Vilnius University Grant Rewriting the Code of Life
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for developing the precise genome-editing technology - CRISPR/Cas9 technology that has a revolutionary impact on the life sciences and enabled researchers to change the DNA code of living organisms with extremely high precision and over the course of a few weeks.
Vilnius University marked the Nobel Prize week by granting distinguished Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys, a scientist who was eligible for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and his team a sizeable grant Rewriting the Code of Life for major contribution to world-class scientific discoveries and the promotion of Vilnius University in the world.
Back in 2011, V. Šikšnys and his team were the first in the world to show that the CRIPSR-Cas9 system can be transferred from a bacterium, having such a protection system, to bacteria that do not have such a system, and it can function perfectly in a new environment.
Virginijus Šikšnys’ contribution in the development of CRISPR-Cas9 technology was recognized by such high-profile awards as Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in 2016, Novozymes Prize in 2017 and Kavli price in 2018, the latter sharing with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna.
Virginijus Šikšnys, Rimvydas Petrauskas, Rector of Vilnius University
Rector’s Awards for efforts during first COVID outbreak
The Finis Anni Academici celebration at the end of the academic year became a special opportunity to celebrate the merits of the Life Sciences Center (LSC) community to the university and Lithuania. For the first time, the Rector of the Vilnius University and the Senate expressed special thanks to three faculties, the Life Sciences Center, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. This gratitude is dedicated to the professionalism, personal initiatives and responsibility of the community members, demonstrated at a crucial time for Lithuania and the world, contributing to the successful management of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Personal Rector’s thanks went to four members of the LSC community: Rokas Abraitis, Kristina Daniūnaitė, Eglė Lastauskienė and Aurelija Žvirblienė. The Rector also thanked the volunteers, who contributed to the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic.
Rector’s Award for Science
Three researchers of the Life Sciences Center – Darius Kazlauskas, Edita Kriukienė and Virginijus Šikšnys – received Rector’s Award for Science for their exceptional scientific achievements, contribution to the development of science at the University and in Lithuania, and raising the prestige of university science in the world in 2020.