Prague, June 2 (CTK) – Eva Sykova, who is criticised for alleged payments for experimental stem cells treatment, resigned as head of the Czech Science Academy’s (AV) Institute of Experimental Medicine on Thursday and its council accepted it, institute spokesman Tomas Stanek has told reporters.

AV President Jiri Drahos dismissed Sykova, the institute’s long-term head and senato, on Tuesday, but the decision was yet to be confirmed by the council of the institute. The council is chaired by Sykova.

Sykova, 71, an expert in the brain and stem cells research, claims she did nothing unlawful, but Drahos is of the view she harmed the institute’s good name.

Also on Thursday, Sykova told CTK that she will not give up her mandate of a senator for the senior government Social Democrats (CSSD).

“I am fulfilling my post well, I believe so at least,” she said.

Public Czech Television (CT) reported on Monday that members of Sykova’s expert team had collected 150,000 crowns as “a sponsor’s gift” from the patients for their participation in a clinical study of stem cells treatment of the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), though the law declared people’s participation in clinic research cost-free.

The Institute of Experimental Medicine denied it, but several patients and their relatives, confirmed the payments in an interview with CT.

On Wednesday, Sykova also stepped down as deputy head of the Czech Government Research and Development Council (RVVI).

PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) called on her to do so, while President Milos Zeman said generosity should be applied in the case of Sykova.

Sykova’ s scientific successes should also be taken into account, said Zeman, who decorated her with the For Merits medal in 2013.

Sykova denies any wrongdoing.

“I was motivated by compassion and desire to introduce a promising therapeutical method in clinical practice and thus help all ALS patients. I had no material profit from it, on the contrary, I myself donated a high sum to the (Cell Therapy) association,” she said in an interview in Thursday’s issue of Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) daily.