Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Full Professor University of Zagreb
Academician Željko Kaštelan was born in Rijeka in 1964. He received his elementary, middle, and high education in Zagreb, where he graduated from the School of Medicine in 1988. He successfully defended his master’s thesis on the topic of “Activity of natural killer (NK) cells in patients with malignant tumors of the urogenital system” in 1994, and his doctoral thesis on the topic of “Immunological reactivity in patients with non-seminoma testicular tumors” in the year 2000. In 1995 he passed the urology board examination, he is a subspecialist in the area of kidney transplantation and the area of andrology. In the year 1990, he became an assistant at the Department of urology at the University of Zagreb School of medicine, where he was promoted to a tenured professor in 2016. He is the Head of the Department of Urology at the University of Zagreb School of medicine.
In July 2007 he became head of the Clinic for urology at University Hospital Centre Zagreb, where he founded three departments: Department for kidney transplantation, Department for urological oncology and reconstructive urology, and the Department for endourology. Together with his associates, Academician Kaštelan is the founder of several multidisciplinary centers within the UHC Zagreb: Centre for prostate, Center for the diseases of the urinary bladder, Center for robotic medicine, Centre for kidney transplantation, Center for reproductive medicine and andrology, Training center for andrology of European Andrology Academy. He is also the head of the Referral center for urological oncology at the Croatian Ministry of health. Through the work of the Referral center for urological oncology of the ministry of health and by founding multidisciplinary centers (Center for prostate, Center for the diseases of the urinary bladder) he and his multidisciplinary teams of experts have significantly improved the field of urooncology in the Republic of Croatia. As one of the founders of the Croatian society of andrology and the Center for reproductive medicine and andrology, he has helped establish and develop andrology as a multidisciplinary subspecialty. Through the training center for andrology of the European Andrology Academy, UHC Zagreb has become one of the leading centers for the education of experts throughout Europe.
Academician Kaštelan introduced several new operative approaches and techniques in the field of urology in Croatia. In 2019, he and his associates performed the first operations using a complex robotic system giving additional initiative to the implementation of robotic surgery in Croatia.
As the head of the program for kidney transplantation at UHC Zagreb along with his associates, he formed one of the largest and most active kidney transplant centers in Eurotransplant which has been an educational center for many transplantation teams from Europe and the world. This has made a significant contribution to the notable results of the Croatian transplant program and thus significantly contributed to the success and worldwide recognition of this program and Croatian medicine itself. He also performed the first kidney transplants and actively participated in the formation of the kidney transplant program in UHC Osijek (2008) and the Republic of Montenegro (2012).
Academician Kaštelan was the president of the Croatian Urological Society for two terms between 2007 and 2015. In this period he implemented five subspecialties in Croatian urology namely kidney transplantation, andrology, urodynamics with neuro-urology, urolithiasis, urological oncology, and participated in the development of Croatian guidelines from various parts of urology. He is one of the initiators of the establishment of several professional societies of the Croatian Medical Association: the Croatian Andrological Society (president), the Croatian Society of Transplantation Medicine (vice president), the Croatian Society for Urological Oncology (vice president). He is the head of the specialist training program in urology of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia. He has been the president of the medical board at UHC Zagreb since 2015.
He has organized a number of domestic and international conferences, actively participates in domestic and international scientific projects, and has received several awards for his work. In 2008 he received the Award of the City of Zagreb, in 2013 the Award of December 19. (Podgorica – Montenegro), in 2017 the Award of the City of Zaprešić.
Since 2020, he is a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.