Over break, experiments in our labs, after break, freshman year

Karolína Jeřábková is a talented sock maker who recently shone at the World Secondary School Work competition in Dallas, USA. Her stunning performances, creativity and immense talent have catapulted her into the ranks of the world's best contestants! During her high school studies, she worked on her SSW at the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine, graduated this year and after the holidays she is entering the first year of General Medicine at our faculty. This can also be the way to her dream.

22 Jun 2023

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Karolína Jeřábková started working on her SSW thesis in March 2021 at the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Alemeh Zamani. Her project deals with Alzheimer's disease, specifically its relationship with the choroid plexus, which is still very poorly understood. "It is an extremely important structure in our brain, which, for example, ensures the production of cerebrospinal fluid, which has a number of indispensable functions, such as protecting the brain itself from mechanical shocks or immunological and chemical protection," says Karolína in an interview with the Junior Academy of the Faculty of Medicine of MU.

The results of the project have confirmed the great importance of the investigated structure in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The research data show that the choroid plexus is significantly involved in its course. However, she points out that all the results are still the results of pilot research that will need to be repeated and reworked several times, and she envisages this work for the next few years.

During the last two years, during which she has been researching intensively, Karolína has encountered many obstacles. For example, she had to communicate with her supervisor in English and learn to navigate English scientific terms quickly. She also had difficulties with time management - science, studying, preparing for the final exam. But she managed everything and with her work she entered the SSW competition, in which she succeeded in the national round in the Healthcare category. Part of this award was also selection for a wider nomination for international competitions. This led to her entering the Regeneron ISEF, the largest international science competition for high school students, and personally attending the final awards ceremony in the United States, where she was awarded fourth prize in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category!

"I was very surprised by the whole atmosphere, which consisted mainly of the finalists. At first, I was partly afraid of the overly competitive environment and heated atmosphere at such a prestigious and global competition. However, the very first day completely convinced me otherwise. I was pleased to see how the vast majority of the students were very happy to talk and friendly. We even discussed our projects with each other and helped each other with the poster presentation. I was always pleased when others were interested in my work or had comments that helped me later in my defense in front of the judges. In general, I appreciated that the organizers of the competition cared not only about the scientific aspect, but also about making everyone feel good," says Karolína Jeřábková about the atmosphere and organization of the competition.

She is currently taking a well-deserved break, spending time with her family and friends and planning the project's ongoing experiments. Over the holidays, Karolína will spend a lot of time in the laboratories in the neuroscience team at the Department of Anatomy of the  Faculty of Medicine MU, and after the holidays she will start her dream program of General Medicine at our faculty. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Karolina both in the scientific and academic fields.

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