22. Mar. 2023

On Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 25 talents selected from among doctoral students of natural sciences and technical fields at Brno universities received the Brno Ph.D. Talent award. This year's meeting included not only the presentation of scholarships in the amount of CZK 330,000 to individual students, but also the presentation of successful young scientists who have been successful in previous years and a networking meeting of the Brno scientific community. As usual, this year's winners included students from CEITEC. We are proud to present our Brno Ph.D. Talents.


Ing. Hana Kopřivová 

Research Group: Advanced Instrumentation and Methods for Materials Characterization (Prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.)

Student Hana Kopřivová succeeded with a project that spans many disciplines. It deals with correlative imaging of skin tumors using classical histology, immunohistochemistry and two bioimaging techniques based on laser ablation. Her work also includes advanced data processing, such as machine learning for possible tumor prediction. In an ideal scenario, the whole project would be translated into practice in the future by having an analytical system available in the operating room, into which the surgeon would insert the skin tumour sample taken. The system would be able to assess in a very short time what type of tumour it is and whether the surgeon has removed the entire tumour including a sufficient safety margin. 

What Hana enjoys most about the research is that it requires working with a fairly large group of experts. This goes hand in hand with having to try to look at problems through the eyes of people from different professions and trying to piece together all their insights. 


Ing. Viktória Parobková 

Research Group: Advanced Instrumentation and Methods for Materials Characterization (Prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.)

Microplastic pollution represents a new global threat to the world‘s ecosystem. Microplastics can easily enter the human body by inhalation or ingestion. The topic of detection of microplastics in the human body is addressed by student Viktória Parobková. Her research is based on the search for the possibility of detecting microplastics using various methods. In the framework of the project it involves tomographic and spectroscopic technologies.

She believes that knowledge about the presence of microplastics in the human body can change the way we think about the use of plastics in everyday life. The main goal is to detect microplastics, but then, based on the findings, it should be theoretically possible to correlate their presence with possible diseases. In addition, new knowledge about how plastics harm the human body could help to reduce the plastic pollution that plagues the world. 


Ing. Anna Sobotková

Research Group: Structural Virology (Pavel Plevka, Ph.D.)

Bacteria can cause serious infections that are often difficult to treat because many strains of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Phage therapy, which uses natural bacterial viruses called bacteriophages, offers an alternative to antibiotic treatment. Her project focuses on the characterisation of phage infection. Anna would like to prepare a genetically modified phage for monitoring the progress of the infection using fluorescence microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy for structural studies of the phage.

According to Anna, science is the most fascinating occupation. She is constantly learning new things and methods that she can capitalise on and turn into something that can help others. What she loves most about Brno is the people she has met here and the opportunities the city offers.


Ing. Erik Ščasnovič

Research Group: Advanced Multifunctional Ceramics (Prof. RNDr. Karel Maca, Dr.)

The project of the award-winning student Erik Ščasnovič is focused on the preparation and study of a newly emerging group of ceramic materials – so-called HEOs (high-entropy oxides). These materials are characterized by a high degree of stability, which results in their possible improved properties compared to currently available materials. Erik believes that the solution to his project could help drive innovation in the battery field. Specifically, to shrink them, increase their capacity and extend their lifetime.

What intrigues him about science and research is the need for continuous development, both in the field of theoretical and practical knowledge. Working in science brings with it the opportunity to travel to various scientific international conferences and internships, where it is not only possible to establish further collaborations, but also to experience new places and cultures.


Mgr. Ján Šmeringai

CF: Plant Research Laboratory (Mgr. Markéta Pernisová, Ph.D.)

Ph.D student Ján Šmeringai is engaged in plant research under the supervision of Markéta Pernisová. Plants have a remarkable ability to effectively regenerate individual organs and the whole body. This ability is conditioned by the function of plant hormones called phytohormones. Ján Šmeringai's project focuses on the study of a specific group of phytohormones – the so-called cytokinins – and their role in regulating the regeneration of the aerial part of the plant body from single cells under in vitro conditions. The results of his project could provide a valuable tool for the production of transgenic plants and for the propagation of desirable plant genotypes.

The study of cytokinins has many practical applications in agriculture and horticulture, from promoting plant growth to inducing shoot regeneration to improving plant stress tolerance. Understanding the role of cytokinins in plant growth and development can help us develop new strategies to improve plant yields.

Thanks to the Statutory City of Brno, which has been fully funding the Brno Ph.D. Talent event since 2009, supporting local talented scientists in their careers!

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