Meet Veronika Vetýšková: FEBS Junior Section members' interview series

This interview series aims to introduce members of the FEBS Junior Section from FEBS Constituent Societies and their national Junior Sections, highlight their work and scientific interests, and inspire young scientists and students to join the initiative.
Meet Veronika Vetýšková: FEBS Junior Section members' interview series

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Our interviewee is Veronika Vetýšková, a PostDoc Researcher from the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Veronika is a member of ČSBMB Junior, the junior section of the Czech Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ČSBMB), a FEBS Constituent Society.

Photo of Veronika Vetýšková in the lab, holding a bottle and a pipette and smiling at the camera.
 Veronika Vetýšková. Photo: personal archive

What motivated you to pursue a career in science? Why did you choose this field?

I'll probably be too brief here, but I would say there's still a lot to discover :) and I also love the feeling when, after many tries, the experiment finally succeeds.

Briefly introduce your research topic. What is the purpose of your research?

I am currently working on proteases of human pathogens. Proteases are enzymes that cleave proteins. Human pathogens include ticks and mites, and I am interested in the proteases found in these organisms. Mainly from their structural point of view. I am working on inhibitors of these proteases, so they could be used as medicines in the future.

What excites you most about your work or research?

Discovering the unknown.

Among all the scientific discoveries of all time, which is your favorite? Why?

Since I'm a biochemist, I guess I would probably say CRISPR/Cas9. Mainly because this discovery was awarded the Nobel Prize fairly recently.

What do you do as a scientist to make your work interesting and accessible to the public?

I am part of many other projects that are involved in the popularization of science. I think it's extremely important to get the science out to the people and, I have to say, I'm really enjoying it.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies?

Yes, I am a coffee lover and I love especially filter coffee. I like doing yoga, skiing, painting and spending time with friends. I've recently become a fan of group lessons in the gym.

How did you learn about the FEBS Junior Section? What motivated you to become a member?

I have people around me who are founding members and their stories of how they're involved in the FEBS Junior Section really excited me. So, I also wanted to become a member. I guess it all comes from the fact that I have a lot of interesting and inspiring people around me, who want to change the scientific world.

What is the importance of getting involved in FEBS Junior Section activities for students and young scientists?

I think that young scientists very often lose their motivation to work in science. I would like to change that. The important thing is not to be afraid to ask for advice.

What advice would you give to aspiring students/scientists?

If you really want to work in science, things always turn out the way you want them to. And the second one is… It's not the end of the world if the experiment doesn't go according to your expectations.

Where do you see your career going next?

Now I would like to get some experience abroad. From August 2024 I will be working as a research scientist at the Leibnitz Institute in Saarbrucken, Germany. My project will focus on protein engineering.

Photo by Luke Jones on Unsplash

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