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Four recipients of Brno City Award affiliated with MU

Three scientists and one student of Masaryk University were among this year’s laureates of the Brno City Award for 2022. These awards are bestowed upon notable personalities whose activities are primarily taking place in Brno.

This year’s laureates of the Brno City Award.

prof. RNDr. Jiří Zlatuška, CSc., Dean, Faculty of Informatics

In 1981 Jiří Zlatuška graduated at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, majoring in mathematical informatics and theoretical cybernetics. He was a researcher and, since 1987, deputy head of the Institute of Computer Science. He played a key role in the support of dissent and underground home seminars in Brno. Through cooperation with a British group from Oxford he contributed to the foundation of “home cinemas” in Brno and the exchange of information via encrypted disks as well as the more effective publishing activity of Brno’s dissent. In 1994 he founded the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University, as an independent unit that separated from the Faculty of Science, and he catered for its qualitative development. In 1998 he was elected rector of Masaryk University, and he eventually served two terms. He championed for the construction of the campus which ultimately allowed for the development of Brno as a university city. He authored approximately one hundred publications. His research activities are focused on the field of information security, general consequences of computer science and mathematical logic, logic programming and more. In 2004 he received the Gold Medal of Masaryk University for his achievements in 2004. He is also a former member of the Brno City Assembly and Senator for the Brno-město district. His activities in a variety of fiends have significantly contributed to the development of the City of Brno.

Jiří Zlatuška accepting the Brno City Award for 2022

prof. RNDr. Jiří Fajkus, CSc., head of research centre, Mendel Centre for Plant Genomics and Proteomics, CEITEC

Jiří Fajkus holds a degree in biochemistry from the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University. He earned the CSc. scientific degree at the Institute of Biophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Since 2011 he is head of research group at Masaryk University’s CEITEC as well as the head of the Mendel Centre for Plant Genomics and Proteomics. Jiří Fajkus is an internationally respected expert in the biology of telomeres in plants. Telomeres are ends of cells located in each DNA string and protect it from damage. The shortening of telomeres is associated with the aging process; it can be slowed down, stopped or reversed via an enzyme referred to as telomerase. In 2019 his team described genes coding RNA of subunit of plant telomerase; in 2021 he made another breakthrough discovery – the explained the common origin of telomerase RNA in plants, algae and more distant, in terms of evolution, single-celled organisms, such as ciliates or diatoms. By doing so he managed to push the knowledge of telomeres further into the past, with the timeframe being over one billion years. Jiří Fajkus has published the results of his work in over 150 publications with high citation index. In 2021 he was elected member of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). The Brno City Award recognises a distinguished member of the international scientific community who also improves the prestige of the City of Brno.

Jiří Fajkus accepting the Brno City Award for 2022

prof. RNDr. Václav Suchý, DrSc., dr. h. c., professor at the Department of Natural Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy

In 1959 Václav Suchý graduated at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Masaryk University, majoring in pharmacy. Once the faculty merged with a faculty of the same name at the Komenský University in Bratislava, he moved to Slovakia. After the foundation of the faculty as part of the University of Veterinary Sciences he played a significant role in its developments as its dead between 1994 and 2000. Since 2006, as the rector of the university, he improved its position and status among other public colleges and universities. His broad activities in science and research encompass the isolation and identification of a variety of substances of plant origin, such as phenols and alkaloids. He also focused on the study of tissue cultures of land plants as systems producing substances of pharmaceutical significance. In 2016 he received from the Czech Pharmaceutical Society the Eduard Skarnitzl Medal for his lifetime contributions to the development of pharmacy in the area of science, research and education. In all positions he has held he tried to improve the quality of the study of pharmacy, to boost the reputation of the profession and t reflect the most recent trends in science and research in teaching.

Václav Suchý při převzetí Ceny města Brna za rok 2022

Bc. Jiří Procházka, student, Applied sport education of security bodies, Faculty of Sports Studies

Jiří Procházka is a professional mixed martial arts athlete. He currently competes in the most prestigious league in the world – the Ultimate Fighting Championship – where he is the first Czech to win a title (in his light heavyweight division). He started with Thai box and eventually became Czech champion. His MMA debut was in the GCF where he also won a title. Ultimately he received an offer for transfer to one of the world’s largest competitions, Rizin. He became a challenger in several fights and won the title by beating the legendary Muhammed Lawal. He then moved to UFC where, in first two fights, he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes and beat, via choke in the fifth round, Glover Teixeira. This earned him the recognition of being the best light heavyweight fighter in the world. Jiří Procházka is known for his attractive and original style that can surprise many opponents. He is also unique when it comes to personal life. He holds a bachelor degree in Special education of security bodies and is about to start with his follow-up master’s programme. He founded the BJP Foundation which helps children and young people with life-affecting medical condition. He avoids trash talk and focuses instead on the moral element of martial arts. This makes him a good role model and a rightful recipient of the Brno City Award.

Jiří Procházka accepting the Brno City Award for 2022