Tomáš Bříza passed away, aged 44
News — 18.02.2021

Tomáš Bříza passed away, aged 44

On Friday, February 12, at the age of 44, Tomáš Bříza, PhD, an esteemed and popular colleague, friend and man of many creative ideas, in whom decency and helpfulness have always been a natural quality, died suddenly. Tomas maintained his passion for his science - chemistry.

Tomáš Bříza, a native of Liberec, studied Organic Chemistry at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague from 1995 to 2000 under the guidance of Professor Jaroslav Kvíčala. He finished his studies by defending his dissertation "Synthesis of Polyfluorinated Cyclopentadienes". In a subsequent doctoral study from 2001 to 2005, also at the Faculty of Chemical Technology of the University of Chemistry and Technology, he continued his studies in fluorine chemistry and defended his Ph.D., thesis, "Study of Fluorophilic Ligands for Homogenous Catalysis". Tomáš began his career as a researcher at the Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague in the laboratory of the late Professor Vladimír Král. Subsequently, in 2006, he joined the group of Professor Pavel Martásek as a researcher at the 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and then joined the scientific group within the Center of Excellence BIOCEV.

From 2004 to 2009, he worked for almost one-and-a-half years with the outstanding chemist, Professor Franz P. Schmidtchen at the Institute of Chemistry of the Technical University of Munich, with whom he continued to collaborate. In 2008, Tomáš received the prestigious Alfred Báder Prize, which is awarded by the Czech Chemical Society as an award and recognition for outstanding research in organic and bioorganic chemistry. He received this award for his longterm work in the field of fluorinated compounds and new types of cyanine dyes. He was the author or co-author of more than 40 publications, the creator or co-creator of 18 patents and one utility model. Since 1999, he has been a member of the Czech Chemical Society. He was the coordinator of the OpVk PropMedChem project ("Linking research and education in the field of medicinal chemistry") and the investigator of a number of grants.

However, Tomáš was not only a great scientist, he was also an excellent teacher and colleague who was able to share many valuable experiences and advice. During his work in the laboratory, he was a kind counselor, mentor and great companion for his colleagues and students. He was a consultant for several diploma theses of students of the Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. In recent years, he has also found time to teach chemistry at the Primary School in Dolní Břežany. His lessons combined theory and very inspiring and illustrative experiments. His hobbies included working with glass. He and his friends were the designers and manufacturers of original storm glasses - an old tool used in the 18th century to forecast the weather. He liked manual work and had a well-equipped workshop at home. In addition, he also liked to create in the kitchen, where he enjoyed cooking non-traditional dishes.

Tomáš Bříza was not only a model of a great chemist, but also a friend and colleague we will never forget. Upon the death of Tomáš Bříza, Ph.D., the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and the entire scientific and chemical community have lost a significant personality and an exceptional person.

He will be sorely missed!

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