The Neuron Endowment Fund awarded the Neuron Prizes in the Pantheon of the National Museum on Tuesday evening. Top scientists received three awards for their lifetime contributions to science, seven awards were presented to young talented researchers, and – for the first time – the brand new Neuron Prize for exceptional cooperation between science and business was also awarded to Vítězslav Bryja and Kamil Paruch, who received it together with Radoslav Trautmann.
As a team, they are developing drugs to treat leukaemia with a plan to sell their work to a global pharmaceutical company while it is in the clinical testing phase. Their academic spin-off company CasInvent Pharma is supported by Masaryk University.
“This is an extraordinary and unique achievement for Masaryk University. The new prize awarded by the prestigious Neuron fund is a testament that Masaryk University is not merely ready to strike partnerships between science and business, but that it has been doing so effectively for quite some time,” said Eva Janouškovcová, Director of the MU Technology Transfer Office.
Monika Vondráková, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Neuron Endowment Fund, noted that fostering cooperation between science and business is one of the Neuron Endowment Fund’s key missions: “The new award is another milestone in our long-term efforts. We want these two worlds to become natural partners because we believe that scientific knowledge is the engine of a prosperous society. The stories of the new laureates give us great hope for the future,” said Vondráková.
This is the twelfth time the Neuron Endowment Fund has awarded the Neuron Prizes. In addition to MU scientists, the new laureates include researchers who have solved some of the fundamental mathematical problems, physicists and chemists incorporating artificial intelligence in their work, and doctors striving to eradicate diseases of civilisation.