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




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September 19th, 2014Presentation of most comprehensive volume in field of forensic DNA analysis

In the library of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Strossmayer square 14, Zagreb, a book “FORENSIC DNA APPLICATIONS: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE” was presented, edited by Professors Dragan Primorac and Moses Schanfield. The book was first presented in Seattle (USA) in early 2014, ...


September 19th, 2014Associates of professor Primorac and Italian partners in the EU project visit Croatia

Professors Dragan Primorac and Gordan Lauc, the heads of the Croatian branch of the FP-7 project “Pain-OMICS”, for which the European Commission granted HRK 17 million to St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital and Genos (making it the highest financed project in the area of Health ...


September 19th, 2014Professor Primorac met with Prof. Struan Grant

Professor Primorac met with Prof. Struan Grant, University of Pennsylvania, USA, one of the world’s leading scientists involved in researching the occurrence of diabetes type 2 ...


September 19th, 2014Professor Primorac hosted Mr Hans Cho, the head of the leading South Korean biomedical company

Professor Primorac hosted Mr Hans Cho, the head of the leading South Korean biomedical company involved in regeneration of damaged cartilage tissue.

An increasing number of individuals, for various reasons ranging from ageing and injuries to degenerative disease, experience difficulties with movement or their ...


September 18th, 2014Mystery of 12 missing Croats and Bosniaks solved after 70 years

Mystery of 12 missing Croats and Bosniaks solved after 70 years. Professors Dragan Primorac, Damir Marijanović and Gordan Lauc of Genos, Zagreb, successfully used methods of DNA analysis to identify World War II victims

Professors Gordan Lauc, Dragan Primorac and Damir Marjanović presented the ...


September 17th, 2014IMPACT proactive 2014, Florence

Professor Dragan Primorac, Professor Hans Kress, president of the European Federation for treating pain, Professor Guido Fanelli, the most prominent Italian physician for treatment of pain and Professor Marco Spizzichino from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Italy held IMPACT proactive panel ...


September 17th, 2014At invitation of Professor Primorac top American forensic experts, members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, are to visit Croatia

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences will hold its prestigious scientific meeting, the International Educational Outreach Program (IEOP), for the first time in Croatia. Professor Victor Weeden, the newly appointed president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the director of the study ...


September 17th, 2014Dragan Primorac wished our national football team players good luck and much success during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil

Just before going to Brazil, Professor Dragan Primorac wished our national football team players and dear friends  good luck and much success on the World Cup ...


September 17th, 2014Professor Dragan Primorac presented a check to the amount of HRK 150 thousand to the rehabilitation manager of the University Hospital Centre Split, Dr. Kolja Poljak.

Professor Dragan Primorac, the president of the CRO UNUM charity, presented a check to the amount of HRK 150 thousand to the rehabilitation manager of the University Hospital Centre Split, Dr. Kolja Poljak. The donation will be used for the reconstruction of the department ...


September 17th, 2014Professor Primorac, Professor Fass and colleagues visited the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The Croatian-American delegation was welcomed by academician Pavle Rudan, Secretary General of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and his closest associates ...

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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