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Novozymes Prize won by researchers behind tools for editing the genes of organisms [2017-02-15]

Virginijus Siksnys 1920The 2017 Novozymes Prize is being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany, and Virginijus Siksnys, Professor and Head of the Department of Protein–Nucleic acids Interactions at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University in Lithuania. 

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Smallpox, once thought an ancient disease, may have emerged in more recent times, raising questions about its role in history [2016-12-12]

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New genetic research from an international team including McMaster University, University of Helsinki, Vilnius University and the University of Sydney, suggests that smallpox, a pathogen that caused millions of deaths worldwide, may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination.

The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, raise new questions about the  role smallpox may have played in human history and fuels a longstanding debate over when the virus that causes smallpox, variola, first emerged and later evolved in response to inoculation and vaccination.  

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ESPAnet Baltics is established and invites new members to join! [2016-12-02]

ESPAnet BalticsThe workshop “Baltic States After the crisis? Transformation of Welfare Systems and Social Problems” was held on 24-25 of November 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The aim of the workshop was to discuss welfare system reforms which have been implemented during the recent financial and economic crisis of 2008/2010 and post-crisis period, and major social problems in the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Another important aim of the workshop was to establish a Baltic social policy association, which would unite all researchers working on social policy issues in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and others interested in social policy development in the three Baltic States.              

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Breaking News for Lithuania: VU – Among the Top 500 Universities in the World [2016-09-07]

Breaking News for Lithuania: VU – Among the Top 500 Universities in the WorldFor the first time in the history of Lithuanian Higher Education Vilnius University has been ranked among the top 500 universities in the world.

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VU Opens the 438th Academic Year [2016-09-01]

VU Opens the 438th Academic YearOn 1 September, 2016 Vilnius University opens traditionally the 438th academic year with an official opening ceremony “Renovatio Studiorum”.

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Archaeologists from All Over the World Meet at VU [2016-08-31]

Archaeologists from All Over the World Meet at VUThe Congress of the European Association of Archaeologists is being held at Vilnius University during 31 August - 4 September. It is expected to attract around 1,500 scientists and researchers from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

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VU Student Team Aims to "Programme" Intestinal Bacteria [2016-08-11]

VU Student Team Aims to VU students develop the method to programme intestinal bacteria, which will facilitate the dietary solution for children with congenital disease phenylketonuria (PKU).

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CERN exhibition attracted over 10 thousand visitors [2016-07-25]

CERN exhibition attracted over 10 thousand visitorsCERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) exhibition “Accelerating Science” was recently closed after four months of operation at the National Physical and Technological Sciences Center. It had over 10 thousand of attendees from various Lithuanian and foreign institutions. Residents from more than thirty Lithuanian cities and towns visited the exhibition, organized by VU. They came mainly from the secondary or higher education institutions, non-formal education centers, government and private sector, such as, banks, ministries, municipalities, public institutions, churches and various associations.

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VU Closes the Academic Year [2016-07-01]

VU Closes the Academic YearOn 30 June Vilnius University community gathered traditionally for "Finis Anni Academici” – the official closing ceremony of the academic year 2015/2016 at St John’s church.

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VU Professor Invited to the World's Elite Scholars' Organization [2016-05-30]

Siksnys EdgarasVirginijus Šikšnys, VU professor – the first Lithuanian scientist invited to join the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) as an Associate Member. Outstanding European and world scholars of exceptional life time achievements may be associated to this prestigious organization.

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VU Shares its Science Potential with Leading Flemish Universities [2016-05-10]

VU Shares its Science Potential with Leading Flemish UniversitiesFlemish delegation (Belgium) visited Vilnius University in the first fortnight of May. Prof. Artūras Žukauskas, VU Rector, together with prof. Danny Pieterse, Vice-rector of the Catholic University of Leuven and prof. Johan Meeusen, Vice-rector of the Antwerp University signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) at the Government Office. Documents aim to strengthen international cooperation of the Universities.

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The Moon Mission Team Leader from Germany Meets VU Team of Young Scientists [2016-05-05]

The Moon Mission Team Leader from Germany Meets VU Team of Young ScientistsThis week Robert Böhme, the team leader of AUDI (Germany) mission to the moon, took the opportunity to meet the Lithuanian VU team – the VU startup “NanoAvionics“ upon arrival to Lithuania.

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VU Professor Receives a Prestigious Award [2016-04-25]

VU Professor Receives a Prestigious AwardOn 25 April Valentina Dagienė, VU professor of Mathematics and Informatics receives the prestigious Ada Lovelace Computing Excellence Award, bestowed by an international Awards Committee of the European Commission´s DG CONNECT, DG Growth, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), in recognition of the significant contribution of women to computing and the Digital Economy.

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Swiss Ambassador Nicolas Brühl Visited Vilnius University [2016-04-20]

Swiss ambassador Nicolas Brühl (on the left) with professor Juras Banys (on the right) at Vilnius University. © Agnė SrebaliūtėAt the beginning of April, Swiss ambassador Nicolas Brühl visited Vilnius University during his stay at the Baltic States and met with the Lithuanian team of the project ‘Swiss-Lithuanian Ferroelectrics’ (SLIFE). Within the framework of this project, Swiss and Lithuanian scientists study specific materials with a particular focus on a further extension of their functionality in medical diagnostics, microelectronics and communications, as well as energy harvesting. The project is implemented by Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project is part of the research and development programme, supported by Switzerland.

The First University Endowment Set up in Lithuania [2016-04-18]

The First University Endowment Ever Set up in LithuaniaA new page in the history of cooperation between the VU and business community has been opened – Vilnius University Fund (Endowment) (hereinafter the VUF) has been established by a group of Lithuanian business leaders on the 6th of April. 

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VU Professor Nominated for the Prestigious Award [2016-04-11]

VU Professor Nominated for the Prestigious AwardVU professor Valentina Dagienė, Head of the Department in the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at Vilnius University, has been nominated for the prestigious Ada Lovelace Computing Excellence Award, bestowed in a number of categories by an international Awards Committee of the European Commission´s DG CONNECT, DG Growth, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), in recognition of the significant contribution of women to computing and the Digital Economy.

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Further Awards in the CRISP-Cas Field [2016-03-30]

Further Awards in the CRISP-Cas FieldThe leading CRISP-Cas scientists received new global awards. Philippe Horvath, based at DuPont’s site in Dangé-Saint-Romain, France, has been honoured together with his partners with the prestigious Canada Gairdner International Award, Canada’s leading science prize, for their ground-breaking work on CRISPR-Cas.

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The Third Coin from the Series of "Lithuanian Science" Dedicated to Physics [2016-03-22]

The Third Coin from the Series of The third 5 euro coin from the series of "Lithuanian science" is dedicated to physics and will be introduced into circulation by the Bank of Lithuania on the 29th of March.

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The Dream of Scientists Come True: New Research Centres Opened [2016-03-18]

The Dream of Scientists Come True: New Research Centres Opened„Welcome to the future of Lithuania and Europe. Today we open the new era in the history of national science! “ – those were the welcome words of professor Artūras Žukauskas, Rector of the Vilnius University, to the guests of the Grand Opening Ceremony of the two new research facilities – Joint Centre for Life Sciences and National Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences, also the visitors of the CERN exhibition.

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Alpert Prize Recognizes CRISPR Pioneers [2016-03-16]

Alpert Prize Recognizes CRISPR PioneersFive scientists, VU researcher Virginijus Šikšnys among them, share award for elucidating bacterial defense system and recognizing its utility for gene editing.

On 9 March, 2016 in Boston, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize will be awarded to five scientists for their remarkable contributions to the understanding of the CRISPR bacterial defense system and the revolutionary discovery that it can be adapted for genome editing.

The recipients of the award are: Rodolphe Barrangou from North Carolina State University, Philippe Horvath from DuPont in France, Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and Virginijus Šikšnys from Vilnius University in Lithuania.

“The game-changing insights achieved by these five scientists led to a technique that has been swiftly embraced across the globe, altering the way we study and understand eukaryotic genetics and offering enormous potential for developing new gene- and cell-based therapies, including treatment strategies for previously intractable genetic diseases,” said Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chair of the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize Scientific Advisory Committee.

“It is great a privilege to be among such outstanding current and former awardees of the Warren Alpert Foundation. This prize makes my work even more enjoyable and challenging. I am really glad that my research, aimed in the beginning on a very basic question of how bacteria protect themselves against phages, paved the way for the development of novel tools for genome-editing applications”, – Virginijus Šikšnys said.

The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize recognizes scientists whose research has led to the prevention, cure or treatment of human diseases or disorders and constitutes a seminal scientific finding that holds great promise for ultimately changing our understanding of, or ability to treat, disease.

Each year the Warren Alpert Foundation receives 30 to 50 nominations for the Alpert Prize from scientific leaders worldwide. Prize recipients are selected by the foundation’s scientific advisory board, composed of distinguished biomedical scientists and chaired by the dean of Harvard Medical School.

This year’s recipients will share an unrestricted award of $500,000 and will be honored at a symposium at Harvard Medical School on Oct. 6.

The late Warren Alpert, a philanthropist dedicated to advancing biomedical research, established the prize in 1987. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million to 54 individuals. Eight honorees have also received a Nobel Prize

Previous honorees were from China, US, Austria, Canada, Germany, France.

Grand Opening Ceremony of the Two Research Centres and the CERN Exhibition Approaching [2016-03-10]

Grand Opening Ceremony of the Two Research Centres and the CERN Exhibition ApproachingOn 15 March 2016 at 11.00 a.m. VU together with the partners and along with honourable guests will open the new national research facilities – Joint Centre for Life Sciences and National Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences. Simultaneously, CERN Exhibition “Accelerating Science” will be held at Saulėtekio av. 3, 7.

The three significant events are going to attract the major attention not only from the Top Government of Lithuania, but also from the International and European institutions.

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, Jose Angel Gurria, General Secretary of OECD will start the grand opening with their welcoming speeches.

Delegations of the European Commission, CERN, MPs, and Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania, Diplomatic Corps, City Mayors and many other respectable guests will join for this significant science celebration.

The guests of the Opening Ceremony will participate at the official ceremony; will be invited to visit the research centers and to get the insight of the origin of the Universe at the CERN exhibition.