Science is a never-endingjob, you have to love it
Already during her studies, Lenka Dzurová was fascinated by proteins. So, at the end of her PhD, when she happened to see an advertisement for a researcher in the field at a research centre in Olomouc, it was an obvious choice. The graduate of the Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, she completed her doctorate in biophysics in January 2013, and a month later, she was working at the Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, one of the current CATRIN units.
“It was my dream assignment, so I didn’t hesitate. I first worked on the preparation and characterisation of recombinant proteins and, after returning from parental leave, moved on to the production of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin in transgenic barley. We are trying to develop an efficient way to extract this protein from barley and are also looking at how to use barley as a bioreactor for other proteins”, said Dzurová, who has also gained experience at universities in Germany, France and Italy.
She managed to prepare an application for an Aurora mini-grant, of which she is the principal investigator. The aim is to establish partnerships with other research institutions, increase the chances of the mini-consortium in future grant calls and strengthen the European university alliance. She has chosen to collaborate with foreign institutes that, like her home department, are working on protein engineering.
She enjoys teaching students and promoting science. “Science is a never-ending job, you have to love it. I love working in the lab and doing experiments, especially if they go well. I don’t set big goals and chase achievements but take one step at a time. When I look back, perhaps I can say that I have already achieved something. At the same time, I know that I still have a lot to learn. I consider the fact that I managed to combine science and family life my biggest achievement, because sometimes it is quite challenging”, concluded the mother of two.