1. Tell me in 5 words who is Michal Smida?
Curious, optimistic, persistent, friendly, opened to anything new.
2. What made you join CeMM?
A new Postdoctoral program was being opened at CeMM and when I came for the interview, it was just amazing – the spirit, the people, the building (just being finished that time), the whole atmosphere, everyone was very opened, friendly and very smart…it was clear that I have to become part of this unique institution.
3. What is it about science that interests you the most?
It's the beauty to dive deep into something unknown, tackle the problem from different angles and then to unravel something new and unexpected.
4. What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
“Work smarter, not harder” – although some of my previous supervisors would not agree to this and I think hard work is definitely needed, I also think that the hard work alone is not enough. You need to work smart and ask yourself smart questions.
5. Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
After leaving CeMM in 2014, I moved back to Brno to a young research institute CEITEC (Central European Institute of Technology), which in many aspects resembles CeMM. I first started to work as a senior independent researcher. In 2017, I officially became an independent research group leader and I established my research group of Functional Genomics.
6. What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
The Edge of Eternity by Ken Follet, the third part of his trilogy Century. I love his style of incorporating and describing important events of our history into this historical novel.
7. What is the last song you heard?
On the weekend, when we were cleaning our house, we listened to our old CD of U2. (Yep, the good old traditional CD and, yeah, I still do have a functional CD/DVD player. ?)
8. Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Don't forget to keep in touch with the community and your former colleagues. And to the CeMMies – keep up with (my) favorite statement of Giulio: “work hard, party hard!” ?
Michal Smida is of Czech nationality, studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Masaryk University in Brno in the Czech Republic. He then moved to Germany to pursue his PhD in Molecular Immunology. After his two-year Postdoctoral stay in Germany, he joined CeMM in 2010 as a senior Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Sebastian Nijman, working on the concept of synthetic lethality on the model of lung cancer. He then moved back to Brno to join CEITEC research institute, where he established his own research group of Functional genomics. He is primarily using genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screening technology to identify mechanisms of resistance to current therapies and/or propose novel targets of therapy for hematological malignancies or to improve cellular immunotherapies like CAR-T cells.