čas: 17.10.2021 18:21:52
Obnovit | RAW
On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, a Czech-German partner group of the Department of Biomolecular Systems, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) started its activities at UCT Prague. UCT Prague’s Rector, Pavel Matějka, and MPICI’s Director, Peter Seeberger, also took part in the opening ceremony connected to a small symposium. The group, led by Dr. Petra Ménová from the Department of Organic Chemistry, will deal with organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and carbohydrate chemistry. In addition to financial support of 20,000 euros a year for five years, the partnership with one of Max Planck's institutes importantly brings with it the possibility of intensive scientific cooperation with a prestigious international institution and the development of student internships. “It is a first-class workplace with the appropriate equipment and know-how, where students experience working with the world’s best,” says Dr. Petra Ménová, whose research group currently has 10 students in various stages of study.
“We are working on several projects related to carbohydrate chemistry, with the main project focused on the preparation of lipid nanoparticles with a modified carbohydrate surface, which would allow targeted transport of CRISPR/Cas9 to hepatocytes, which has great potential for the treatment of hepatitis B,” adds Dr. Ménová, who did a postdoc at MPICI from 2014 to 2017. The group will also explore the synthesis of therapeutically useful oligosaccharides, such as vaccine antigens or lectin receptor ligands.
The Max Planck Institutes (associated with the Max Planck Society) have a program to support their alumni, the so-called Max Planck Partner Group. Applicants must meet a number of conditions, including returning to their own countries after working at an Institute, addressing related topics, and additionally being nominated directly by the Director of an Institute. “In my case, I was approached directly by Prof. Seeberger, saying that this program exists and that I should apply for it. I am very happy that I succeeded with my application, mainly because of my students, who have a chance to gain more insight, participate in prestigious projects, and strengthen their CVs,” says Dr. Ménová.
UCT Prague defended its second place among Czech universities and is ranked 373rd in the world.
For the second time in a row, UCT Prague defended its second place among Czech universities in the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2022. In the global competition, the university is included in the 373-376th ranking group.
The excellent result in the QS World University Rankings 2022 was most influenced by UCT Prague’s small student-to-academic instructor ratio. Individual support for education and the inherent involvement of students in the research process even earned UCT 26th place in the world and first in Czechia in this aspect of rankings system evaluation process.
“The third success in a row is, of course, a nice outcome of all the staff and students of our university. We strive to build a supportive and fair environment for everyone, where everyone can participate in scientific activities. But I understand that the ranking is just a number. It is more important that we work on ourselves and continue to improve,” said Pavel Matějka, UCT Prague Rector.
The international environment of the university, with a high number of students (by Czech standards) from abroad in recent years, contributed to the good ranking. The university has also recently attracted international academics who have linked their careers to UCT Prague. However, likely in part due to the pandemic situation as well, there was a year-to-year decline in this aspect of the university’s rankings in the system, which meant a fall by one place in UCT Prague’s overall rankings from last year’s 342nd place.
Other Czech universities were also successful in this year’s edition of the rankings. The largest Czech university, Charles University, placed in the 266-267 world ranking range. CTU Prague moved to the 403-406 ranking range; Masaryk University achieved 551-560; Palacký University in Olomouc, 601-650; and BUT Brno, 701-750. A total of 15 Czech universities were ranked.
The full list of rankings and a description of the QS methodology can be found on the QS World University Rankings 2022 website.
Prague was the intended location for the conference and the organisation was led by the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague and supported by artificial intelligence research and development company GoodAI. GoodAI sees ma
Ph.D. student at the Department of Informatics and Chemistry
My name is Isabel and I am from Spain, a country which has no common history with the Czech Republic (CR). Before coming here, I only knew how to locate CR on a European map and the name of the capital, Prague. Because of this, I did some research before moving, using my good friend, Google. Just the basics: cost of living, religion, language, currency, the price of beer, and so on. And so I moved to Prague with no hesitation.
My first contact with the city was when I landed at Prague’s airport, where my supervisor picked me up and brought me to the university dorms. That day, one of the windows of his car broke and we couldn’t close it, so the whole trip on the highway was spent with the two of us trying to talk with a loud windy sound in the background. Once we arrived at the dorms, I realized why he had gone with me, because the person at the reception desk didn’t speak English at all. Finally, I got a room key, but when I opened the door, there were two beds! I had never shared room before and besides, there was no Wi-Fi. The next day, at the university, my colleagues asked me if I wanted to go for lunch with them at 11:30! I was completely shocked because it was so early (now I must admit that I love it, but it took me several days to get used to it).
Since this “first contact”, I have been surprised about several facts of life here. Like the -ová at the end of every female surname; how dorms, student canteens and public transport have extremely cheap prices; the way one tips (saying the amount you want to give, including tips when you pay); holidays in February for skiing; how funny it sounds to hear Ježiš Maria in a truly non-religious country; how easy and efficient public transport is; how much Czech people like to go to the mountains/forests for hiking— and also to rivers in the summer; how easy it is to get to other countries, even by bus; and of course, the fact that beer is cheaper than water. There are some good and bad aspects, but for now I just have one big bad point: the university dorms are located very far from the university, which is something that only exists at this university, as far as I know. So far, so good.
I like to live in Prague. It is a wonderful and beautiful city full of opportunities for working, traveling and learning. I know I will never regret moving here. Not just because of the city; I am truly lucky with my colleagues and my supervisor.
Originally published in SPIN 1/2018
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