INVITED SPEAKERS

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Prof. Dr. Martin Jínek

University Zurich, Switzerland

Date of the Lecture: Sunday, August 29, 2021
Time: 16:30 – 17:30
Title: CRISPR-Cas genome editors: structures, mechanisms and applications

Consent to publication has not been given

Martin Jínek is a Czech biochemist who studied in Britain already the secondary school in Reading. Later he studied Chemistry and Natural Sciences at Trinity College, University of Cambridge (UK). In 2006, he received his PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg where he conducted his thesis in the lab of Dr. Elena Conti. He then moved to the University of California in Berkeley for postdoctoral research with Prof. Jennifer Doudna. In her laboratory Jínek has contributed to the development of the CRISPER genome editing method awarded with Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2020. Contemporarily he has a professor´s position at the Department of Biochemistry University Zurich where he is interested in the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate cellular regulation through protein-RNA interactions. His studies include biochemical and structural approaches to investigate these processes at the atomic level.

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Prof. MUDr. Libor Vítek, PhD. | J. V. Koštíř Prize Lecture

Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Date of the Lecture: Monday, August 30, 2021
Time: 08:30 – 09:30
Title: Bilirubin in health and disease

Lecture at the congress

Libor Vítek is a professor of the Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics and a researcher of the 4th Department of Medicine, 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague. His main research direction is hepatology and nutrition. He is a graduate of the same medical school in 1994. He has visited Harvard University and worked at Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. He has already obtained numerous prices for the outstanding scientific publications including the international once. This year he has received the “Professor Koštíř prize for the extraordinary scientific contribution in biochemistry and molecular biology”.

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Prof. Jiří Friml, Ph.D., Dr. rer. Nat

Institute of Science and Technology, Austria

Date of the Lecture: Monday, August 30, 2021
Time: 15:30 – 16:30
Title: Rapid auxin signaling for plant growth and development

Consent to publication has not been given

Jiří Friml is a Czech biologist interested in plant physiology, particularly in plant growth and its hormonal regulation. He studied originally biochemistry at Masaryk University in Brno and continued in plant research with doctoral studies at Max Planck Institute in Köln, Germany. Later he worked in Tübingen and also in Gent. In 2006 he was appointed the head of the Department of Plant Cell Biology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Now he works at Institute of Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg, Austria. He has been focused on plant hormone auxin that regulates among other things the development of plant embryos, growth of roots, formation of leaves and blooms, ripening of fruits, etc. His work is also focused on cell biology, particularly on cellular polarity and polar targeting, endocytosis and recycling, polar auxin transport and non-transcriptional mechanisms of signaling. He has received a number of awards, e.g. EMBO Gold Medal (2012), Erwin Schrödinger Award (2015), but he especially appreciates the Neuron Award for the contribution to the science (2019), since this is his home country award.

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Prof. Erik De Clercq, M.D. Ph.D.

Rega Institute for Medical Research, Leuven, Belgium

Date of the Lecture: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Time: 8:30 – 9:30
Title: In search of an ideal treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections

Lecture at the congress

Erik De Clercq studied medicine at the Catholic University of Leuven and later specialized in microbiology and immunology. He is one of the founders and the second president of the International Society for Antiviral Research. Since 1976 Erik De Clercq has collaborated on the development of new antiretroviral drugs with Antonín Holý of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague. Together they discovered amongst others Tenofovir. The third collaborator in the “Holy Trinity” was John C. Martin, the founder of Gilead Sciences that specialized into production of antivirotics from Holý – DeClercq origin. Prof. Erik De Clercq visited many times Czech Republic and namely the Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences in České Budějovice where he also attended the XXI. Biochemical Congress in 2008.

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Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Rolf Hilgenfeld

University of Lübeck, Germany

Date of the Lecture: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Time: 15:30 – 16:30
Title: A structural view of the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle and the opportunities it offers for antiviral drug discovery

Lecture at the congress

Rolf Hilgenfeld studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen (Diploma 1981), where he conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. PhD he obtained at the Free University of Berlin for the determination of the structure of a plant protease. He then worked on proteosynthesis in the Hoechst laboratory. In 1995 he was appointed professor for biochemical structural research at the University of Jena and in 2003 he moved to the chair for biochemistry at the University of Lübeck. He worked on proteases in HIV and since 1998 on coronaviruses. He published the three-dimensional structure of the SARS virus protease. At the beginning of 2020 he and his colleagues succeeded in elucidating the three-dimensional structure of the main protease Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 and suggested its inhibitor.

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RNDr. Vladimír Beneš, Ph.D. (CSc.)

Genomic Core facility, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

Date of the Lecture: Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Time: 8:30 – 9:30
Title: Single-cell transcriptomics – getting there but not entirely there yet

Lecture at the congress

Vladimír Beneš studied biochemistry at Charles University, Prague, where he graduated in 1985. Then he worked as graduate student at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences where he obtained Ph.D, in 1991. He has been at EMBL since 1994 when he came as postdoc to Ansorge group in the Biochemical Instrumentation Unit. In 2001 he was appointed to build EMBL Genomics Core Facility, a technology orientated service laboratory founded to assist researchers with functional genomics projects. This facility is currently utilizing mainly massively parallel sequencing & microarray technologies as well as qPCR. Among his tasks belong also assessment of new technologies and functional genomics applications, in particular their suitability for implementation in the environment of core facilities. He is also strongly involved in teaching of methods applied in this field. His scientific production is characterized by more than 300 publications with 31,666 citation so far.