Danica Budinščak, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, University of Zagreb, Croatia

01 Dec 2021

Danica Budinščak

"Danica always helped me in my work preparing brain tissue section and with different histochemical techniques."

Sanja Darmopil, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"When I started with my PhD, she guided me through histological methods and helped me numerous times with her advice. She showed tremendous patience and support when making thousands of tissue sections. It is really wonderful to have a person like her at work, and she’s definitely one of my favorite lab heroes!"

Lea Langer Horvat, Department for Developmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Croatia

"Danica was always ready and willing to help when she was needed with experiments. She was a great person to collaborate with and helped me greatly while I was still learning. She really deserves this award."

Tin Luka Petanjek, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"My colleague, my mentor, my friend... Danica. She was the first I saw on my very first day of work in CIBR. She guided me through basic histological methods and learned how to use a microtome. It wasn't just lab guidance, it was more, her helpful and sincere spirit allways filled the room. She is the one and only! In the name of all of us - just Thank you! Danica, live long and prosper!"

Ana Bosak, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, CIBR, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is a professional, reliable, hardworking, ethical, wonderful personality! She is a real Lab Hero!"

Natasa Jovanov Milosevic, Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry, School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Throughout more than a decade of my work in the same Institute with Danica, I have gotten to know her kind and friendly nature and her expertise in histological staining. She taught me several types of staining and helped me numerous times with her advice, insight, and intuition. Because of her professional help as well as her kind nature, I am happy and grateful that I had a chance to work with her."

Domagoj Dzaja, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Croatia

"Danica is the most experienced laboratory technician at the Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR) and is especially well-versed in classical histological methods. She has helped many PhD students, including myself, during our initial struggles in the lab. Due to all the work she has done at CIBR, I believe Danica is an excellent candidate for the Lab Hero award."

Ivan Banovac, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia

"The whole CIBR was based on Danica's work. Neurotree of Croatian developmental research (and more) was supported by her dedication to scientific work. Danica has been like a mom for almost 5 years to me, as well as a big supporter to everyone. We will miss her."

Terezija Miskic, Department of Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Croatia

"I first met Danica when I started to work in her lab as a med student. To a complete novice, who is starting to work in neuroscience for the first time, someone like Danica is crucial for success. She has more than 35 years of experience working in the histology lab and knows all the tricks and shortcuts to make your experiments work. She is always ready to help you with anything you need. The quality that I admire the most in Danica is her ability to tell you when something is not going to work. She has saved me countless hours of useless work and waste of valuable materials and money. When it comes to processing human brain tissue (especially fetal brain) there aren't many people in the world that know more about it than Danica. If you are starting to work in neuroscience or starting your own project Danica is the person you want in your lab. I will miss Danica very much when she decides to retire. Thank you Danica for all the help that you have provided me over the years (almost 20 years now)."

Goran Sedmak, Section of Developmental Neuroscience, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Croatia

"Ever since I met Danica she has brought only joy to my days at work. She is the first to be here at work in the morning and always cheerful and smiling, ready for a new working day and there is no task that Danica could not do considering classical histology. There should be more people like our Danica because she is a true Lab Hero!"

Klara Zubčić, Department for Developmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Croatia

"Danica is always eager to help. She has helped hundreds of PhD students and lab technicians to become great scientists. She is very warm, but never hides or sugarcoats a less than ideal experiment. She strives for a job well done and expects the same from everyone else."

Dinko Smilovic, Laboratory of Confocal Microscopy, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is has beem a lab technician for 35 years in one of the leading human neurodevelopmental labs in the world. Her experience in performing the neuroanatomical histochemical and immunochemical methods on the human postmortem tissue is unsurpassed. That tissue needs very steady attention during the preparation since the quality varied from case to case. Working with human tissue is a nightmare for the lab technicians. It is an unique material which does not allow for mistakes during the preparation phase. Getting the maximum information from very precious human tissue demands excellent attention to detail, resolution, and dedication to prepare the best. She has selflessly helped endless generations of PhD students, school pupils, visiting scholars and well-known seniors in the field to visualize the structures of interest. Since “seeing is believing” she was a wizard in helping me to perform my experiments to be credible and real, what is for any apprentice in science really enchanting. With her unique verbal and written communication, research thinking and analysis skills she was acting almost as a “co-supervisor” helping anybody to understand secrets and hints of the methods. That was of immeasurable help at that time and still today, when I am supervising my PhD students. Her experience working with lab equipment, and her sense of moderation knowing when and which method to prepare (depending on the nature of the experiment) is irresistible. Using the measurement skills, she made every experiment possible and successful. Danica was always a part of our research discussion, coming up with the best and most useful suggestions and recommendations. My career is deeply connected with Danica's presence and endless assistance in the lab. I was and I am deeply aware of that circumstance, especially today when I wish to nominate without any hesitation Danica for Lab Hero award."

Nenad Bogdanovic, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

"I met Danica when I was still a student starting with my first experiments at the Institute, and for her it was never a problem to help, explain or give advice. When I started with my PhD, she helped me a lot with advice from her many years of experience and it was never a problem for her to share those experiences. As busy as she was, and had a lot of tissue sections and experiments to do, whenever it was important for me to do something as soon as possible, she always helped me. With all the help in the laboratory, it is always a pleasure to talk to Danica about everything else, because in addition to laboratory experience, she also has a great life experience and is always willing to listen and share experience. She is an extremely kind, conscientious, organized and hardworking person. From all the above, I believe that it is not even questionable why Danica is our lab-hero."

Andrea Blažević, Department of Anatomy, CIBR, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is an excellent colleague and even when making hundreds of tissue slices, she is always ready to help. She is always ready to give useful information on how to proceed with difficult preparations which is helpful due to her huge experience. Danica is already a lab hero for us."

Aleksandra Dugandžić, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Always stern but always there to do what you ask of her. Danica is unique. No matter the results, she is my lab super-hero."

Zdravko Petanjek, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is a walking troubleshooting manual for every possible histological protocol. Even though she could have been retired and enjoying time with her grandchildren, she is still working and cutting and staining hundreds of tissue sections. Besides that, she always makes sure to remind and encourage everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle as much waste as we can, both in the labs and in our kitchen. And that's why she is our lab hero!"

Tila Medenica, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is a great technician with many years of experience. She is always ready to help anyone and does that with a smile. I hope I will learn much more from her."

Ivan Strinic, Laboratory for Cellular Neurophysiology, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"I have known Danica for many years. She helped me a lot with neurohistology stainings during my student and PhD days. She is always ready to help with any of my inquiries. You can also learn from her traditional neurohistology stainings that most people have forgotten."

Nikola Habek, Laboratory for Cellular Neurophysiology, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is an excellent and reliable lab technician, always ready to help. Especially in urgent situations, you can count on her. Making hundreds of tissue slices seems like a piece of cake for her, even though we all know how hard it can be to make the perfect ones. Besides all the hard work she is doing, it is a pleasure to have her around as a friend who will not hesitate to give you a nice word, motivate you in hard times or make funny jokes during a lunch break. Danica is definitely a lab hero for all of us working here."

Ena Španić, Laboratory for the Developmental Neuropathology, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Our dear Danica is always eager to help in the field in which she has been an expert for more than 35 years. And you always get a bonus - useful and wise life advice. Behind that strict attitude lies a big heart with a great sense of humor. That's why our Danica is lab hero!"

Iris Žunić Išasegi, Divison of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is one extraordinary person and a lab technician that everyone would like to have nearby. Her incredible skills accompanied by an inevitable positive attitude makes Danica irreplaceable. She helped me every time I needed help and showed me some unique tips and tricks she gained from many years of experience working with various histological techniques and brain tissue staining methods. That's why I think Danica is the perfect candidate for the Lab Supporter Award!"

Janja Kopic, Lab for Neurogenomics and in situ Hybridization, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is one of the most experienced lab technicians at our institution - her knowledge and skills of classical histological methods in super valuable to all members of our Institute. Also, she keeps a good spirit in our small community, she is always ready to help (when deadlines are approaching!), especially to young colleagues. That's why I, without hesitation, think Danica deserves the Lab Hero award!"

Mihaela Bobic-Rasonja, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is an expert in neurohistological techniques, whose entire career is devoted to deepening our understanding of structural changes during human brain development. Her expertise made possible numerous studies of rare postmortem tissue over the past several decades. Equally important is Danica's willingness to encourage and support young researchers, and pass on her knowledge to future generations. For Danica, nothing is too challenging or too difficult; her expertise and high standards in research have left a deep mark on all of us who had a chance to work with her. "

Branka Hrvoj-Mihic, Department of Antropology, University of California San Diego, USA

"Danica is a laboratory technician with many years of experience in neurohistology and different neurohistological staining techniques on postmortem human brain tissue. She is always happy and smiling to cheer everyone up. If PhD students and scientists need help with histological stainings, Danica is always here to help and it is really wonderful to have a person like her at work!"

Alisa Junakovic, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica should win the Lab Hero award as during her day-to-day work she has significantly contributed to the lab's successful projects. She possesses unique knowledge and skills that made a lot of projects feasible. Above all that she is really kind, righteous and a helpful person. I can't imagine anyone who deserves this award more than Danica."

Martina Rincic, Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"I met Danica in 2012 when I started to work as a PhD student in the Croatian Institute for Brain Research. Danica was working as technician in the neighbouring lab. She was always there for me to help me with anything I needed in the lab. She taught me how to use microtome and helped me a lot with various histological methods. She was an amazing co-worker, but also a friend. Always full of energy and ready for work, although she spends 3 hours every day to get to work and back home. She was also there for other students, PhD students, post docs, always ready to help. It was a pleasure to work with her. Danica is a true Lab Hero for me!"

Mirjana Babić Leko, Department of Medical Biology, University of Split, School of Medicine, Croatia

"Over the last several decades Danica's energy, spirit and enthusiasm were the driving force of the lab. Her spirit and support will be missed after she retires next year! She is and will remain our Lab Hero forever!"

Zeljka Krsnik, Neuroscience, CIBR, Croatia

"Over the last 30+ years Danica has helped many PhD and graduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers and technicians from many labs and departments at our institution. Her dedicated work is one of the key reasons why the Zagreb Collection of human brains is one of the best and also one of the largest neurohistological collections in the world. The digitized versions of Danica's superbly stained sections, especially the Nissl stain (a sort of trade mark of many highly-cited publications from our department on cytoarchitectural development of the human cerebral cortex), have helped and are still helping many neuroscientists to successfully realize their projects and human brain atlases. Personally, I feel very privileged and grateful to be one of them."

Goran Simic, Department of Neuroscience / Laboratory for Developmental Neuropathology, University of Zagreb School of Medicine - Croatian Institute for Brain Research, Croatia

"Danica is a lab technician with almost 40 years of experience in various neurohistological techniques. When it comes to processing human postmortem material, Danica is your go-to person. Moreover, she is an open, honest, and lively person who enjoys working in a team."

Ema Bokulić, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Danica is a lab technician with over 35 years of experience in various neurohistological techniques, especially in classical techniques on human postmortem brain tissue, which is nowadays a rarity. She has helped dozens of PhD students, visiting scholars and well-known scientists and she is truly an expert in the field. Her work contributed to studies which are now considered to be fundamental in the field of developmental neuroscience. Whenever somebody has a problem with their histological staining, Danica is the person to ask and will gladly do so. That's why, with no hesitation, we nominate Danica for the Lab Hero award!"

Dora Sedmak, Section for Neurodevelopmental Neuroscience, Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Nomination Category: Lab Supporter

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