Ivan Dikic grew up in Croatia, where he trained as a medical doctor. He obtained his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Zagreb and New York University Medical Center. He is currently a Professor at Goethe University Medical School and Founding Director of the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany.
His research focuses on the role of ubiquitin (Ub), a small protein that is covalently attached to thousands of cellular proteins. His pioneering work explained how Ub acts as a multivalent cellular signal that is recognized by an expanding number of Ub-binding proteins, which in turn translate this molecular signal into appropriate cellular phenotypes. His group demonstrated the importance of Ubiquitin in the regulation of DNA repair, inflammation, cancer, infection, receptor endocytosis, and proteasomal degradation. Most recently, they revealed mechanisms by which linear ubiquitination can regulate the NF-kB pathway making a decision between cell survival and death pathways and how selective autophagy pathways remove specific cargoes to the lysosome for degradation.
His recent recognitions and awards include the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research in 2006, the Hans Krebs Prize 2010, the Leibniz Award (2013) and Ernst Jung Award in Medicine 2013 as well election in the German Academy Leopoldina (2010).