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Zažímalová becomes new head of Czech Academy of Sciences

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Prague, March 14 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman has appointed Eva Zazimalova, 62, new head of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAV), who will replace Jiri Drahos on March 25.

Zazimalova will be the second woman at the head of the biggest academic institution in the Czech Republic.

Her nomination was approved by delegates to CAV congress last December. She gained 93 percent in the election in which she was the only candidate.

Zazimalova said she wanted to improve the CAV financing, enhance top-level research and tackle the internal debts some academic institutes have due to the stagnating budget.

Zeman said Zazimalova was taking up a huge organisation comprising 60 institutes.

“At least one of them, the institute of Professor (Antonin) Holy, has entered the history of world science. I am convinced that some other institutes may follow suit,” Zeman said.

Holy, who died in 2012, was a chemist who discovered preparations that help cure millions of patients worldwide. The preparations developed by Holy are part of the most efficient and also accessible medicines against AIDS, smallpox virus, shingles, eye inflammation and hepatitis B.

Zeman said he did not want to say whether the U.S. model of basic research or the German and Russian model is better.

“Let the two models compete,” Zeman said, adding that he was an advocate of a close cooperation of basic and applied research.

Zazimalova is a professor of anatomy and physiology of plants at Charles University.

She worked in the Experimental Botany Institute from 1983 and headed the institute between 2007 and 2012.

She is also in charge of the evaluation of research teams.

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