A recognised scientist Mary O'Connell, who has been working in CEITEC Masaryk University (Muni) institute since November 2014, was recently elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The organization includes more than 1700 of the best researchers in Europe and the world, and its aim is to support talented scientists as well as to improve exchange of scientific information and to create European research environment.
Vice-Rector for Research Petr Dvořák says: “Although, the Masaryk University is the best institution in the country, as for the prestigious projects within EMBO Young Investigator Award, we had been waiting in vain for an elected member from this organization. Mary O’Connell, as a first woman, has now joined the group of six Czech scientists who are already the EMBO members. It is an outstanding event for the whole university and it will certainly boost our reputation”.
The research Mary O'Connell’s group studies is how the body distinguishes its own nucleic acids from those of viruses. When there is a mistake in this process it can cause autoimmune diseases. She came to Brno two and half years ago thanks to European grant from ERA Chairs programme.
After her election, Mary O‘Connell said: “I‘m so excited and I feel deeply honoured. I would like to express my thanks to the present and former colleagues in my group because I have received this honour due to their hard work and dedication. I believe that in the future we will see more EMBO members coming from the Masaryk University”.
As the Director of CEITEC MU Jiří Nantl mentions, the membership of Mary O’Connell in European Molecular Biology Organization represents another step towards the target which has been gradually fulfilled since its origin, and to influence the science and its conditions on a national as well as global scale. He says: “Mary is a worldwide recognised scientist and energetic woman, and we are proud that she is a member of our team in our institution.”