4. Apr. 2024

Structural virologist Pavel Plevka has succeeded in the open competition for the director of the research institute CEITEC Masaryk University and will become its head for the next five years with effect from 1 July 2024. Until now, he has led the institute since June last year in the role of acting director after the former director Jiří Nantl was appointed deputy minister of education. In the new phase, the new director wants to focus on the development of the centre in line with current trends to make CEITEC Masaryk University an attractive employer and a popular choice for scientific talent.

CEITEC Masaryk University is part of the CEITEC consortium and provides excellent conditions for scientists from all over the world for research in the field of life sciences with a focus on structural biology, plant biology, molecular medicine and neuroscience. During his several months in charge of the institute, structural virologist Plevka has focused in particular on strengthening collaboration within the scientific community, streamlining institutional support processes and evaluating administrative services. He will build on this foundation in the next five-year period, when he plans to focus primarily on developing the cohesion of the scientific community, which is crucial for interdisciplinary collaboration, sharing good practice among scientists, developing managerial trends in the institute's administrative leadership and transferring soft skills. Its strategic vision also includes the development of techniques in correlation analysis of samples using OMICS approaches in combination with light and electron microscopy and the use of artificial intelligence tools that can bring new perspectives to researchers.

"I believe that introducing correlative technologies and supporting scientists in their use will open up new opportunities to perform unique experiments and overcome the limitations of existing procedures and commonly available tools," says Pavel Plevka. "Excellent research must follow new trends, and this applies not only to work in the laboratory, but also to the search for scientific talent, the ways in which science is communicated to the professional and general public, or how a modern institute such as CEITEC Masaryk University approaches the challenges of today," adds the new director.

The selection committee unanimously agreed on Pavel Plevka as a suitable candidate and recommended him to Masaryk University Rector Martin Bareš for approval. "Pavel Plevka, who is one of the most respected scientists in the Czech Republic, has already demonstrated a high quality of managerial skills in his temporary role as Director-in-Charge. These, combined with his personal experience from abroad, are an excellent prerequisite for leading CEITEC Masaryk University as a modern research institution of the 21st century. During his upcoming term of office, he can rely not only on the existing cooperation with relevant departments of Masaryk University, but also on good relations with international and Czech partners," says Rector Bareš.

The election of Pavel Plevka as director and the direction of his strategy thus indicate that CEITEC Masaryk University will continue to develop in the next five years in accordance with the principle of open science, which ensures the continuous growth and reputation of institutes of this format among the professional and lay public at home and in the world.

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