With her project, in which she investigated how to regenerate heart cells after a myocardial infarction, she won in the SANITAS – Life and Human Health category.
The award ceremony for the České hlavičky competition took place in the evening on Monday, October 16. The laureates were selected based on nominations by an expert jury composed of leading Czech scientists, including individuals such as Václav Hořejší, Jiří Grygar, and Zdeněk Kůs. Our student from the ICRC Academy, Kateřina Jiráková, received the award that evening.
She conducted her winning work titled “The Influence of Transcriptional Activity of the YAP1 Protein on the Expression of Cardiac Biomarkers in In Vitro Differentiated Cardiomyocytes” at the Center for Translational Medicine under the guidance of Vladimír Vinarský from the Mechanobiology of Diseases group.
Her work focuses on myocardial infarction. In her research, she explores how to initiate the regeneration of the adult heart by reactivating mechanosignaling pathways to enhance its post-infarction durability. “One possible way to kickstart the regeneration of the adult heart is the restoration of cardiomyocyte division. Cardiomyocyte division is activated during prenatal development by the YAP1 protein. Reactivating it in adult cardiomyocytes could potentially lead to renewed division and thus effective cardiac tissue regeneration,” she says about her work.
Katka’s work not only secured her first place in the České hlavičky competition but also earned her a place in the shortlist of the International High School Scientific Activities, which will take place in China. “We would like to wish her the best and hope she gets the opportunity to examine things up close,” adds Dr. Vinarský.
Katka is from Slavkov but is currently in her third year of studies at Gymnázium Brno, Kapitán Jaroš class. Following her initial internship at ICRC last year, she decided to continue with us and is currently working on tissue models of cardiomyocytes prepared from stem cells. “I am particularly interested in microscopy and automated image analysis using machine learning,” Katka describes.
The SANITAS category award within the České hlavičky project is given for scientific papers and projects in the field of natural sciences that deal with human health, biological and chemical processes contributing to the understanding of the human body’s function, or works and projects in virology, microbiology, biomedicine, and related disciplines, the results of which are relevant to human health.
Katka, congratulations from all of us at ICRC, and we hope that our collaboration will continue at least as well as it has so far!