The prestigious commemorative medal of Charles University is an accolade bestowed upon exceptional individuals who have significantly contributed to the development of the university, its faculties, or the fields of science, education, and academic freedoms.
Professor Martin Fusek (Ústav organické chemie a biochemie AV ČR) was honored for his pivotal contribution to shaping the Czech tech-transfer environment and establishing the first office (now IOCB Tech) dedicated to transferring knowledge from fundamental research to practical applications. Additionally, he was recognized for his significant work in the field of organic chemistry and biochemistry, along with his extensive scientific and pedagogical achievements.
"I deeply appreciate the award; it surprised me and is a great honor to me. At the same time, I feel that I don't deserve it at all," pondered the awarded scientist. Soon after, he added an explanation: "What one does is actually repaying a debt to society, which allowed them to educate themselves, grow, and be surrounded by great people who have been supportive. I increasingly realize this. I also want to emphasize that success doesn't belong to one person but to the entire team. I hold this award in higher regard as I am not a graduate from here. I will always be eager to assist in bringing academic entities closer together," concluded Martin Fusek.
Professor Fusek is a graduate of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, specializing in organic chemistry. In 1988, he was awarded a CSc. degree in biochemistry from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Between 1989 and 1995, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the USA and Germany. Since 1995, he has been involved with companies like Sigma-Aldrich and Merck, both in the Czech Republic and abroad. From 2007, he has focused on technological transfer matters at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Since 2009, he has served as the executive director of IOCB TECH s.r.o., specializing in technology transfer for the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Between 2012 and 2022, he acted as the deputy director for strategic development at the same institute and was appointed as the deputy director for translational research in 2023.
In 2012, he was granted the title of professor in the field of biochemistry at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. He chairs the research council of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, is a member of several scientific and supervisory boards of academic institutions, and holds a position on the board of the Czech Chemical Society and other organizations.
His expertise results from a combination of work in fundamental research in the Czech Republic and abroad, extensive commercial activities for global foreign companies, experience in founding spin-off companies, intellectual property protection, and organization of the technological transfer process across various projects. He has put these skills to use in his publication "Collaboration and Technological Transfer in the Field of Chemistry and Biochemistry".
His scientific activity is underpinned by over 55 original scientific publications in impactful journals, accumulating more than 1860 citations, two monographs, and two sets of lecture notes. Professor Fusek has been and remains a principal investigator on numerous research projects, and his colleagues have always esteemed him for his professional approach, amiable demeanor, sense of humor, and willingness to assist in problem-solving.
In the realm of education, he initiated the tradition of the "Interdisciplinary Meeting of Young Biologists, Biochemists, and Chemists" in 2000, an event still ongoing under the auspices of Merck. In 1995, he became an external lecturer for the "Biochemical Methods" course at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. He introduced a new course, "Clinical Biochemistry," in 2007 and in 2011, a subject on "Biological Drugs," for which he contributed to the creation of related study materials. His teaching approach consistently receives high praise from students in regular surveys.