Igor Cervenka, PhD

I started my scientific journey by being born in a small sleepy town in central Slovakia, although as you can probably guess, I didn’t know it at the time. It only became clear when I was applying for a university, staring at the endless catalogue of possible undergraduate programs. I had no idea what to choose, and frankly, I didn’t care that much, until I came across “Molecular Biology and Genetics”. It sounded pretty damn awesome and my mind was immediately filled with fancy sci-fi endeavours, X-Men, mutants, and the like. In the end, it didn’t really pan out that way, but I stuck with it nonetheless. The sci-fi fantasy was gradually replaced by “equally thrilling” discoveries of kinases and protein-protein interactions in embryonic development and cancer. Then the Masaryk University awarded me a PhD. In retrospect, I believe it was because I accumulated a critical amount of these discoveries and I was free to continue my exodus towards bigger and more inhospitable cities, leaving Brno for Stockholm. I always liked sports as a kid. Unfortunately, my aptitude was not world-class, so I welcomed the opportunity to study what happens to people when they exercise. So, studies of embryonic development gave way to metabolism and I again started to dream the dreams of super-human engineering.