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Lucie Kafková

3MT Presentation:

Figuring out African Trypanosomes One Protein at a Time

PhD Program:

Microbiology and Immunology


Laurie Read


Born in Prague, Czech Republic, Lucie Kafková has been studying African trypanosomes since the beginning of her undergraduate career. She completed her master's studies at the University of South Bohemia with a degree in experimental biology. She then switched her focus from RNA editing to arginine methylation when she joined Professor Read's group at the University at Buffalo, where she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in microbiology and immunology. As an American Heart pre-doctoral fellow, Lucie has worked on deepening our understanding of trypanosome protein arginine methyltransferase I function. She is planning to stay in academia and hopes to one day run her own laboratory.

What made you interested in your dissertation research topic?

My fascination with trypanosome biology stems mostly from the fact that trypanosomes can somehow always find a way to surprise us. You can take a cellular process that exists in almost identical versions in majority of organisms and the odds are that trypanosomes will be doing something differently. I chose to study my protein of interest in particular because when I saw the preliminary data I had a feeling that there is a big story waiting to be discovered and I really wanted to be the one who found it.

Why did you decide to attend UB for your PhD?

The laboratory I worked in as an undergraduate student in Czech Republic had an ongoing collaboration with Professor Read here at UB. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with Professor Read during that time which lead me to decide to continue working with her during my PhD. Unfortunately, Professor Read did not seem interested in relocating to Czech Republic, so I came to Buffalo.

Name your favorite thing to do in Buffalo. What do you enjoy about that?

That would probably be trying out new restaurants. It never ceases to amaze me how many corners of the world are represented on Buffalo's food scene. Czech food is not exactly known for a creative use of spices which means that I have a lot of new tastes to discover.