First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to greet you all most sincerely and to thank you for all the work you have done over the winter semester. I am well aware that the situation has not been at all easy for the students, but it has also not been easy for you, the staff, whether you are an academic or a non-scientific staff member. Thank you all for following all the necessary precautions while also managing your work to the best of your ability.
It is only thanks to your commitment that we can move forward and onward. I am very proud to have top employees in my team who are all doing well in their fields.
Following the measures imposed by the Czech Ministry of Health, physical presence at the workplace without a valid negative SARS-CoV-2 test result is prohibited from Wednesday 17 March 2021.
Testing can be done at either the testing center or by using a self-test. Regardless of the test result, the employee must also enter information about the performed test into the INET system after the testing.
There is en axception for employees who have already recovered from Covid-19 (in the previous 90 days) or have received full vaccination.
Slovak astrophysicist Norbert Werner, who works at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, has been awarded the Ignaz L. Lieben Prize, also known as the “Austrian Nobel Prize”. The award, given annually by the Austrian Academy of Sciences to young scientists in the field of molecular biology, chemistry or physics, has been awarded to Werner for his contribution to X-ray astronomy.
The Dean of Masaryk University’s Faculty of Science, Tomáš Kašparovský, has become the Vice-Chairman for Science and Research of the University Council (RVŠ). He will focus on the implementation of the 17+ methodology, including its financial consequences, and the setting up of new EU operational programs.
According to the Dean, "the main focus as regards the financing of science and research at universities will be to use the results of the 17+ methodology to ensure an appropriate division of funds between institutions, while also considering excellence in research. As regards operational programs, it will be important to focus funding on the strategic goals of the Czech Republic with regard to the current health situation”. He also wants to address reducing the administrative burden involved in obtaining research funding.
Information from the Personnel Office
Vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis
The Faculty of Science has been providing its employees with free vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis for a long time. Vaccination takes place throughout the year and is provided by our contractual provider of occupational health services MUDr. Věra Přibylová.
Employees who are interested in getting vaccinated should register via thevaccination calendar(at the bottom of the page). Free appointments are continuously added by the surgery throughout the year and you can register up to a month in advance by clicking on the required free appointment and choosing the type of vaccine (1st dose, 2nd dose, 3rd dose after 5-12 months or revaccination after 3-5 years).
If you are going to get a second or subsequent dose, please bring your vaccination card with you so that you can find out when and what vaccine you really need.
We don't know what else awaits us. That’s why it’s important to support quality basic research and be prepared
The career of the structural biologist Jaroslav Koča has been associated with the Faculty of Science of MU for more than four decades. The long-term Director of the National Centre for Biomolecular Research (which he initiated) and current Scientific Director of CEITEC, he has also worked at a number of foreign institutions (Norway, France and the USA). He has obtained and led several large domestic and foreign scientific projects, with funding ranging from tens to hundreds of millions of crowns. The rich experience he gained at MU will now help him in his new position as Chairman of the GA CR.
Thank you to all employees of the faculty who participated in the preparation. Another milestone of the project will be preparation for the external assessment and recertification of the faculty in the end of 2023.
The Loschmidt laboratories team at RECETOX and Department of Experimental Biology (Masaryk University, Faculty of Science) led by Prof. Zbynek Prokop, together with colleagues from ETH Zurich, recently developed a new microfluidic platform for rapidly and effectively investigating enzymes and their properties. Enzymes are biomolecules widely used in modern industry and biomedicine. Understanding them better will help design improved variants suitable for practical applications, such as synthesizing pharmaceuticals or neutralizing toxic substances in the environment. The new platform is already being utilized, for example, for studying bioluminescent enzyme evolution and developing new thrombolytics for treating stroke. Furthermore, the researchers’ achievements were described in an article recently published by Chem (Cell Press), a leading Chemistry journal.
The questionnaire aims to collect data about research activities related to COVID-19 carried out by scientists and their teams across the Masaryk University. Do you know about such activities? (It can be a control or an involvement in studies, various projects, a publication activities, an involvement in development or testing etc.) Please let us know through the form below. We will also be happy when you help us to further distribute the form.
Researchers from our faculty participated in the development of a new technology for water purification using low-temperature plasma. The device can remove chemical residues such as oestrogens from contraceptive products and kill pathogenic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria and bacteria. Until now, similar devices have only been produced at laboratory scales; however, the new invention has the potential to handle large volumes of water, making it a practical option for real-world applications.
At the end of 2020, a new recording and streaming centre was established at the internet club in the Kotlářská complex. Based on the needs of the individual faculty departments, its goal is simple - by providing high-quality (and up till now missing) facilities, it should first and foremost make distance learning more effective, while also being available for full-time teaching in the future. In both cases, it is expected that the centre should help increase the success of students of the Faculty of Science MU in their exams.
Earlier this year, experts from our Institute of Anthropology began a new project entitled A.D.A.P.T. (Anthropological Database of Body Proportions). Its main aim is to examine the body shape and composition of the Czech population and to design tools that will help record, evaluate and subsequently archive and share this data. The methodology and web-based environment created will help professionals with the development, optimisation and production of personal protection equipment (e.g. respirators, protective shields or protective overalls for front-line workers) intended specifically for the Czech population.
Experts from the Department of Geological Sciences of the Faculty of Science MU participated in the discovery and description of a new mineral, which has been named dobšináite. From a mineralogical point of view, it is a new member of the roselite group. It has a dominant calcium content and its colour ranges from white to light pink, the pink colour being caused by the admixture of cobalt. It was originally found near the town of Dobšiná in the Košice Region of Slovakia, and represents the 23rd new mineral discovered in the Slovak Republic.
The first nanosatellite aimed at detecting gamma-ray bursts is now in orbit. The mini-satellite carrying the new detector, called GRBAlph, which was co-developed by Hungarian, Czech, Japanese and Slovak scientists and designers, was launched into space on Monday by a Soyuz rocket. Contrary to plans, the launch from Baikonur was postponed for two days due to technical problems with the rocket. Less than 15 hours after the launch, the scientific team, led by astrophysicist Norbert Werner from the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, managed to connect with the satellite for the first time.
A new spin-off company, CasInvent Pharma, a.s., has been established by Masaryk University (MU) in cooperation with its investment partner, i&i Prague, s.r.o. (Ltd), in order to facilitate further development of new compounds that could be used to treat certain types of leukaemia, lymphoma and solid tumours. The company will test the compounds that inhibit the enzyme Casein Kinase 1 (CK1) which is responsible, among other things, for the migration of leukaemia cells into lymphoid organs.
Milan Novák studied professional geology at the Faculty of Science, MU and, after graduating, went on to work at the mineralogy-petrography department of the Moravian Museum (MZM).From 1999 to 2002 he was Head of the Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry at PřF MU and,from 2003 to 2007 and 2016 to 2017,he was Director of the Department of Geological Sciences, PřF MU.Professionally, his main focus is systematic mineralogy and minerogenetic processes.He has published widely, has organised a number of international scientific conferences and has long been involved in international scientific cooperation.
Artios Pharma Ltd. and Merck KGaA recently announced a three-year research collaboration aimed at discovering and developing new cancer drugs. This collaborative agreement will also make use of results gained through cooperation with Masaryk University.
MU and FNUSA-ICRC will cooperate in the field of science and research
On Thursday, January 14 2021, Martin Bareš, Rector of Masaryk University (MU); Vlastimil Vajdák, Director of the St Anne’s University Hospital in Brno; Šárka Pospíšilová, Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies at MU and Pavel Iványi, Executive Director of the International Centre for Clinical Research at St Anne’s University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA-ICRC), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of science and research. Read more.
For the first time, the Grant Agency of Masaryk University has presented awards in the new MUNI Scientist competition, which recognises those scientists who have achieved excellence and significant achievements in their research. The first 37 scientists, along with their research teams from workplaces across the university, received their diploma and monetary reward in mid-December. The awards were presented by Šárka Pospíšilová, Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies.
The MUNI Scientist Awards were won by following scientists from our faculty: Luděk Bláha; Vítězslav Bryja and Pavlína Janovská; Jiří Damborský, Zbyněk Prokop, Martin Marek, David Bednář and Stanislav Mazurenko; Jiří Fajkus; Jana Klánová; Petra Urbanová and Mikoláš Jurda (+ Helena Lukášová and Ctibor Ostrý from Faculty of Informatics and Faculty of Arts); Norbert Werner.
The first biotechnological spin-off company of Masaryk University, Enantis, has recently achieved significant success by concluding a license agreement with the world’s leading distributor of products for science and research.This will increase the production volume of a patented fibroblast growth factor called FGF2-STAB, which will reach laboratories around the world.Revenues from its sales will also flow to MU.
In the 2020 winter semester, the Central Library of the Faculty of Science hosted a series of 12 workshops and seminars focusing on information handling, led by our librarians and external experts. The project, titled “Podpora doktorandských studentů v rozvoji informační gramotnosti a akademických dovedností” (MUNI/FR/1135/2019)– “Information Literacy and Academic Skills Development Support for Postgraduate Students” (unofficial title), was realized thanks to the “Fond rozvoje MU” fund.
Vítězslav Bryja: My personal scientific challenge is to understand how cells communicate at the molecular level
VítězslavBryjastudied Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University. In his experimental-biological laboratory,Vítězslavfocuses on the detection and description of intercellular communication and the possibilities of using this knowledge in the treatment of leukaemia and other types oftumours. He also participates in projects involving students in international cooperation, and is a guarantor of the prestigious multidisciplinary Life Sciences Seminar at MU.
Six researchers from Masaryk University (two of them from our faculty!) have now received a Career Restart grant, which was announced by the MU Grant Agency in September. This is a grant for scientists who have interrupted their career in research, perhaps due to parental leave or for other reasons, will be awarded on a regular basis.
Are you interested in astronomy and would you like to know something about the latest news and interesting topics in current research?Why not take a look at the new edition of the vidcast ‘Conversations about the universe’, prepared for you by the Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of Science, MU. The show features astrophysicist Norbert Werner and theoretical physicist Samuel Kováčik, who, in addition to world-class research, have been popularising the natural sciences for many years.
You can to listen to the show on the Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics YouTube channel, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts in your Leader Podcast account (in Czech only).
The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (OIKT) and the Department of Anthropology (Faculty of Science MU), together with the Institute of Computer Science MU, the Faculty of Philosophy MU and other organisations, have been involved in the 3D printing of face mask straps. These are the plastic holders that prevent abrasion and swelling behind the ears of paramedics, who are forced to wear protective equipment covering the mouth and nose for long periods. Thank you for help!
In recent years, interest in positioning of women in science has been growing. Masaryk University, and therefore also our faculty, is currently collecting research data regarding positioning of women-scientists as employees. We realise that gender is an area where still exists space for improvement. Therefore, we enriched web pages of the Facuty of Science, MU with Women in Science, Women at the Faculty of Science, MU Section.
The project “Baron Trenck: The New Face of a Legend”, in which our Institute of Anthropology participated with the Brno City Museum, has won the Gloria Musaealis Special award for the ‘Museum Enterprise’ of 2019’ in the 18th National Museums Competition.
We are very happy to announce that, since Monday April 12 2021, the outdoor part of our Botanical Garden has been opened to the public once again! Opening times are from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on weekdays (we are closed on weekends). The botanical garden is only accessible through the gate on Veveří Street.
Even while the garden was closed, we tried to provide some contact with the garden, at least virtually. Every day we published photos and interesting articles from the world of plants on Facebook and Instagram. We answered gardening and botanical questions, published photo reports on cultivation practice and informed everyone about what had started to bloom.
Even under limited operation, we were able to perform all the necessary gardening work and continued with our construction projects, meaning that the reconstruction of the fern greenhouse and changes to the cash desk are now almost complete.