The Young Scientist and Doctoral Student Competition is organized every year by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. In 2019, Dr. Giedrė Valiulienė won the Young Scientist Award, and Jevgenija Jakubovska was granted Doctoral Students’ Award.
Dr. Giedrė Valiulienė Dr. Jevgenija Jakubovska
Winners of Gold and Bronze Medals in International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition in 2018
In 2018, two teams of students from Vilnius University – one team comprised of undergraduate and post-graduate students - participated in the Synthetic Biology competition iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) in Boston, MA, USA, and won gold and bronze medals.
The projects of both teams were ranked among the top five breakthrough projects in their age categories.
The overgraduate Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team (leader - molecular biology student Laurynas Karpus) won a gold medal. This team has developed a completely new approach based on microfluidic technologies and DNA modifications, which allow characterization of enormous amount of biological components and their combinations quite efficiently. In order to protect the invention before the competition, students submitted a patent application.
The undergraduate team (leader - biochemistry student Justas Ritmejeris) developed the SynDrop - synthetic droplets for membrane protein research system and won a bronze medal, as well as was nominated for the Best Foundational Advance Project and Best Model. The SynDrop was designed using innovative microfluidic technologies and cell-free protein expression systems. This allowed utilizing liposomes as nanofactories for the synthesis and various modifications of membrane proteins. The undergraduate team submitted a patent application for this invention as well.
iGEM is the largest and most prestigious international Synthetic Biology competition, held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, which attracts the best and brightest students from universities around the world, including such prestigious universities, as MIT, Harvard University, Oxford University, Imperial College, Yale University and others.
The Grand Prize in the iGEM Competition
The Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team won the Grand Prize and received a gold medal as well as three special awards – Best New Basic Part, Best New Composite Part and Best Part Collection – in the largest and most prestigious Synthetic Biology competition iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine), where more than 300 students’ teams from leading world universities worked all year long to solve real-world challenges by building genetically engineered biological systems with standard, interchangeable parts.
In 2017, our team competed with their project SynORI – a framework designed to make working with single and multi-plasmid systems precise, easy and more functional. This system will help with everyday lab work, and it can also be used for biological computing and the assembly of large protein complexes or metabolic engineering.