6. July 2022

Today, the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) announces 67 newly elected members (58 members and 9 associate members). Geneticist and molecular haematologist professor Sarka Pospisilova, who leads a Medical Genomics Research Group at CEITEC MU, was selected as one of the new members. Sarka Pospisilova also serves as vice-rector for research and doctoral studies at Masaryk University. The new members will join the prestigious EMBO community of leading researchers in molecular biology and related fields. Collectively, the EMBO members influence the direction of the life sciences in Europe and beyond and promote excellence within this essential scientific discipline.

"I am delighted with this good news. EMBO is an organisation that brings together the world's best scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners. For Masaryk University, this is clear evidence that excellent scientists are part of our MUNI community, of which Vice-Rector Pospisilova is also a long-term member. Being an EMBO member is a prestigious honour, as there is no way to join this association simply by applying. One must receive a nomination, which other members subsequently approve," explains Rector of Masaryk University Martin Bares.

The election of Sarka Pospisilova to this prestigious science club isn´t that surprising. Sarka Pospisilova is the author and co-author of more than 200 scientific publications, seven patents and several professional books. She is a member of several major national and international consortia committees focusing on genetic and haematological diseases. She has won several scientific awards during her career, including three awards from the Minister of Health of the Czech Republic for medical research, two awards from the League Against Cancer, and two awards from the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyne, and many others. Sarka Pospisilova is known as the first lady of Czech genetics research, and therefore it is no surprise that she has been nominated and elected as one of the new EMBO members. This year, she is actively involved in the organisation of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the founder of modern genetics, Gregor Johann Mendel, and the Mendel Genetics Conference.

“Sarka Pospisilova does a great job as a scientist and representative of the university’s academic leadership. I am thrilled that she has gained this recognition within the European community of molecular biologists. Her election shows that CEITEC, after entering the second decade of its existence, already has many scientific personalities whose names resonate across Europe,” comments Jiri Nantl, director of CEITEC MU.

New EMBO members are elected annually in recognition of their contributions to scientific excellence. The selection of Sarka Pospisilova is thus a tribute to her research and achievements in the scientific community. The organisation’s primary goals are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. The new members will provide expertise and guidance to help EMBO further strengthen its initiatives.

"I am very pleased. This award adds another dimension and meaning to my work. To be part of such a privileged society of the best scientists fills me with a feeling of happiness and recognition. At the same time, it is another commitment and a new driving force for further work. It is also a good opportunity to thank all my colleagues from the Centre for Molecular Medicine at CEITEC and from the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University and the University Hospital Brno. Nowadays, science is a team effort; without teamwork, it would not be possible to achieve top scientific results, which is also very true in medicine,” concludes Sarka Pospisilova.

CEITEC Masaryk University is proud to have six EMBO members within its scientific community. Besides Sarka Pospisilova, who has been elected this year, the director of the CEITEC consortium Pavel Tomancak has been an EMBO member since 2016, followed by the election of Mary O´Connell in 2017, Stepanka Vanacova in 2018, Karel Riha in 2020, and Jiri Fajkus in 2021. There are currently 12 EMBO members employed in the Czech Republic, and half of them are affiliated with CEITEC and Masaryk University.

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