Ing. Jaromír Vašíček – Personality of Science and Technology Under 35 Years Old
Awarded Ing. Jaromír Vašíček, PhD., is an expert in the field of biotechnology in agriculture from the National Agricultural and Food Centre (NPPC) – Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra.
The culmination of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the awarding of awards for work and achievements in the area of science and technology. The awards ceremony took place on 10 November 2016 at 7PM in the INCHEBA Expo in Bratislava. The Award for Science and Technology in five categories (Personality of Science and Technology, Lifelong Achievements in Science and Technology, Personality of Science and Technology Under 35 Years Old, Populariser of Science, and Scientific and Technical Team of the Year) were given by the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Peter Plavčan, who is the patron of the event. The Award for Science and Technology has been awarded since 2014, replacing the award of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The objective of this transformation is to increase the social prestige of the awards for science and technology.
Ing. Jaromír Vašíček, PhD., was awarded the Award for Science and Technology in the category Personality of Science and Technology Under 35 Years. Proponent: National Agricultural and Food Centre (NPPC).
Ing. Jaromír Vašíček, PhD. (1985), was born in Nitra. He studied at the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food, Department of Biotechnology, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (2004 - 2009), where he continued his doctoral studies (2009 – 2013). His doctoral thesis significantly contributed to the scientific and research development in the field of animal biotechnologies and biomedicine. He has become a renowned researcher in the field of cell cultures, magnetic separation, immunophenotypisation of various types of animal cells by flow cytometry, as evidenced by the invited lecture entitled “Immunophenotypisation of adult stem cells” at the Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 2015.
Thanks to his knowledge and experience, nevertheless his relatively young age, he was able to get his own research project. Within this project, he successfully continues in the scientific and research cooperation with foreign institution AKH Vienna. In addition, he has also participated in other research projects. He continues to develop his work skills through various international courses and trainings. These include practical courses of flow cytometry in the UK and France, or the courses of the most modern microscopic techniques in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He is also a member of the Czech Society for Analytical Cyclometry. He carries out his research activities ever since the time of his doctoral studies at the Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra, which is a part of the National Agricultural and Food Centre. He also works at the Slovak University of Agriculture as the coordinator of the Laboratory of Microscopic Analyses of a newly established Research Centre AgroBioTech.
We interviewed Ing. Jaromír Vašíček, PhD.
M. BARTOŠOVIČOVÁ: You are one of the three awarded in the category Personality of Science and Technology Under 35 Years. How do you feel about this award?
J. VAŠÍČEK: “Of course, I am very pleased by this award. I am truly honoured for being nominated and eventually receiving this award. I am aware of the fact that there are many other young researchers in Slovakia, who would also deserve this award. Everyone is certainly glad to get recognition for his research activities and receiving such award provides an incentive for further work, as well as a feeling of satisfaction for the hours spent in the lab. At the same time, I must point out that without a good working team involved in research projects, a man would never achieve anything by himself. Last but not least, you must have a very understanding partner at home, who tolerates that your duties sometimes cannot be compressed into an eight-hour working day.”
M. B.: You have received the award for the scientific contribution in the field of agricultural and animal biotechnology and biomedicine – characterisation and cryopreservation of adult stem cells of the national breeds of livestock. Could you, at least briefly, explain your research to us?
J. VAŠÍČEK: "The research in our department has been in recent years focused on the creation and operation of the Gene Bank of Animal Genetic Resources (National Agricultural and Food Centre (NPPC) – Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra). There, we store and plan to store the available reproductive cells (sperms, ova and embryos) of major national breeds of livestock (cattle, swinery, sheep, rabbits, etc.). It's especially adult stem cells that belong among the important genetic resources with the possibility of recreation of endangered or extinct animal breeds. Adult stem cells can be isolated from different biological sources and there are no ethical issues associated with them as in the case of the embryonic stem cells. Our research activity is precisely about the isolation and characterisation of these adult stem cells from different animal species. Rabbits have been used as a biological model. Currently, we already have some types of rabbit's adult stem cells frozen. Of course, an essential part of preserving such cells is their proper freezing and cryostorage for years or decades for future use."
M. B.: How long have you dealt with this research and what are its results going to mean in practice?
J. VAŠÍČEK: "The work on this project is ongoing, as there are several types of adult stem cells and each has its own potential to restore not only the organ or tissue from which it comes, but also to restore the whole organism. Our research activities could be compared to building Noah's Ark on a smaller scale. Gene conservation of important national breeds of livestock is of great importance not only in terms of our cultural heritage, but also for maintaining biodiversity, i.e. the variety of animal species. The trend of building gene banks and conservation of animal genetic resources continues worldwide and it has incomparable practical importance for the preservation of endangered species in particular."
M. B.: What are you working on at the moment?
J. VAŠÍČEK: "Currently, I work on my own research 'SRDA (Slovak Research and Development Agency) project' at the Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra. This research is focused on the isolation and characterisation of rabbit hematopoietic stem cells contained in the blood. This type of stem cells has not been much studied in the rabbit and it could serve both the needs of the gene bank, as well as biomedical purposes, whereas the rabbit is very close to humans from the genetic point of view. At the same time, I am involved in three other SRDA projects of my colleagues from the Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra, where I get to apply my knowledge from the field of flow cytometry. My research activities at the Research Institute for Animal Production in Nitra significantly overlap with my activities at the Research Centre AgroBioTech of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. There, I capitalise on my expertise from electron microscopy and other microscopic techniques for the needs of our research projects and research activities of colleagues from universities and other research institutes."
M. B.: Are you already thinking about your next research?
J. VAŠÍČEK: "A man working in research has always new ideas and thoughts. Of course, the most important is to finish the ongoing research/project, before embarking on something new. In my head, there are already some ideas on what we could study within our research focus. Important is that the research has a practical outcome. For the moment, we are fully occupied with the research of adult stem cells and I think this will be the case for the foreseeable future."
M. B.: Thank you for the interview. On behalf of the editorial staff, I congratulate you for the award and wish you many more success.
The Award for Science and Technology has been awarded since 2014, replacing the Award of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The objective of this transformation is to increase the social prestige of the awards for science and technology.
Please visit the event's website Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia (only Slovak version) to find the list of all awarded in the individual categories, or see the e-newspapers Scientific kaleidoscope.
The main organiser of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information and the National Centre for the Popularisation of Science and Technology in Society. The general partner of the event is Huawei.
Interview prepared and published by: Marta Bartošovičová, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Photo: Ján Laštinec, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Portrait in the introduction: from the archive of Ing. J. Vašíček, PhD.
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