Biographical note

Boštjan Žekš, PhD

professor of biophysics, SASA member

  • Professor of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana.
  • Associate Member since April 23, 1987, Full Member since May 30, 1991.
  • President of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts since April 25, 2002 till May 6, 2008.

D. Sc., born on June 26, 1940. Dr Boštjan Žekš, Physicist, Full Professor of Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine and Full Professor of Physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana, Research Advisor at the Department of Theoretical Physics, of the Jožef Stefan Institute and Dean of Faculty of Environmental Sciences at the University of Nova Gorica, was born on 26 June 1940 in Ljubljana.

Žekš was elected Associate Member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts on 23 April 1987, and Full Member of the Academy on 30 May 1991. He was Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences of SASA Section III (5 October 1994 to 18 April 2002), Secretary of Section II. (7 May 1996 to 18 April 2002), President of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (25 April 2002 to 6 May 2008).

Žekš focuses his research on theoretical physics and biophysics. Together with his colleagues, he published several high-profile texts on the structural phase transitions in crystals, ferroelectric crystals with hydrogen bonds, phase transitions in liquid crystals, properties of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystals and the elastic properties biological membranes and the phase transitions in them, in international peer reviewed journals. His work has contributed to a better understanding of static and dynamic properties of ferroelectric crystals with hydrogen bonds. Žekš introduced a theoretical model for the inventory of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystals. With his colleagues, Žekš explained the physical causes of various forms of red blood cells.

Together with Robert Blinc, Žekš co-authored a monograph entitled Soft Modes and Ferroelectrics and Antiferroelectrics, which was published by North Holland, Amsterdam in 1974, which was later revised and translated into Russian and Chinese.

Žekš appeared as Visiting Lecturer at several international and European symposia on ferroelectrics, liquid crystals and biophysics. In 1972-73, he was Fellow of Humboldt Foundation on professional practice at the University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was Full Professor at the University of Recife in Brazil in the (1973-75 and 1980). Žekš spent his latest sabbaticals visiting the Department of Physics at the Universities of Saarbrücken and Munich, Germany, Colchester, England, and in Montpelier and Amiens, France.

He was awarded the Boris Kidrič Fund Award (1980), the Kidrič Award (1988, with Adrijan Levstik) and the Scientific Research Award of the Republic of Slovenia (1993, with Saša Svetina).