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Vonka Vladimír

Prof., MUDr., DrSc.
Born on July 31, 1930

  • Virology, experimental oncology
  • Member of Learned Society since 1994 (Founding member)
  • Member of Administrative Board, LS Foundation Fund, 2000-2001

Educational and professional preparation:

  • 1949-1955, Faculty of General Medicine, Charles University (CU), Prague;
  • 1963, CSc.; 1981, DrSc.;
  • 1992, Professor (Second Faculty of Medicine, CU).

Employment and academic positions:

  • 1955-1956, Secondary physician, Department of Internal and Infectious Diseases, Regional Institute of National Health, Ústí nad Labem;
  • 1956, research scientist, Department of Viral Neuroinfections, Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Prague;
  • 1957-1991, research, later scientific worker and head scientific worker in virology and experimental oncology, Research Institute of Immunology, Prague (which later merged with Institute of Sera and Inocula, Prague);
  • 1991-present, scientific worker, Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Prague;
  • 1964-1965, World Health Organization (WHO) scholarship, Dept. Virology and Epidemiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA;
  • 1968-1969, visiting professor of virology at Baylor;
  • 1983-1984, visiting scientific worker, Department of Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pa. (USA).

Membership and positions in international organizations and societies:

  • 1968-present, Member, American Society of Microbiology (ASM);
  • 1996-1999 chairman; Morrison Rogosa Award of ASM
  • 1969-1991, Member, various WHO expert O commissions
  • 1989, Corresponding Member, CSAS
  • 1992-present, Elected Member (emeritus), ASM
  • 1994, Elected Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
  • 1997-present, Elected Member, Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europae, Salzburg, (Austria)
  • 2000-present, European Association for Cancer Research, also member of Council
  • 2004, Founding Member, Czech Medical Academy

Notable awards:

  • 1964, WHO Senior Research Training Grant
  • 1983, Annual Award, Minister of Health (for scientific work)
  • 1985, Award, Literary Fund, with J. Závada (for the popular science book, The Mystery of Cancer)
  • 1988, J. E. Purkyně Memorial Medal (awarded on 200th anniversary of his birth), Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS)
  • 1991, J.G. Mendel Memorial Medal, Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic (AS CR)
  • 1994, Annual award, Minister of Health (for scientific work)
  • 1995, Prof. J. Trapl Medal, Institute for the Mother and Child Care (Podolí)
  • 1997, Annual Award, Minister of Health (for scientific work)
  • 1998, Cited in Marquis Who’s Who in the World
  • 1998, Memorial Medal on 650th anniversary of founding of Charles University
  • 2000, Cited in Outstanding Intellectuals of the 20th Century (Cambridge, UK)
  • 2000, Gold Memorial Medal, Second Faculty of Medicine, CU
  • 2000, Annual Award, Minister of Health (for scientific work)
  • 2000, „Special Recognition,” Minister of Health (“for contributions to Czech medical research“)
  • 2001, Cited in Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering
  • 2001, Award Paul Jansen Foundation (for oncology)
  • 2003, Memorial Medal, on 50th anniversary of the founding of Second Faculty of Medicine, CU
  • 2003, Certificate of Appreciation, WHO

Selected publications:

  • Vonka V.: Causality in medicine: the case of tumours and viruses. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. 355, 1831-41 (2000)
  • Vonka V., Kaňka J., Roth Z.: Herpes simplex type 2 virus and cervical neoplasia. Adv. Cancer Res. 48, 149-191 (1987)
  • Vonka V., Kaňka J., Jelínek J. et al.: Prospective study on relationship between cervical neoplasia and herpes simplex type 2 virus. I. Epidemiological characteristics. Int. J. Cancer 33, 49-60 (1984)
  • Vonka V., Kaňka J., Hirsch I., et al.: Prospective study on relationship between cervical neplasia and herpes simplex type 2 virus. II Herpes simplex type 2 antibody presence in sera taken at enrollment. Int. J. Cancer 33, 61-66 (1984)
  • Břicháček B., Hirsch I., Šíbl O., Vilikusová E., Vonka V. The Presence of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in carcinoma of palatine tonsil. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 72, 809-915, (1984)
  • Závada J., Vonka V. Záhada rakoviny (The Mystery of Cancer). Edice Columbus, Ml. Fronta, Prague 1985
  • Vonka V., Hirsch I.: Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen. Progr. Med. Virol. 28, 145-179 (1982)
  • Hirsch I., Vonka V.: Ribonucleotides linked to genetic material of herpes simplex virus type 1. J. Virol 13, 1162-68 (1974)
  • Kutinová L., Brouček J., Vonka V.: Increased oncogenicity and synthesis of herpes simplex virus antigens in cells of a hamster line exposed to herpes simplex type 2 virus. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 149, 964-970 (1973)
  • Vonka V., Závadová H., Kutinová L., Řezáčová D. Development of antibodies to viral and tumour antigens of papovavirus SV40 in monkeys. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 125, 790-94 (1967)

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Reaction to the case of Tomáš Hudlický: Members of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic support the freedom of expression

„We believe that free exchange of ideas is a key condition for the pursuit of truth and that the honest opinions should be scrutinized, challenged or rebutted but not censored or suppressed,“ say 45 members of the Learned Society in a statement regarding the retracted opinion paper by Prof. Tomáš Hudlický.


The letter by Jan Konvalinka to the President and Vice-Chancellor of the Brock University regarding the retracted article of Prof. Tomáš Hudlický

Opinions could and should be challenged, questioned or refuted but never silenced. In order to be able to think, we have to have the right to inquire, question and even offend or be mistaken,” writes Assoc. Prof. Jan Konvalinka, a biochemist at the IOCB Prague and the Vice-Rector of the Charles University, to Gervan Fearon.


Prof Miroslav Bárta receives the Česká hlava National Government Award

Learned Society member, Prof. Mgr. Miroslav Bárta, Dr. (Charles University Faculty of Arts) received the Česká hlava (Czech Head) National Government Award on 25 November 2019. A renowned Czech Egyptologist and archaeologist, Professor Bárta researches the history of ancient civilisations, the human relationship to the natural environment, and also for many years the evolution of complex societies. He leads the Czech Institute of Egyptology for archaeological and environmental research in Egypt and Sudan. His principal research interest is the period of the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom.