Chief scientist/Department head at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius UniversityDr Virginijus Siksnys holds the position of Professor of Vilnius University and is Chief scientist/Department head at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University. He also serves as a Chairman of the Institute’s Board. He is a member of Lithuania Academy of Sciences and has been elected to EMBO membership. His work has been recognized with several awards including the Lithuania National Science Prize and Warren Alpert Prize. Dr. Siksnys has made a major and sustained contribution to the understanding of the structure and function of restriction enzymes. His current research on the CRISPR system for antiviral defense has had a major impact on the field. His studies of the Cas9 protein paved the way for development of novel tools for genome editing applications.