The largest Lithuanian education and scientific institution – Vilnius University (VU) strives to maintain the highest standards of excellence in scientific endeavour, research, education, technology development and collaboration activities both with research institutions and business.
In order to mobilize and strengthen more the VU research potential in biotechnology and life science research in early 2016 VU opened the Joint Centre of Life Sciences (JCLS) (24 000 m² total area, 200 researchers (PhDs), more than 150 PhD students).
These modern premises of JCLS expand the landscape of multi-disciplinary collaboration, promote networking and help to develop more links between universities and businesses worldwide.
To enhance the interrelation between science and business, most of the JCLS laboratories are working as an open access laboratories, i.e. modern laboratory equipment and top-level scientific research services are accessible for other research institutions and businesses.
Additionally, on September 16th of 2016 VU will open a Bio-incubator, which will further encourage establishment and development of new companies in the area of life sciences.
The Faculty of Medicine (MF) was established in 1781, and first thesis was defended in 1785. Today, the MF is known for its research activities in many countries around the world. After 1990, the MF has been substantially reformed, with the emergence of new scientific priorities and promotion of scientific field relevant to the world today.
The total number of researchers working at the MF is over 400, of them 67 are habilitated doctors or those who have passed the habilitation procedure, 290 science doctors, and more than 120 PhD students.
The JCLS research focus: gene editing technologies, nucleic acid and protein technologies, bioinformatics, molecular diagnostics, drug design, droplet microfluidics technology, next generation epigenomic, signaling pathways and epigenetic regulation in cancer and stem cells; biocatalyzers; study of the structure and function of self-assembled lipid systems and membrane proteins.
The MF research focus: human and medical genetics, genomics, organ transplantation, research on atherosclerosis, the quality of life and environment, as well as on mental health, bioethics and healthy policy sciences, searching for new diagnostic, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation techniques, tissue-based biomarker research.
VU researchers are among the top five research teams in the world that have contributed most to the breakthrough in biology - development of CRISPR Cas9 technologies by Prof. Virginijus Siksnys.
DuPont Pioneer obtained an exclusive license from VU for the CRISPR Cas9 technology and continues close research collaboration with VU scientists to improve the technology further. DuPont Pioneer recently unveiled waxy corn hybrids as its first commercial agricultural product developed through the application of CRISPR-Cas enabled advanced breeding technology on the basis of the strategic agreement for research collaborations and intellectual property licenses with VU.
General facts about Vilnius University:
- 12 faculties and 7 institutes
- Total number of students – 17134* (3042 students in Biomedical sciences)
- International full degree students – 432*
- More than 100 projects with business since 2011 in such programs as Eureka, FP6, FP7, Horizon 2020, High-tech development program and Industrial biotechnology program.
- 12 start-up companies since 2012
- During 2007-2014 Vilnius University has received 23 Lithuanian, 4 European, 3 USA patents and one Japanese patent.
- In 2016 VU the first from Lithuania became a member of the Coimbra network, which demonstrates a significant recognition of the VU authority internationally.