancer treatment and diagnostics

Institutional Contact

Institute for Biological Research "Siniša Stanković"


Despota Stefana 142
11060 Belgrade


As an excellent graduated student, I got scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Serbia for post-graduated studies in 1995. I received Master Degree in 1998 (MSci at Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade) and got a Special Award of the Government of Republic Serbia for the best young researchers. At that time, I took part in the organization of Young Researchers aimed to improve the position of science in Serbia. During nine years (2000 – 2008), I postponed my career due to family obligations (I have five children). I obtained PhD in 2008 (Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade). In 2008, my MDR Project won the prize in the competition for the Best Technological Innovation in Serbia. I have ongoing national and international multidisciplinary collaborations with biophysicists in Germany (Hamburg University of Applied Science) and Switzerland (EPFL), computational chemists in Italy (University of Siena), chemists in Serbia (University of Belgrade) and with mathematicians in Spain (University of Castilla-La Mancha). I lecture in courses of Molecular Biology at the University of Kragujevac (Serbia), Diseases of Nervous System and Methods in Neurobiology at the University of Belgrade (Serbia) for post-graduate students.

My research is focused on the discovery of small molecules targeting multi-drug resistance (MDR), which possess potential to be developed as new drugs to treat cancer, particularly cancer stem cells. I am exploring the mechanisms of nucleoside analogs, antimicrobial host defense peptides, natural products, semi-synthetic compounds and inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Multi-drug resistant cancer cell lines developed by my PhD students and myself are well-characterized and recognized as useful models for pre-clinical testing of new drugs. I also explore brain tumor (glioma)in vivo in order to find new therapeutic options for suppression of tumor angiogenesis and overcoming the problem of drug-resistance.