World Known Scientists and Two Nobel Laureates at VU Students’ Conference “The COINS”

The Coins 2019. E

The 15th annual International conference of life sciences "The COINS 2020" will be held in Vilnius University on 25-27 February 2020.

The COINS conference, which is mainly run by the students of Vilnius University, has become the largest student-organized life science conference in Europe. The conference not only attracts excellent scientists from all over the world but also Nobel laureates. This year, two of them are attending – French chemist Jean Marie Lehn, awarded with Nobel prize in the field of chemistry for the synthesis of cryptands (1987), and an Israeli researcher Aaron Ciechanover, who received a Nobel prize for a description of the method by which cells can break down and recycle proteins using ubiquitin (2004).

A. Ciechanover will focus on the revolution of personalized medicine and how it can assist in treating lethal diseases. Mr. Lehn's lecture will be held in live video format. He will talk about the journey from a molecule to adaptive chemistry. In addition, 12 foreign scientists are coming to present their most famous discoveries in the field of life sciences at the anniversary event.

The conference will begin with a panel discussion about networking in science. Matthias Henze, Urtė Neniškytė and Rapolas Žilionis will discuss the importance of cooperation in science. A journalist Giedrė Petkevičė will moderate the discussion.

This year's conference offers a variety of topics; most lectures will be held in the field of molecular biology. Participants will be introduced to the world of RNA, cell signalling and novel insulin technologies. In the second and third days of the conference, leading topics will be genetics, neurobiology and a session called ‘Accessing the complexity of living systems’. Attendees will be able to find out about diversities of human genomes, animal navigation skills and the effect of psychotropic substances found in the mushrooms. Cancer and neurodegenerative disease issues will also be discussed.  

On the second day of the event, innovator of optogenetics – Peter Hegemann will present a revolutionary technique that uses light to control cells in living tissue, typically in the brain. For this pioneering work in the field of optogenetics, he and his colleagues were awarded with the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in 2019.

"The COINS conference is an expanding space that becomes more and more accessible to all. It is an event where everyone – young organizers, the most famous scholars, even newcomers and people with only a passing interest in science – have the opportunity to contribute to an extraordinary fostering of scientific culture," conference coordinator Elizabet Beržanskytė said.

It is important to mention that this year's conference will be exceptional for not only the prestigious prizes’ laureates and other excellent life sciences experts – a special public awareness program will be offered for everyone, who only have a small interest in the world of science.

"The COINS 2020" will take place on 25-27 February at the Vilnius University’s Life Sciences Centre (Saulėtekio av. 7).

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