Three Otto Wichterle Awards granted to IOCB Prague scientists

14 June 2024
Three Otto Wichterle Awards granted to IOCB Prague scientists
From the left: Jana Škerlová, Daniel Bím, Erik Andris (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague)

Three of the 2024 Otto Wichterle Awards, presented by the Czech Academy of Sciences to exceptionally talented and promising scientists under the age of 35, have been granted to researchers from IOCB Prague. This year's recipients are Erik Andris, Jana Škerlová, and Daniel Bím.

“Talented young scientists need strong support at the beginning of their careers. Many of those who received the Otto Wichterle Award ten or twelve years ago are now leaders in their fields. Today's laureates represent the future of Czech science.”
— Prof. Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Erik Andris (Lubomír Rulíšek Group)

Dr. Erik Andris combines deep knowledge of organic chemistry with a passion for theoretical and computational chemistry.

Through computational screening, he predicted the existence of iron complexes in a singlet spin state and subsequently confirmed this experimentally, a process he carried out himself.

This work builds on his doctoral research, where he focused on iron complexes and their unique spectroscopy.

For this work, he received the Zdeněk Herman Award.

(Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS) (Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS)

Jana Škerlová (Pavlína Řezáčová Group)

After completing her PhD in biochemistry, Dr. Jana Škerlová spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Stockholm University in Pål Stenmark's team, which focuses on botulinum toxin research. She contributed to elucidating the structure of new neurotoxins and gained experience in cryo-electron microscopy, a technique of immense importance in contemporary structural biology.

She now works in Pavlína Maloy Řezáčová's group and is part of a team dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of various biological processes. Jana uses X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to study protein interactions with DNA and RNA or small molecules in drug development.

(Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS) (Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS)

Daniel Bím (Tomáš Slanina Group)

Dr. Daniel Bím combines experimental research with advanced theoretical chemistry methods.

He focuses on sustainability in the chemical industry, working on capturing carbon dioxide from the air to reduce emissions and environmental impact.

He also studies photoredox catalysis using nickel complexes, which could replace processes involving toxic heavy metals like palladium or platinum in the future.

(Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS) (Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS)
(Photo: Jana Plavec, CAS)
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