Three awards for young researchers from Stroke team

The International Danubius Young Scientist Award, the prestigious Henner Prize and a scholarship for outstanding results of his own research. Three researchers of the Cerebrovascular Research Programme of the International Clinical Research Centre of St. Anne’s Hospital in Brno received the award for their work under the guidance of Prof. Robert Mikulík. Petra Šedová, Ondřej Volný and Sandra Thalerová are researching strokes – each from a completely different perspective.

In a small series we will introduce them through their medallions.

Dr. Petra Šedová provides accurate information about stroke in the Czech Republic, which is used by the Ministry of Health or health insurance companies to plan or improve health care.

Dr. Petra Šedová received the Danubius Young Scientist Award on 11 November 2021 for her outstanding work in the field of neuroepidemiology. The award is given to only one researcher in the country and competes between different scientific disciplines. The impact of the research on the countries of the Danube region is assessed. (The award is given by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research (BMBFW) and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM). The Cerebrovascular Research Team is proud to be the second researcher ever to receive this award (in 2016 it was also awarded to Ondřej Volný, MD). Dr. Šedová has other awards to her credit, and in 2018 she received the Martina Roessel Memorial Grant (awarded by the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry) supporting women scientists who care for preschool children while developing their scientific careers.

What does the Danubius Young Scientist Award mean to you?

It is a great honour for me, which I accept with humility, and an appreciation not only of my work but of the whole Cerebrovascular team and also of my two mentors, Professor Brown and Professor Mikulík, who are very supportive. During my research work so far, I have had three children and the collaboration has never been interrupted, it has been perfect and very effective. At the same time, the award is an encouragement for further research and confirmation that our work has clinical and practical impact on a wider international audience.

What areas of your scientific work are you involved in?

I am interested in the epidemiology of stroke. Using data from the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic, our group has described the incidence (the ratio of new cases to the whole population, ed.) of stroke and mortality trends in recent years, which also reflects the quality of medical care. We also described the incidence of stroke in Brno and risk factors in the Brno community study. Another project we carried out in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic examined the decline in the number of hospitalised stroke patients and the number of mechanical thrombectomies. On the last project, we are collaborating with the Office of Health Insurance of the Ministry of Health. Using data from health insurance companies, we are looking at how treatment with mechanical thrombectomy varies between centres in the Czech Republic. We are looking for the differences and also trying to find the causes. The results will then help to improve the quality of stroke treatment in the Czech Republic.

How did you get into stroke research?

During my studies at the Faculty of Medicine, I did cardiology and spent 3 months at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the USA. After graduation I joined Prof. Mikulík as a PhD student to study vascular neurology. He sent me on a one-year research fellowship with Prof. Brown again at the Mayo Clinic. Since 2013 I have been working at this foreign clinic as a research associate with Prof. Brown. In 2017, I completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Mikulík and now, in addition to my own research, I am leading the neuroepidemiology group within the Cerebrovascular Program of the International Clinical Research Center and am involved in mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students. As a physician I work at the Internal Hematology and Oncology Clinic at the University Hospital Brno.