ASEF Speaker Series

Dr. Lea Rems: Electroporation – Electrical Pulses and Cell Membranes

January 18, 2024 | 6:00 pm | Prešern Hall (SAZU), Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana and via Zoom

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) is organizing a new popular science lecture as part of the ASEF Speaker Series. The lecture entitled “Electroporation – How and Why We Use Electric Pulses to Open the Membranes of Biological Cells” will be held by dr. Lea Rems.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, January 18, at 6 p.m. It will take place in a hybrid version, in the Prešern Hall of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU), Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana and via Zoom. The number of live participants is limited.

Please register for the lecture by 6:00 p.m. on January 18, 2024. When registering, choose the type of participation (live or online). All registered online participants will receive a Zoom link to their email address before the event.


Electroporation is a phenomenon that occurs when biological cells or tissues are exposed to short high-voltage electrical pulses. Electrical pulses induce temporary structural changes in the cell membrane, which increase the permeability of the membrane to various molecules. Electroporation can thus be used to increase the intake or amount of substances from cells, and by using stronger pulses, non-thermal destruction of cells can also be achieved. The first part of the lecture will be dedicated to understanding the basic molecular mechanisms of electroporation and the wide applicability of electroporation in medicine, biotechnology and food technology. In the second part, we will focus on the electroporation of resistant cells, such as muscle and neuronal cells, which are capable of generating their own electrical signals. These studies are particularly important for the development of new therapeutic approaches based on the electroporation of resistant tissues, including the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and various forms of gene therapy. We will conclude with a brief insight into our future research in this area.


Lea Rems graduated in 2012 and received her doctorate in 2016 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana. During her doctoral studies, she visited the University of Lorraine in France for several months. After her doctorate, she continued her postdoctoral training at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands and then at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. In 2021, she returned to the University of Ljubljana, where she is currently an assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and works in the Biocybernetics Laboratory. He has been engaged in research in the field of electroporation for about 13 years, with an emphasis on understanding the basic mechanisms of electroporation at the molecular level of the cell membrane and at the level of individual cells. In his work, he uses various experimental methods and computer simulations. She is the winner of several awards, including the 2021 Alessandro Chiabrere Award for Early Career Researchers. She is also the recipient of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie scholarship (2021-2023) and the prestigious European funding for basic research ERC Starting Grant (2024-2029).

ASEF connects scientists and academics all over the world.

The ASEF Speaker Series project is made possible with the financial support of the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.

ASEF Speaker Series