Biography of Dr. Anna Kocková-Kratochvílová


RNDr. A. Kocková-Kratochvílová, DrSc

Biography of Dr. Anna Kocková-Kratochvílová (1915-1992)

Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová was born in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in March 2, 1915. Their family moved to Bratislava and she attended secondary school there. She graduated in plant physiology from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Charles University, Prague, in 1938. Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová defended her PhD thesis “The significance of fermentation types” in 1962. She received her Dr.Sc. degree in 1968.

Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová began with microbiology at the Laboratory of Vitamin and Hormone Chemistry in Prague in 1942. She developed ways of identifying pathogenic yeasts and built up the collections of bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Thereafter, she set up the microbiological laboratories in the Braník brewery and the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting in Prague. From 1963, when the Collection became a part of the Institute of Chemistry, Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová organized the laboratory of the Czechoslovak Collection of Yeasts.

Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová’s research work was mainly dedicated to the morphotypization and phenotypization of both industrially and medically important yeasts, and to the numerical taxonomy, biochemical properties, and ecology of yeasts, which were documented in more than 300 research articles, 6 books, and several book chapters. She also discovered some new species belonging to the genera Candida, Cryptococcus, and Sporobolomyces.

Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílova’s contribution to yeast research was recognised by the Japanese researchers when the species Rhodosporidium kratochvilovae and the genus Kockovaella were named after her.

Smolenice Castle

Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová also made contact from both Czechoslovakian and abroad researchers and she organized the first International Meeting on Yeasts, in Bratislava, in 1966, where 140 participants from 27 countries took part. At this meeting, the International Commission on Yeast (ICY) was estabilished and Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová became its first chairperson. From this year, she organized the Annual Conferences on Yeasts and the International Symposia on Yeasts in Smolenice Castle on a regular basis. The Annual conferences still take place there to this day.

Although Dr. Kocková-Kratochvílová retired in 1986, she continued in the work. The world of yeasts was her destiny, passion, and love.