Researcher wins one of the Czech Republic’s highest scientific awards

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Postdoctoral associate Daniel Bím (Alexandrova group) is the recipient of the prestigious Česká Hlava – Doctorandus for Natural Sciences’ Award.

The Česká Hlava (“Czech Brains”) Award is announced in cooperation with the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, and is the most prestigious award for science and research that scientists can achieve in the country. In the ‘Doctorandus’ category, the best Ph.D. students are awarded.

Bim Award

(Left) Dr. Daniel Bím (right) at the official awarding ceremony, receiving the award from Robert Plaga, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. (Right) Bím at the press conference for the Česká Hlava Award.

Bím received the prize for his research in the selective activation of C‒H bonds in organic compounds. Using the methods of theoretical (quantum) chemistry, he explains how the relationships between physico-chemical properties of metalloenzymatic active sites affect their reactivity. Based on theoretical calculations, Bím demonstrates, among other things, why some enzymes can cleave preferentially stronger C‒H bonds at the expense of the weaker ones in the same molecule. His research can be used in a wide variety of applications, especially in the chemical (pharmaceutical) industry, in the design of new catalysts for hydrogen-atom-transfer reactions.

Currently a postdoctoral associate in the Anastassia Alexandrova group, Bím’s research at UCLA is focused on the design of new non-natural (artificial) metalloenzymes with desired properties for the intended applications. Bím received his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Charles University in Prague in 2019 and his masters in organic chemistry from University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague in 2015.

To learn more about the Alexandrova group’s research, visit their website.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Daniel Bím.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,