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Hampl was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1962. He received his PhD from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1990. He did postgraduate work at the University of Minnesota Medical School and, since 2002, has been a professor of physiology at Charles University in Prague. His research has focused on the pulmonary circulation and its use of nitric oxide as a signaling agent. His research publications have been cited more than 2500 times, his H-index is 22.
In February 2006, Hampl became the 507th rector of Charles University. After serving two four-years terms stipulated by law, he stepped down on Jan. 31, 2014, leaving the university in the hands of his elected successor Tomáš Zima.
In 2006-2011 Hampl served in the association of rectors of public, state and private higher education institutions in the Czech Republic, the Czech Rectors Conference, as its Vice-President for public relations and foreign affairs, and Vice-President for creative activities, respectively; in 2011-2014 he served as its President.
In 2010-2011 he served as the Chair of the Bioethical Committee of the Czech Republic.
In 2011-2015 he was a Board member of the European University Association, where he also serves in the Research policy working group (since 2009) and the Steering Committee of Council for Doctoral Education (since 2013).
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He became publicly known mostly for successfully opposing the proposals of Minister of Health Tomáš Julínek to privatize public university hospitals in 2008, the proposals for considerably reduce academic decision-making in public universities by Minister of Education Josef Dobeš in 2012, and the successful conflict with the president of the country Miloš Zeman about the president's legal duty to nominate new university professors by following the rigorous procedures at individual school.
During his rectorship three large infrastructural project were prepared and mostly completed utilizing the European structural funds - the biomedical centers in Plzeň and Hradec Králové and a biotechnology center common with six institutions of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic - BIOCEV in Vestec near Prague. Charles University also acquired a large building complex "Crystal" near the location of Faculty of sports, making expansion in the direction of "mini campuses" possible. The same is true for the acquisition of a double object in Opeatalova street in the centre of Prague, where still significant adjustments have to be done.
In September 2014 he was elected Senator in the district of central Prague (he run as independent with a joint support from Christian democrats and Green party). He serves as the chair of the Senate's Committee on European Union Affairs.