Virginijus 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.
On May 23, V. Šikšnys, the professor of VU Biotechnology Institute was elected as EMBO Associate together with other 7 world teams from Harvard Medical School, Peking University, the Genome Institute of Singapore, and other top-level education institutions.
Professor V. Šikšnys explores the CRISPR system, which allows a precise cut of a desired DNA sequence of various organisms and thus correct the errors caused by wrong genes. His discovery opens the way for a revolution in medicine and agriculture. This year professor V. Šikšnys together with other four world scientists was awarded with the prestigious Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, established by the Harvard University.
VU Rector Artūras Žukauskas admits that this high international rating of the Lithuanian professor is of great significance to the whole country, it demonstrates the global recognition of the VU scholars. According to VU Rector life sciences research is precisely the area where the university is highly successful in applying inventions in industry and business. The University contributes significantly to the development of high-value-added products and facilitates Lithuanian economy based on intellectual resources.
8 scholars from China, Japan, Singapore, the United States and Lithuania are elected as EMBO Associates. They carry on their researches in leading education institutions, such as Harvard Medical School, Genome Institute of Singapore, Harvard and Peking universities. As of 1964, 84 members of the organization were awarded with the Nobel Prize. It is highly expected that the above mentioned CRISPR technology may be awarded a Nobel Prize this year.