21. Mar. 2024

The Brno PhD Talent Scholarship Programme, in which the City of Brno has been investing since 2009 in cooperation with its partners, is part of the region's development strategy, which systematically strengthens the international attractiveness of the South Moravian Region, a key attribute for attracting and retaining promising talent and renowned scientific leaders. With a scholarship of CZK 330,000 (cca EUR 12,000), Brno supports young scientists in their doctoral studies and their development in the field of strategic research management.

The young scientists received their awards from the hands of Mayor Markéta Vaňková on 12 March 2024 in the traditional ceremony at the Town Hall. Five excellent researchers from CEITEC are presented below, and their CVs now include the city of innovation, science, and research – Brno.


Thomas Peter Fellmeth

Research Group: Protein Structure and Dynamics, CEITEC MUNI

Thomas is fascinated by scientific challenges, which is why his research focuses on the not-yet-fully deciphered Alzheimer's disease. Tau proteins play a key role in the development of this neurodegenerative disease, and Thomas' project aims to get to the bottom of why Tau proteins clump together to disrupt brain function instead of folding neatly like building blocks. Thomas intends to use computer simulations to see how these Tau proteins behave on a large scale and at the atomic level. He will then verify the results experimentally using cryo-electron microscopy.


Péter Kacz

Research Group: Microenvironment of Immune Cells, CEITEC MUNI

Péter had always wanted to explore the unknown aspects of life. Therefore, his research focuses on molecular biology, specifically on the cancer disease chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). He is interested in why a malfunction of the signalling system, the so-called B-cell receptors (BCR), occurs in this type of leukaemia. This signalling system transmits information to B-lymphocytes - cells of the immune system primarily responsible for the body's immune response. Indeed, if scientists can figure out why this signalling breaks down in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, they could discover how to switch off these bad signals, thus making it possible to treat CLL.


Anna Kurowská

Research Group: Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces, CEITEC BUT

Anna's driving force has always been to make a difference and to help make the world a better place. The field of quantum information technology offers a broad playground as it requires pushing the development of current materials or the discovery of new ones. Promising materials in this respect are topological insulators (TIs), which do not conduct electric current inside just like common insulators, but unlike those, they are conductive on their surfaces, while also retaining energy. In addition, if we were able to arrange periodically magnetic atoms on their surface, we could expect the material to show new quantum properties – for instance, enabling the flow of spin without losses and in one direction only, which could prevent the loss of quantum information. Anna is now looking for a way to create such a magnetic topological insulator, contributing to the next generation of quantum informatics.


Lucie Nepovímová

Research group: Structural Virology, CEITEC MUNI

Solving complex scientific challenges not only brings Lucie joy but also satisfies her natural curiosity. In the field of structural virology, she uses cutting-edge electron microscopy technology to study lesser-known aspects of enterovirus 71 (EV71) replication, which is known to cause the more severe course of childhood "hand-foot-and-mouth disease" (HFMD). It often causes, for example, central nervous system, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. If Lucie manages to develop a deeper understanding of the life cycle of the virus, it could speed up the development of effective strategies to combat this disease.


Marek Zálešák

Research group: Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures, CEITEC BUT

Where else but in Brno, the heart of electron microscopy, should Marek be working to improve this fascinating technology. Electron microscopes are used to image arbitrary surfaces down to the atomic level and there is still potential for improvement. If Marek can understand how the electron beam sent out by an electron microscope interacts with the sample being analysed, it will take global electron microscopy to the next level and give scientists a clearer and more detailed picture of the samples they are looking at.


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