The winner of the Rudolf Lukeš Prize for 2021 is

Lukáš Trantírek, PhD

of the Central European Institute of Technology of Masaryk University (CEITEC MU) in Brno for his contribution to the development of in-cell NMR (intracellular nuclear magnetic resonance) technology – currently the only method that allows scientists to study the structure of biomolecules and their interactions directly inside living cells.


Lukáš Trantírek, PhD

is the head of the “Non-Coding Genome” research group at the CEITEC MU in Brno

Lukáš Trantírek completed his PhD in organic chemistry at Masaryk University in Brno and subsequently gained international experience through postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, and Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. Between 2009 and 2015, he worked as a visiting associate professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.


published articles in impact-factor journals, including Cell, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemistry, PNAS, and Nucleic Acids Research


more than 30 articles published between 2016 and 2021


more than 1850 citations in the Web of Science



The Rudolf Lukeš Prize is awarded for an outstanding collection of original work published in major international journals in the previous 5 years, and it comes with a personal award of 100,000 CZK from the Experientia Foundation. The 2021 Prize was presented to Lukáš Trantírek on 4 November.

Why did the prestigious Rudolf Lukeš Prize for 2021 go to Lukáš Trantírek of the CEITEC MU in Brno?

The international committee of experts selected Lukáš Trantírek as this year’s winner based on his achievements in organic and biomolecular stereochemistry, in particular for the development of new NMR spectroscopy methods enabling researchers to study the structure of DNA and its interactions in the intracellular space of living cells.

How does this year’s winner of the Rudolf Lukeš Prize feel about the achievement?

“For me personally, the Rudolf Lukeš Prize is a recognition of the contribution that our research has made to the development of organic chemistry. It’s a huge encouragement and a great impetus for further work,” comments Lukáš Trantírek, head of the Non-Coding Genome group at the CEITEC MU in Brno.

Where does Lukáš Trantírek see the benefits of his work for organic chemistry?

“In-cell NMR data allow us to assess the specificity of a drug candidate for a given molecular target or to determine the extent to which the drug candidate acts on the target molecule. This information is extremely important for directing and streamlining the drug development process,” Trantírek explains. “However, I see the main benefit of the technology that we are developing in the fact that it enables us to study the laws governing the reactivity of organic molecules in the intracellular space.”