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INSTITUTE OF PHYSIOLOGY CAS

Cutting-edge science for health

Jan KOPECKÝ, M.D., D.Sc.


Jan Kopecký graduated with a MD degree at the Faculty of Pediatrics (in 1975) and earned his PhD degree in biochemistry (in 1978) at the Charles University in Prague. Since 1978, he has been a scientist at the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague. In 2001, he became the Research Professor (DSc) at the Academy. He served (1992-2016) as the Head of the Department of Adipose Tissue Biology at the Institute of Physiology. In July 2015, he was appointed as the Institute’s Director. At this position so far, he namely 1) helped to improve communication among the Institute’s scientists and 2) introduced a transparent and motivating system for financing scientific departments from the Institute’s budget.

Early studies of Kopecký were focused on the mechanisms of mitochondrial energy conversion and brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. His recent research address mechanisms enabling the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, the lipids of marine origin, on obesity and associated disorders, in both mouse models of diseases and in human patients.

Kopecký has worked for extended scientifically productive periods at several outstanding institutes abroad, these include, the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Ottawa in Canada, Wenner-Gren Institute of the University of Stockholm in Sweden, Department of Biochemistry of the University of Bari in Italy, Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ, in USA, and Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, ME, USA.

Kopecký was an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA (1995-2000), served as a co-president of the 13th European Congress on Obesity (2004), and participated in several prestigious projects funded by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (USA), the Wellcome Trust  (UK) and EU (FP6: EXGENESIS and  EARNEST and FP7: BIOCLAIMS and DIABAT). In 2013, he has received a special prize awarded by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports for a set of papers on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids. He has published over 110 research articles.

Last updated: March 10, 2017