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Scientist resigns as deputy head of gov’t Research Council

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Prague, June 1 (CTK) – Eva Sykova resigned on Wednesday as deputy head of the Czech Government Research and Development Council (RVVI) and she is considering leaving also as head of the Science Academy’s Institute of Experimental Medicine, she has told Czech Radio.

On Tuesday, Czech Academy of Sciences chairman Jiri Drahos dismissed Sykova, but the decision is yet to be confirmed by the council of the institute. Its meeting was held on Wednesday and it will continue on Thursday.

Sykova is also chairwoman of the council.

She said she had passed documents on the treatment of the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and its financing to the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of research and development, Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).

She said Belobradek had not insisted on her resignation.

Sykova said she was backed by her fellow workers.

She said she did not want to harm the Academy of Sciences in any way, though she believed that she had not done anything illegal.

Czech Television (CT) reported on Monday that Sykova’s expert team, which has applied stem cell therapy to patients within experimental treatment of the ALS in Prague’s Motol University Hospital, collected 150,000 crowns for it from the patients, though the law declares people’s participation in clinic research cost-free.

The Institute of Experimental Medicine denies that the patients had to pay for their participation in the stem cell therapy.

Several patients and their relatives, however, have confirmed the payments in an interview with CT.

President Milos Zeman said generosity should be applied in the case of Sykova.

Sykova scientific successes should also be taken into account, Zeman said.

In 2013, Zeman decorated her with the For Merits medal.

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