Zvezdana Popovic was born in Belgrade, where she gained BSc in pharmacy and MSc and PhD in molecular biology. She worked at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Center for Multidisciplinary Studies and Institute for Biological Research. In 1986, after a one-year stay at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in USA, she came to newly founded IMGGE where she was the head of the Laboratory for Molecular Hematology and director for two terms (1989-1990 and 1996-1999). She has retired from the University of Toronto where she worked as a researcher for many years.