11. Feb. 2023

A group of more than 30 Dutch students visited CEITEC and Masaryk University this week. The students were on an educational study trip organised by the study association LIFE. The students are enrolled in life science and technology fields at the Technical University Delft and the University of Leiden. The second and third-year bachelor students are enrolled in various STEM subjects and their focus is the study of the living cell. Besides a full day at CEITEC Masaryk University and CEITEC Brno University of Technology, the multidisciplinary student group also visited Charles University in Prague and Biocev. Their trip ended in Vienna, where they focused on applied research and visited several biotechnology companies. Such study trips provide an excellent opportunity for exploring potential employers or educational institutions abroad where the young talents could be further educated and developed. 

CEITEC Masaryk University prepared a rich programme according to the students wishes. The group was interested mainly in structural biology, NMR technology, and the study of a living cell. The visit started with the presentation of Ester Jarour, who introduced the Brno region and what the city can offer to incoming students and expatriates. The Czech capital of science of technology, where genetics was discovered about 150 years ago by J.G. Mendel, is famous for its high-quality education. Every fifth person in Brno city is a student and 60 per cent of all students are enrolled in science and technology related study fields. She also spoke about Masaryk University and its large and well-equipped Bohunice Campus with Europe´s most modern simulation centre for medical students. No wonder that Brno has the highest concentration of educated expatriates from all Czech cities, the South Moravian region invests heavily and strategically in education and research and development. “Brno and Masaryk University breathe and live science, and we are very happy to host curious university students anytime. International talents from STEM subjects are always very welcome here,” concluded Ester Jarour. 

The structural biology presentations were delivered by Lukas Trantirek who spoke about non-coding genome and chemical signalling, and by Jitender Kumar from Kostas Tripsianes lab who spoke about protein-DNA interactions. Research group leader Kostas Tripsianes spoke with the students also about his PhD studies in the Netherlands. The presented laboratories are using NMR spectroscopy in their research and this was also a technology that attracted the attention of the students the most. Karel Kubicek from Richard Stefl lab guided the students through the Josef Dadok NMR Centre and was very pleased that the students asked so many good questions. “It was obvious that they understood the potential of NMR spectroscopy. I am always happy to see young curious people interested in science”, said Karek Kubicek. 

Renowned expert on telomere biology Jiri Fajkus presented the highlights of his life long research of plant telomerase. He also included findings from his newest publication that revealed a surprising connection between plant telomerase and insect telomerase in pollinators. The visit was complemented by an excursion of the cellular imaging core facility CELLIM guided by Milan Esner. The group of students was impressed by the technology available at CEITEC and by the large and new MUNI campus. The students had a unique chance to see the impressive images that can be produced by light-sheet microscopes and could observe how a mouse embryo sample is prepared and placed into the light-sheet microscope. Head of the CF CELLIM Milan Esner also praised the students for their enthusiasm and curiosity. 

Herewith, we would like to thank the students from the Technical University Delft and the University of Leiden for their visit and we wish them all the best in their future careers in science. Hopefully, we will see at least some of them in our CEITEC PhD School

University students enrolled in STEM subjects and interested in visiting CEITEC, please contact: ester.jarour@ceitec.muni.cz