Rok Tkavc


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Adjunct assistant professor, Staff Scientist
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Neissria gonorrhoeae, antimicrobial peptides,
Deinococcus radiodurans, radiation resistance, mycology
Office Phone


Post-doctoral fellow, USU, Bethesda, MD (PAT, Dr. Daly's lab) 2012-2016
PhD in Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2007–2012
MSc (Eq. degree) in Microbiology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2002–2007

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pathology (USU) 2017–present

“Edible Mushrooms and Ionizing Radiation – Fungal Survival and Post-Exposure Fruiting”, Slovenian Research Agency, PI: Tine Grebenc (National Forestry Institute), Co-PI: Rok Tkavc (USU).

USU Post-Doctoral Society 2013–present

USUHS Authorized Independent Irradiator Operator 2012–present

FEMS Meeting Attendance Grant 2011

Grand Prize, iGEM, MIT, Cambridge, MA 2006

Representative Bibliography

Tkavc et al, 2018. Prospects for fungal bioremediation of acidic radioactive waste sites: characterization and genome sequence of Rhodotorula taiwanens MD1149. Frontiers in Microbiology, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02528.

Shuryak, ..., Tkavc et al, 2017. Microbial cells can cooperate to resist high-level chronic ionizing radiation. PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189261.

Sharma, ..., Tkavc et al, 2017. Across the Tree of Life, Radiation Resistance is Governed by Antioxidant Mn2+, Gauged by Paramagnetic Resonance. PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1713608114

Matrosova,..., Tkavc et al, 2017. High-quality genome sequence of the radioresistant bacterium Deinococcus ficus KS 0460. Standards in genomic sciences, doi: 10.1186/s40793-017-0258-y.

Klubo-Gwiezdzinska,..., Tkavc et al, 2017. Amifostine used clinically for salivary gland protection during therapy with radioiodine is cytotoxic for thyroid cancer cells. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology. doi: 10.1530/EC-17-0138.

Zajc, ..., Tkavc et al, 2014. Chaophilic or chaotolerant fungi: a new category of extremophiles? Frontiers in microbiology, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00708

Herzog-Velikonja, Tkavc et al, 2014. Diversity of cultivable bacteria involved in the formation of macroscopic microbial colonies (cave silver) on the walls of a cave in Slovenia. International journal of speleology, doi: 10.5038/1827-806X.43.1.5.

Cantrell, Tkavc et al, 2013. Fungal communities of young and mature hypersaline microbial mats. Mycologia, doi: 10.3852/12-288.

Tkavc et al, 2011. Bacteria associated with Artemia spp. along the salinity gradient of the solar salterns at Eilat (Israel). FEMS Microbiology Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01112.x.

Tkavc et al, 2011. Bacterial communities in the 'petola' microbial mat from the Sečovlje salterns (Slovenia). FEMS Microbiology Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00985.x.