Being at the birth of a solution to a problem fascinates me - Catrin

Being at the birth of a solution to a problem fascinates me

Being right in the middle of the problem and finding the tools to fix it. This was one of the reasons why Martin Ondra decided to study cell and molecular biology and pursue a career as a scientist years ago. He tapped into research during his undergraduate studies and is now working on three projects as part of his PhD at the Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine, the results of which could in the future contribute to treatments for cystic fibrosis or damage to the cornea of the eye, as well as detection of sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients.

“The common denominator of these projects is the creation of new cell models, mostly for the high-throughput testing of chemicals. For example, in the case of cystic fibrosis, we are using models to find new modifiers and correctors of the CFTR protein, whose mutations cause this disease. Another project is related to cornea research. If the cornea is damaged, there is no option but to transplant it from another patient. Of course, there are not enough donors, so we are trying to force the cells to divide to produce more material for the patients. The third project concerns the visualisation of lymph nodes, where I am working on the creation of in vitro models to validate the use of nanodiamonds in collaboration with the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS”, explained Ondra.

His biggest success so far is shared first authorship of a publication in Advanced Functional Materials. It presents comprehensive research from the preparation of nanodiamonds to the first in vivo validation. The research continues and so does the young scientist’s enthusiasm. His goal is to complete his PhD this year and then eventually go to Canada, where he has already completed a six-month internship.

”It fascinates me to be the first person to find a solution to a problem. However, not every idea works out,” he concludes.

Martina Šaradínová
August 25, 2023