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Dr. Mateja Manček Keber and dr. Duško Lainšček awarded Best Mentor 2023

Dr Mateja Manček Keber and Dr Duško Lainšček received the award for Best Mentor of the National Institute of Chemistry 2023.

Dr Manček Keber is a researcher in the field of molecular immunology and the study of molecular mechanisms of innate immune signalling. Her candidature is inspired by her infectious optimism and genuine curiosity, her realistic expectations and honesty, her listening and approachability, and her willingness to help with ideas and advice, which always gives students new motivation to continue their work. Dr Mateja is an example of an excellent work ethic and a successful scientist who gives just the right amount of freedom to feel independent, and at the same time the guidance not to feel lost during challenging times. It is the perfect balance between research freedom and constructive leadership.

Dr Duško Lainšček works in the field of gene and cell therapy with CRISPR-Cas methods. As a mentor, he offers relaxed communication, support and encouragement for independent research, praise for good work, as well as constructive criticism. His approach of giving guidance and freedom builds students' confidence in their own abilities and knowledge, which helps them to feel more confident in their work. As a mentor, he is understanding and inspiring, and they can always count on him to stand up for them and selflessly help them on their way to their goals. His ability to identify potential in young people and the opportunities he has offered them enrich their academic and personal development, for which they are immensely grateful.

The National Institute of Chemistry awards the Best Mentor of the National Institute of Chemistry in order to promote a culture of good mentoring, which is of paramount importance for the development of top researchers. Candidate mentors are nominated by PhD students who are doing their training and research at the Institute. A total of 10 mentors were nominated in this year's call.

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