Meet our new Brno Ph.D. talents

On 21 March 2023, the most talented doctoral students in technical fields and natural sciences received the Brno Ph.D. Talent Award. Five talents are from RECETOX. Read about their projects and motivation to do science.

29 Mar 2023 Jitka Vaňáčková

Photo: Mariya Ostrenko

The Brno Ph.D. Talent competition has been held since 2009 and aims to support 25 selected aspiring Ph.D. students from four partner universities in Brno each year. Students from technical and natural sciences programs who apply for the competition must present their Ph.D. projects in English and convince the expert committee of their quality and excellence. Successful students will then be awarded scholarships in the total amount of CZK 330,000 for three years. Thanks to this, they can concentrate on their scientific work.

Meet the award-winning talents Thomas Contini, Linda Kašiarová, Pavel Kohout, Jan Mičan, and Alan Strunga.

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Thomas Contini

Supervisor: Dr. Elliott James Price

Thomas Contini scored with his project to decipher the human prenatal chemical exposome using high-resolution mass spectrometry. Thomas will look for chemicals in placental samples to which the fetus has been exposed and investigate their link to disease development. This will lead to the design of preventive interventions. Thomas is fascinated by science and research and wants to understand the functioning of what surrounds him and feed his curiosity.

Photo: Mariya Ostrenko

Pavel Kohout

Supervisor: Dr. Stanislav Mazurenko

Pavel Kohout succeeded with a project focused on designing biocatalysts using artificial neural networks trained on large amounts of test data (protein sequences, structures, and molecular dynamics trajectories). This information will then be used to design an improved biocatalyst. Pavel enjoys working on exciting projects and believes that his work could positively impact our society.

Photo: Mariya Ostrenko

Jan Mičan

Supervisor: Dr. David Bednář

Computational design of a new generation of thrombolytics. This is the name of the project with which Jan Mičan succeeded. His goal is to use computer and molecular modeling tools to design a protein that can effectively break down a blood clot in the brain of patients. Stroke is one of the most common causes of death. What Jan enjoys most about research is the creativity, the challenges, and the scientific community.

Photo: Mariya Ostrenko

Linda Kašiarová

Supervisor: Dr. Martin Marek

Ph.D. student Linda Kašiarová is working on engineering the enzyme staphylokinase. This could lead to a new generation of effective, highly selective, and less toxic thrombolytics (drugs that dissolve a blood clot). After graduation, she would like to work in a biotechnology company. What attracts her is the link between basic research and applications for everyday life.

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Alan Strunga

Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Zbyněk Prokop, Ph.D.

Alan Struga is working on a project studying enzyme kinetics using microfluidic technology for drug discovery. The enzyme staphylokinase could become a cheap therapeutic of the future for the treatment of stroke. Alan enjoys working in a collaborative field. He believes in a better future to which he would like to contribute.

Thanks to the Statutory City of Brno for full financial support of Brno Ph.D. Talent. JCMM implements the competition, which helps talented local Ph.D. students in their scientific careers.

Source: Medailonky Brno Ph.D. Talent.

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