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Scientists from Ukraine granted the Cyril Napp stipend

Three scientists and experts in genetics from Ukraine could attend Mendel Genetics Conference thanks to the Cyril Napp stipend.

The organising committee of the Mendel Genetics Conference planned to support as many as thirty researchers from Ukraine. Ten scientists applied for the stipend. Due to a combination of issues and reasons, including complicated transportation from Ukraine, only five arrived. 

The stipend that meant an opportunity to attend the conference without the obligation to pay the participation fee is named after Cyril Napp, an Augustinian abbot who recognised Mendel’s talent for science and who supported Mendel during his university studies and provided conditions for Mendel’s experts with pea plants.

Marina Shustykova from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Nadia Pushakrova from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Nataliia Melnyk from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv visited Brno and met experts in genetics from all over the world.

All researches quoted Mendel being a key figure of their scientific life as the main reason for the application for the stipend. 

 “Mendel is the most influential personality for all scientists involved in genetics. The fact that the conference is held around the anniversary of his birth, in Brno no less, where he conducted his experiments, is giving me an opportunity to see the legacy of his work in many fields of science. It is very inspirational,” says Nadia Pushakrova who applied for the stipend shortly after arrival in the Czech Republic because of the war in Ukraine. “Being at the conference is also an opportunity to learn new things and find inspiration from speakers and discussion panel participants. I am still at the start of my career in science and I need to find ways to obtain new information and debates on results and ideas,” adds the expert in plant pathology and in vitro plant breeding. 

Even Marina Shustykova was drawn to science by Mendel’s experiments. “The stipend is a great opportunity to visit a modern science forum. What can be better than watching and listening how your field of science has been developing, and meeting people involved in new research projects? I am grateful for the opportunity,” says the expert in human genetics. 

Genetics is the key specialisation for Nataliia Melnyk as well. “Thanks to Mendel Genetics Conference I can improve my knowledge in modern genetics, and I will be able to share new information with my students. I am particularly interested in lectures in medical genetics, histologie genetiky and modern diagnostic methods in molecular biology,” says the woman who currently works at the Department of Histology, Cytology and Embryology of Masaryk University’s Faculty of Medicine. 

Masaryk University is the current “home” for Nadia Pushakrova; just like her two colleagues she too would like to cooperate with Masaryk University in the future. “I work in the research group of Jan Hejátko at the Mendel Centre for Plant Genomics and Proteomics at CEITEC. My experience with the group and Masaryk University is entirely positive. I see support and understanding, and I can work, be useful, learn and grow,” the researcher added.