Interview transcription

Kristýna Kárová, Ph.D.

Department of Neuroregeneration

Kristýna Kárová: Hi, I’m Kristýna Kárová, and I’m a postdoc in the Department of Neuroregeneration. What made you study the natural sciences? Ever since I was a little girl, I have been interested in nature to figure out how everything works. My parents were very supportive and bought me encyclopedias and a microscope. I remember looking at my hair
and at my blood. My dad even bought me a telescope, and we watched the moon together on the roof. My interests were always this wide, and it was clear that I was going to go in this direction.

Question: Why did you choose the IEM CAS?

Kristýna Kárová: I started working at the IEM CAS during my PhD studies, after I graduated in immunology. I wanted to follow up in neuroscience, and I was also interested in stem cells. That’s why I chose the topic that was offered by my supervisor, Pavla Jendelová, and so I started to study the spinal cord and its injuries, as well as stem cell technology.

Question: What does the work of a scientist involve?

Kristýna Kárová: In my experience, the work of a scientist is very diverse and complex. It includes a large amount of self-study and motivation to learn new techniques and build up your portfolio of methods to effectively use to answer questions in projects you are working on. An essential part of being a scientist is communication with the people on the team and in the department, not just with other scientists, but also with lab technicians and students so that together, we can achieve good results and also enjoy the work.

Question: What do you consider to be your most significant achievement?

Kristýna Kárová: As a success, I consider our current results in the gene therapy project in spinal cord injury that we’re working on with our colleagues in Cambridge. Thanks to these results, we were also able to obtain additional funding to not only continue the project but also to support the following projects.

Question: You received the Otto Wichterle Award for 2023; what does this award mean to you?

Kristýna Kárová: I’m very happy about the award, and I really appreciate it. But it’s not just my personal achievement; it’s the success of the entire department and the whole team that worked on the project, and I would like to thank them in this way as well.

Question: What are you currently working on?

Kristýna Kárová: I would like to continue working on Neuroregeneration projects where we use PI3 kinase delta in combinations, such as with chondroitinase ABC or in combination with activated integrin, which was proven to be very effective in the reconstruction of the sensory pathway.

The next project is one where we want to look at transcriptional changes that occur after PI3 kinase treatment in cortical neurons, and is the basis for observed regeneration.

Question: What do you do in your free time?

Kristýna Kárová: I like spending my free time with my family or friends. I like outdoor activities and spending time in the mountains. And I also love to travel, so when I’ll get the chance to travel again, I’d love to do that.