Prof. Dragan Primorac, M.D., Ph.D.

Dragan Primorac is a pediatric medical doctor, forensic expert, geneticist and university professor. Dr. Primorac served as Minister of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia from 2003 to 2009. According to the International Republican Institute survey of October 1, 2007, he was rated as the most successful minister in the Government. Under his leadership, chapters ”Science and Research” and “Education and Culture” were the first two chapters that Croatia closed in negotiations with the European Union. As the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Dr. Primorac launched a series of successful reforms in primary, secondary and tertiary education as well as in science, technology and sports that significantly improved the system. Minister Primorac was able to secure the greatest increase of the budget for science, education and sports in the history of modern Croatia. The budget in 2003 was $1.2 billion while the budget in 2009 was $2.3 billion (including loans for Croatian universities). During his mandate, strategic documents such as the Education Sector Development Plan 2005 – 2010 and the Science and Technology Policy 2006 – 2010 were prepared and subsequently adopted by the Government and supported by the World Bank loan in the amount of €68 million (Education) and €31 million (Science and Technology). The award for numerous efforts made by minister Primorac and his team on the Croatian educational system was the survey of the famous Newsweek (August 16, 2010) which rated Croatian education system 22nd in the World, ahead of 12 countries from the G20 group.

He is one of the founders of forensic DNA analysis in Croatia and he was among a few scientists in the word who applied DNA analysis with a goal to identify mass graves victims. Dr. Primorac serves as a Professor at the University of Split, School of Medicine and University of Osijek, School of Medicine as well as Adjunct Professor at Penn State University and at the University of New Haven. Also, he is co-founder of the Split University Center of Forensic Sciences. In addition, he is co-founder of the prestigious international organization, The International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS) whose meetings are held every two years in Croatia. Dr. Primorac is the author of more than one hundred and fifty scientific papers and abstracts in the field of forensic science, population genetics, the genetic legacy of homo sapiens sapiens, clinical medicine and molecular genetics, of which 65 are listed in CC and SCI. So far he has been cited more than a thousand and five hundred times. Also he is author of several books in Croatia and the United States, as well as of articles on education, science and technology, among which are papers published in reputable journals such as EMBO Reports and Science. The results of his work have been published in prestigious scientific journals such as JAMA, Science, Lancet and in the New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and the Hartford Courant. Furthermore, Connecticut TV Station Channel 8 filmed a television serial on Dr. Primorac's forensic work in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.

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Prof. Primorac has received 20 domestic and international awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of New Haven, Forensic Science Institute, New Haven, USA for contribution to the development of forensic sciences.

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Prof. Primorac has participated in numerous humanitarian activities and he was always ready to respond to initiatives and to participate in the events with the humanitarian character.

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Prof. Primorac was a member of the Cabinet of the Republic of Croatia as the Minister of Science, Education and Sports from December 2003 to July 2009.

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Selected articles and reports

Events & Announcements


ISABS 9



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July 19th, 2016Dragan Primorac has been appointed Chair of International Affairs Committee of the American Academy of Forensic Science

John Gerns, the President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) announced that professor Dragan Primorac, former Minister of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia has been appointed Chair of International Affairs Committee of the American Academy of ...


February 29th, 2016Former Croatian science minister Dragan Primorac has been appointed ambassador of the Pennsylvania State University

Penn State launched its new Global Ambassador Program by appointing Dragan Primorac to be the first ambassador of this University which was established in 1855. President Eric Barron officially appointed Primorac to this distinguished role Feb. 29 on the University Park campus.

“Professor Primorac ...


October 29th, 2015Dragan Primorac gave a lecture at a congress ‘The future of the healthcare industry’

Dragan Primorac, president of the Board of Trustees – St. Catherine Hospital, a renowned Croatian physician, scientist and world geneticist and forensic scientist, at the Congress  “Future of the healthcare industry” on October 20th 2015, noted the important role of regenerative medicine, which is ...


October 23rd, 2015Prof. Dragan Primorac has been awarded The State Science Award

Prof. Dragan Primorac has been awarded The State Science Award for his outstanding contribution to biomedical science. The State Science Award is the highest and the most prestigious national recognition by the Parliament of The Republic of Croatia for extraordinary contribution to science and technology. ...


October 23rd, 2015Dragan Primorac inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame

Dragan Primorac is inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame. He received Official Induction in the category “Pioneer Taekwondo Instructor” for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the Taekwondo. The award was given by Dr. Gerard Robbins, executive director and former U.S. Taekwondo champion, ...


October 23rd, 2015US Ambassador in Sarajevo, Maureen E. Cormack presented a special award to Dragan Primorac

Professor Dragan Primorac and Her Excellency Maureen E. Cormack, US Ambassador in Sarajevo during the ceremony when Mrs. Cormack awarded Professor Primorac with a Special Recognition Award for his outstanding service, dedication, professionalism and exceptional medical care and support to U.S. Embassy Sarajevo and Zagreb. ...


October 23rd, 2015American Academy of Forensic Sciences and ISABS signed an agreement of cooperation

Dragan Primorac, MD, PhD President of ISABS and AAFS Fellow and John Gerns AAFS President-Elect signed an agreement of cooperation between the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences, with the aim of combating organized crime and international ...


October 23rd, 2015Dragan Primorac with the president of the Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Dragan Primorac with the president of the Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic after winning Croatian national football team. ...


March 30th, 2015Professor Dragan Primorac decorated with “The Order of Croatian Star with the Effigy of Ruđer Bošković“ – for extraordinary achievements in science

Pursuant to Article 98 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, Professor Dragan Primorac, PhD, was decorated with “The Order of Croatian Star with the Effigy of Ruđer Bošković“ – for extraordinary achievements in science.

Professor Dragan Primorac, PhD, is one of the ...


November 18th, 2014Dragan and Damir Primorac with friends Niko and Robert Kovač just after Croatian team played great game against Italy

Dragan and Damir Primorac with friends Niko and Robert Kovač, just after the Croatian national team played a great game against Italy at the San Siro.. ...

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  Public Service Review European Union Issue 14 Public Service Review European Union Issue 15 New York Times, by Malcolm Brown, 1994 Chicago Tribune, 1994 EMBO reports Vol 7  No 5  2006 EMBO reports Vol 9  No 7  2008
   Science, 24.6.2009 Nacional, The grades awarded to the education system make me proud International Distinguished Service Award Summer metropolis for international scientist Croatian genetic heritage: Y-chromosome story Ostvarenja 2003 - 2009