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Biologist Gabriel Demo awarded 2022 Neuron Prize

Biologist Gabriel Demo, currently a head of a research group at Masaryk University’s CEITEC, is among the promising young scientists recognised by the Neuron Endowment Fund this year. He was awarded the Neuron Prize for his research in transcription and translation communication.

Gabriel Demo

The Neuron Endowment Fund once again recognised the best Czech scientists. At the annual ceremony, six promising scientists accepted their prizes, as did one project of scientific transfer focusing on energy storage and two scientists whose life-long work represents significant contributions to global research.

The six fresh laureates of the Neuron Prize for promising scientists include Gabriel Demo, a graduate of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University. His work focuses on bacteria and virus-infected cells and their molecular details.

He returned to Brno and Masaryk University in 2020, having spent five years at the Medical School of the University of Massachusetts in Worchester. In 2020 he also won the prestigious ERC-CZ grant thanks to which he managed to put together his own research group. Under this grant project, he studies the behaviour of genetic information of viruses in infected cells. He studies protein structure, especially using the modern-day cryo-EM method and is interested in the synthesis of RNA and protein. How the processes of transcription and translation affect each other and how they exchange genetic information.

Accepting the prize, Demo admitted that curiosity was what originally brought him to science. “Curiosity made me study some biochemical processes, such as translation. My goal is to discover new mechanisms and processes where research has not yet taken place. I see the meaning of my work in the passing of new knowledge to the young generation so that they can be used in the study and research of other new things that will make humanity better going forward,” he said.

The Neuron Endowment Fund is an international community of scientists and supporters of science who have decided to assume responsibility for the future of Czech society through the support of excellent accomplishments in science. The fund recognises scientists; supports students and finances field research and creates a platform for the exchange of ideas. Since 2009 it has recognised 111 scientists and granted financial support in the amount of CZK 134 million. It is funded by private resources.