L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO International Rising Talents 2019 Award
On February 11th, 2019, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO for Women in Science programme announced the International Rising Talents - 15 most promising women scientists, among them was Dr. Urtė Neniškytė, a neuroscientist at Vilnius University’s Life Sciences Centre (VU LSC). Dr. Urtė Neniškytė is also 2017-year winner of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science fellowship.
Dr. Urtė Neniškytė studies how brains develop in early childhood (from 6 months to 6 years old), with reference to anomalies that can lead to serious mental illnesses. She is currently exploring why excessive synapses (connections between neurons) sometimes remain, rather than being removed or “pruned” for optimum efficiency.
L’Oréal-UNESCO Baltic For Women in Science fellowship
In 2019, Milda Alksnė, a doctoral student at VU Life Sciences Center, was awarded the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO Baltic “For Women in Science” fellowship. Her research area is regenerative medicine, namely bone tissue engineering using 3D printing technology. Development of artificial tissues as a part of regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary area of science, linking biomedical, technological sciences and engineering. It is one of the most exciting and rapidly growing areas in biomedical engineering, Scientists around the world face a major challenge in creating artificial bone tissue - the newly constructed tissue does not undergo angiogenesis processes, i.e. does not form a vascular network, which is vital for tissue function. The main goal of the Milda Alksne Grant project is to create composite 3D printing scaffolds that promote not only bone formation but also angiogenesis.
Somerfeld-Ziskind Research Award
Dr. Aurelijus Burokas has been awarded the Somerfeld-Ziskind Award, which is granted annually by the US Society for Biological Psychiatry to recognize outstanding research investigations in biological psychiatry. Dr. A. Burokas studies the role of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in a variety of psychological processes and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Winners of Gold Medal in International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition in 2019
In 2019, a team of students from Vilnius University won the gold medal at prestigious Synthetic Biology competition iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) in Boston, MA, USA, and was nominated among the best teams in four categories: best foundational advance, best presentation, best new composite part and best Wiki page.
The competition took place in Boston, USA, on October 31– November 4. Undergraduate Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team included 14 students of Vilnius University (VU), the majority of them studying at VU Life Sciences Center. This team presented project “Colight” - a multi-level collection of optogenetic tools for modular bacteria control.
iGEM is the largest and most prestigious international Synthetic Biology Competition, with more than 300 teams from universities around the world, including such prestigious universities as MIT, Harvard University, Oxford University, Imperial College, Yale University and others.
Vilnius iGEM team participates in the iGEM competition since 2015. In 2015, 2016 and 2018 Lithuanians won Gold medals. In 2017, Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team won the Grand Prize of iGEM competition.