The Award of the City of Kraków (Nagroda Miasta Krakowa) is a prestigious and unique distinction. Achievements of the most exceptional artists, scientists and sportsmen active in Kraków are recorded in subsequent editions of the award, which constitute a kind of chronicle over the years. Awards have been awarded periodically since 1933, but their history dates back to the 16th century. The award is given to people whose achievements are known and recognized. Particularly distinguished are achievements that create space for the development of art, activities that strengthen the creative and knowledge sectors, create cultural and scientific capital, as well as initiatives that affect the perception of Kraków in the country and the world.
The awards are presented in three categories: "Culture and Arts", "Science and Technology" and "Sport". This year, President Majchrowski awarded three prizes in the "Science and Technology" category, two of which went to scientists from the Małopolska Centre for Biotechnology, who study viruses and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The individual prize went to Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć, virologist, founder and head of the Virology Laboratory at the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University, and head of the Virogenetics research group. Prof. Krzysztof Pyrć was appointed to the advisory team of the Minister of Science and Higher Education in 2020 for activities related to the prevention, counteraction and eradication of COVID-19, and participates in the work of numerous teams dealing with the pandemic.
Prof. Wojciech Branicki and Prof. Paweł Labaj received the team award. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Poland, they organized an interdisciplinary team for research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which undertook multidirectional efforts aimed at tracking the occurrence of the virus in Kraków, developing diagnostics and tracking its evolution, as well as research on the biology of infection and new treatment methods. Besides the research group leaders, the team consisted of: Aleksandra Milewska, PhD; Anna Czarna, PhD; Anna Kula-Pacurar, PhD; Danuta Piniewska-Róg, PhD; Ewelina Pośpiech, PhD; Katarzyna Owczarek, PhD; Marzena Lenart, PhD; Natalia Mazur-Panasiuk, PhD; Tomasz Gromowski, PhD; Artur Szczepański, MSc; Adrianna Klajmon, MSc; Agnieszka Dąbrowska, MSc; Aleksandra Pisarek, MSc; Aleskandra Synowiec, MSc; Emilia Barreto-Duran, MSc; Dedan Githae, MSc; Joanna Rudnicka, MSc; Kamila Marszałek, MSc; Katarzyna Kopera, MSc; Kevin Lie, MSc; Kinga Herda, MSc; Kinga Lis, MSc; Magdalena Pachota, MSc; Malwina Jędrysik, MSc; Michał Kowalski, MSc; Paweł Botwina, MSc; Rezvan Noroozi, MSc; Yuliya Chykunova, MSc; Witold Wydmański, Eng.
MCB scientists won both the individual and team award for the second year in a row. Last year, the individual prize went to Prof. Jonathan Heddle for his work in the field of synthetic structural biology, while the team prize was awarded to Prof. Sebastian Glatt's group, composed of Prof. Sebastian Glatt - leader, Przemysław Grudnik, PhD; Michał Rawski, PhD; Piotr Wilk, PhD; Klaudia Woś, MSc; and Kinga Wróbel, MSc; for scientific and research efforts in the field of structural biology.
The ceremony of awarding statuettes and diplomas will take place on 7 December in the Variété Theatre in Kraków.
(Photo: Wiesław Majka / Municipality of Kraków)