Marinković received this prize from the Dutch Toxicology Society for his PhD thesis ‘Gene expression in toxicant-exposed chironomids’, which he prepared at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) and the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) of the University of Amsterdam.
Chironomids occur all over the world and are able to endure exposure to toxic compounds to a high extend. This makes them well suited to study stress reactions in organisms as a result of such exposure. The ruling theory was that chironomids endure exposure to toxic compounds mainly through genetic adaptation. However, through his PhD research Marinković showed that this is not the case. Instead, he found that chironomids endure toxic exposure without direct changes to their DNA. As such the results are of great importance for understanding the way that organisms can cope with stress. Yet, the biggest achievement of Marinkovic was to succesfully link traditional ecotoxicity endpoints like survival and growth with new transcriptomics responses, previously not performed for omics non-model organisms like chironomids
The Joep van den Bercken Prize was founded to honour the Utrecht neurtoxicologist Prof. dr. Joep van den Bercken and is awarded annually by the Dutch Toxicology Society to the best PhD thesis in the entire field of toxicology. Marino Marinković, who currently works at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) received the prize on 6 June 2013 at the Annual meeting of the Dutch Toxicology Society.