Josef Jiřičný is a molecular biologist from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zürich) and the chair of the MU International Scientific Advisory Board. He was born in Prague, although he left Czechoslovakia soon after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968 and completed his university education in England. After graduating in chemistry and biochemistry, he gradually specialised in molecular biology and the study of DNA as the carrier of genetic information. Starting with DNA synthesis, he then moved on to the study of the mechanisms of DNA repair after damage caused by cancer, primarily colorectal cancer.
After finishing his studies, he led his own research team in Basel, Switzerland, and for several years headed the biochemical section of the research institute in Pomezia, Italy. He has been active at the University of Zurich since 1996 and at the prestigious ETH Zürich since 2003.
During his career, he and his colleagues discovered four new proteins that help repair damaged genetic information: one is needed in embryonic development, another protects the kidneys from disease, and the other two help prevent cancer.
Since 2016, Jiřičný has served as the chair of the MU International Scientific Advisory Board, which helps to establish best international practice in research and whose recommendations are an important part of the management of MU. He has also been working with Masaryk University researchers who study the mechanisms of DNA repair.