On 3 December (Friday) at 12.30 PM, the construction of a modern Research Center of Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine will officially begin with the symbolic capsule burial ceremony in Vilnius Santara Valley, next to the already operating Vilnius University (VU) Hospital Santaros Klinikos.
The event will be attended by the Minister of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Lithuania Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Vice Minister of Health Aurimas Pečkauskas, representatives of the Minister of Economics and Innovation, Rector of VU Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Prof. Algirdas Utkus, Director of UAB Eika statyba Almantas Čebanauskas.
VU Rector Prof. R. Petrauskas is convinced that this project not only opens up new opportunities but is also important in the face of a protracted coronavirus pandemic as it shows that specialized research and medical centers are of great importance: “This research center is a very important infrastructure project, which creates preconditions for a breakthrough in health sciences and offers completely new opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation. The construction is launched during the pandemic crisis when the need for new knowledge and modern technology is more evident than ever.”
According to the Dean of the VU Faculty of Medicine Prof. A. Utkus, the new research center will be used not only for basic and clinical research in medical science – the change will also be important for many researchers, whose infrastructural working conditions will significantly improve and who will have the opportunity to work with the latest equipment.
“We will finally have a research center that will purposefully investigate problems related to human health, which is important both at the national and international levels. The changes will significantly strengthen the scientific base of the Faculty of Medicine. We hope for the growth of high-quality scientific products and the attraction of foreign talent, which will undoubtedly benefit not only VU but also the whole of Lithuania. In addition, students of various cycles of studies will have the opportunity to carry out their research work at the Research Centre – this will also be the place for academic activities,” Prof. A. Utkus said.
The Research Center of about 19,000 sq. m will house the complex of specialized research laboratories of the Centre for Genetic Research, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Dermatovenereology, Breast Diseases, Immunology and Allergology, Dentistry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Cardiovascular diseases, other clinics.
Some of the medical study programmes will also be relocated to the Research Center. The Center will have a Simulation Center to develop practical skills in an environment as close as possible to real working conditions, conference halls, auditoriums, consultation, meeting and seminar rooms, offices for scientists and doctoral students, and practical training rooms.
The total value of the Research Center project, covering the construction of the building and state-of-the-art scientific equipment, is about €47.1 million, of which the major part, i.e., €33.1 million, originate from the European Regional Development Fund.
The Research Center of Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The construction works are performed by UAB Eikos statyba.