Medical Field: Pulmonology and Allergology
Award: Finalist
Country: Croatia
Year: 2022
Research Work: Remdesivir use in COVID-19 patients might predispose bacteremia, matched case-control analysis
Published in: Journal of Infection

In my opinion, scientific research should not be separated from the clinical work of physicians, because the patients we treat benefit most when we evaluate ourselves and gain new knowledge about them.


Marko Lucijanić, MD PhD, is a Hematology Specialist at the Dubrava University Hospital in Zagreb with great experience in treating COVID-19 patients, and a Senior Teaching Assistant at the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is also an Executive Editor for statistics for the Croatian Medical Journal.

For Marko Lucijanić, MD, PhD, the path in medicine has always been the only choice. He was fortunate to be surrounded by amazing and very qualified professors, who made him love his work even more. Although it is challenging to combine professional and private life, he enjoys his job and thinks it is very important to dedicate time to develop both clinical and scientific skills to best help our patients. 

His dedication and love for the profession are definitely seen also in his achievements. He is currently heading two projects, has initiated and coordinates a large institutional registry of COVID-19 patients, and has written more than 120 publications. One of them is the submitted research paper, in which he analyzed a large real-life cohort of COVID-19 patients treated at his institution and compared the occurrence of bacterial sepsis among 876 remdesivir*-treated and 876 matched control patients.

Our results suggest that remdesivir use, although beneficial, may be associated with an increased risk of bacterial sepsis, particularly that brought on by Gram positive bacteria. These findings, which are the first account of this clinical phenomenon, are crucial for patients and their attending clinicians. They call for particular consideration of patients who are eligible for remdesivir but are at higher risk of bacterial infection.

Marko Lucijanić, MD, PhD, is a great advocate of combining research and clinical work and believes that this is the best way to apply the knowledge of individual patients to a broader population and advance the field of medicine. It also benefits individual patients for their doctor to be aware of local experience and clinical phenomena present in their treating population.

*Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that is used to treat COVID-19. It works by inhibiting the virus’ ability to replicate, which can help reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of illness.