RNDr. Šárka Kaňková, Ph.D.

She has worked in the laboratory focused on evolutionary biology since 2002. She has devoted her studies to the effects of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii on reproductive biology in humans. Her results have enriched the research area with new topics such as are the effects of latent toxoplasmosis on secondary sex ratio or on the prenatal and postnatal child development. She has finished her Master’s degree in Biology/Teaching of Biology and Mathematics at the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in 2005, with the background in mathematics making her an apt statistician with good understanding of the statistical analysis of the research data. She has passed courses in pedagogy and psychology.

Born: 1. 1. 1980 in Prague, Czech Republic, married, 4 children

Department of Philosophy and History of Science, Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 08 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Education: 2011: PhD degree in Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Thesis: Influence of latent toxoplasmosis on sex ratio and pregnancy progression – search for proximate cause; 2007: RNDr. degree in Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University; 2005: Master’s degree in Biology/Teaching of Biology and Mathematics for Secondary School, Faculty of Science Charles University. Thesis: Influence of latent toxoplasmosis on the process of pregnancy. 

Employment (research activities, teaching): 2005 – present: pedagogical and scientific researcher at the Faculty of Science, Charles University (work with laboratory animals, work in laboratory, isolation of DNA, PCR, research activities); 2007 – 2009, 2012 – 2013 and 2015 – 2016: maternity leave, teacher of “Evolution of sex and reproductive strategies” at the Faculty of Science, Charles University,  teacher of “Exercise of practical methodology of science” at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, one of the teachers of “Evolutionary psychology” at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University

Research grants: 7 research grants, mostly as co-investigator, once as principal investigator, once as supervisor; Selected projects: 2018 – 2020: supervisor of project GAUK Influence of latent toxoplasmosis on fertility in human, 2018 – 2020: co-investigator of project GAČR Conservation of Rh Polymorphism in Modern Humans through Selection Favoring Heterozygotes – The Influence of the Genotype on Fertility and Viability, 2018 – 2023: co-investigator junior of project UNCE 204056: Nature and culture – historical, cultural and biological conceptions of human nature, 2016 – 2018 co-investigator of project: The role of raising cats and dogs and of their infections in development of clinical and subclinical forms of depression, OCD, phobias and psychoses, 2012 – 2017 co-investigator junior of project UNCE 204004: Nature and culture – the interaction of cultural and biological evolution in interdisciplinary perspective.

Publications: Book Chapters: 1, Papers in Scientific Journals -WoS: 14, Sum of Times Cited (WoS): 248, h-index (WoS): 9

Flegr, J., Milinski, M., Kaňková, Š., Hůla, M., Hlaváčová , J., Sýkorová, K. (2018): Latent toxoplasmosis and olfactory functions of Rh positive and Rh negative subjects. PLoS One, 13(12): e0209773. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209773

Flegr, J., Šebánková, B., Příplatová, L., Kaňková, Š. (2018): Lower performance of Toxoplasma infected, Rh negative subjects in the weight-holding and hand grip tests. PLoS ONE, 13(7): e0200346. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200346

Kaňková Š., Flegr J., Calda P. (2015) An elevated blood glucose level and increased incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women with latent toxoplasmosis. Folia Parasitol (Praha): 62: 056. doi: 10.14411/fp.2015.056.

Kaňková Š., Flegr J., Calda P. (2015) The influence of latent toxoplasmosis on women’s reproductive function: four cross-sectional studies. Folia Parasitol (Praha). 62: 041. doi: 10.14411/fp.2015.041.

Kaňková, Š., Procházková, L., Flegr. J., Calda, P., Springer, D., Potluková, E. (2014): Effects of latent toxoplasmosis on autoimmine thyroid deseases in pregnancy. PlosOne DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110878.

Flegr, J., Klapilova, K., Kaňková Š. (2014): Toxoplasmosis can be a sexually transmitted infection with serious clinical consequences. Not all routes of infection are created equal. Medical Hypotheses, 83(3):296-289.

Flegr J., Hampl R., Černochová D., Preiss M., Bičíková M., Sieger, Příplatová L., Kaňková Š., Klose J. (2012): The relation of cortisol and sex hormone levels to results of psychological, performance, IQ and memory tests in military men and women. Neuroedocrinology Letters, 33: 224-235.

Kaňková Š., Šulc J., Křivohlavá R., Kuběna A., Flegr J. (2012): Slower postnatal motor development in infants of mothers with latent toxoplasmosis during the first 18 months of life. Early Human Development, 88: 879-874.

Kaňková Š., Kodym P., Flegr J.(2011): Direct evidence of Toxoplasma-induced changes in serum testosterone in mice. Experimental Parasitology, 128: 181-183

Kaňková Š., Šulc J., Flegr J. (2010): Increased pregnancy weight gain in women with latent toxoplasmosis and RhD-positivity protection against this effect. Parasitology 137: 1773-1779

Kaňková Š., Holáň V., Zajícová A., Kodym P., Flegr J. (2010): Modulation of immunity in mice with latent toxoplasmosis – the experimental support for the immunosuppression hypothesis of Toxoplasma-induced changes in reproduction of mice and humans. Parasitology Research  107: 1421-1427

Kaňková Š., Flegr J. (2007): Longer pregnancy and slower fetal development in women with latent “asymptomatic” toxoplasmosis. BMC Infectious Diseases, BMC 7:114

Kaňková Š., Kodym P., Frynta D., Vavřinová R., Kuběna A., Flegr J. (2007): Influence of latent toxoplasmosis on the secondary sex ratio in mice. Parasitology 134: 1709-1717

Kaňková Š., Šulc J., Nouzová K., Fajfrlík K., Frynta D., Flegr J. (2007): Women infected with parasite Toxoplasma have more sons. Naturwissenschaften 94: 122-127

Holub D, Motlová L, Rodriguez M, Dragomirecká E, Preiss M, Čermák J, Ungermannová M, Nechutná R, Kaňková Š (2006): Postnatal latent toxoplasmosis in schizophrenia. Cognitive and Psychopathological correlates. Psychiatrie 10(3): 1-5.

Flegr J., Kaňková Š., Lindová J., Synek P. (2008): Základy evoluční biologie pro gymnázia. Vydala PřF UK jako součást projektu JPD 3 Přírodovědná gramotnost.

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