A Ukrainian scientist comes to the Biology Centre, specializing in tick-borne diseases
Parasitologist Viktoriya Levytska comes from war-torn Ukraine to the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Her specialization - tick-borne diseases - corresponds perfectly to the research topics of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Ticks at the Institute of Parasitology, where she got a job. After a nearly three-day drive, the scientist arrived in České Budějovice with her son on Saturday, March 5. Parasitologists from the Biology Centre offered first support and temporary accommodation. At the same time, they helped her get a special grant for Ukrainian scientists from the Neuron Science Endowment Fund of CZK 200,000 for the first costs associated with accommodation and the creation of facilities.
Viktoriya Levytska is from Kamianets-Podilskyi in southwestern Ukraine, where she worked at the Podillia State University (ПОДІЛЬСЬКИЙ ДЕРЖАВНИЙ УНІВЕРСИТЕТ) in the Department of Infectious and Invasive Diseases. As a research interest, she focused mainly on tick-borne diseases, PCR and other methods of molecular parasitology. „I was surprised when I found this proposal because it was about babesia, and it is my field of scientific interest. I worked also at a private veterinary clinic in laboratory diagnostics and I worked everyday with babesia. When I got this proposal, it perfectly fitted me," says the scientist.
Although the new job at the Institute of Parasitology represents a convenient step in Levytska's professional career, leaving Ukraine was not easy. "My husband, my parents, our two cats, stayed in Ukraine, it was a very difficult decision. Our city was quite safe because it is in the southwestern part of Ukraine, but last three days there were alarms several times a day and we had to hide in a bomb shelter. Then we decided to leave Ukraine. I left with my son, the journey by car took two and a half exhausting days and we went through five countries," adds Viktoriya Levytska.
In the photo from right: Julius Lukeš, Marie Jalovecká and Dan Sojka from the Institute of Parasitology, and Viktoriya Levytska with her son Nikolas.