BEST YOUNG EUROPEAN SCIENTIST OF 2017
In her research Karina focuses on the protein which assists a damaged cell repair and which is therefore a prospective help in fight against cancer. Mutations of this protein – RAD51 – were identified within cancer cells and the young scientist was eager to discover how such mutations affect its functions and how they assist the cancer cells in their growth and/or development.
At the age of 17 she was awarded “Young Czech Clever Head” Prize (Česká hlavička) in the category Human Life and Health Care for the same research. Conclusions of the work increase the range of new potential therapeutic targets and more efficient treatment.
Interviews with Karina Movsesjan also prove that the doors to laboratories were somehow open to her: She has always been keen on biology and chemistry; and she only very briefly mentions her initiative to address Lumír Krejčí in the National Centre for Biomolecular Research at Masaryk University (Národní centrum pro výzkum biomolekul Masarykovy university) and asking him to accept her as member of his research team. Following first awards, offers from prestigious universities arrived, however, Karina keeps responding that she is very happy in Brno and wants to continue doing her research at Masaryk University, “mostly because of the background of my laboratory as well as room to work on all my projects .“ The promising talented student and lecturer would like to have her own laboratory one day. People in #brnoregion hope for the best and keep their fingers crossed for her!
The European Union Contest for Young Scientists was set up by the European Commission in 1989 to encourage co-operation and exchange between young scientists and to give them an opportunity to be guided by some of Europe's most prominent researchers.
The contest seeks to support national efforts to attract young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and to eventually choose careers in science and research. The number of participating young scientists has grown from 53 in the first competition in 1989 to 146 this year.
Female participation in the contest reflects the broader issue of underrepresentation of women in STEM. This year, 38% of the participants were female (56 participants vs. 90 male participants). Over the 29 years, from the 3014 participants of the contest 313 young women and 916 young men have won prizes in this contest.