A Lithuanian-native Prof V. Šikšnys is one of the most important pioneers in CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which enables geneticists and medical researchers to alter, remove, and add sections of the DNA sequence, in turn editing parts of the genome.
The discoveries in this field were awarded the Nobel Prize this year, and the professor contributed greatly to this global achievement by being the first to show that the CRISPR-Cas9 system could be transferred from one bacterium to another.
Professor received the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for his remarkable input in CRISPR bacterial defence system discoveries in 2016. The scientist was also awarded the Novozymes Prize in biotechnology in 2017, and the Kavli Prize in nanoscience together with this year’s Nobel Prize winners in 2018.
However, awards such as the Nobel prize can sometimes single out certain contributions to a discovery by making them seem more important than others. We shouldn’t assume that the famous scientific discoveries are only made by the people who receive the awards for them. Instead, every discovery is a result of numerous research groups working together to achieve a common goal of benefiting society.
Lithuania is very proud of Šikšnys contribution in co-creating global solutions which today give hope for millions to live a better life. In the hearts of Lithuanians the Professor is the Nobel Prize Winner and one of the most beloved Lithuanian co-creators!
In honour to Šikšnys Vilnius is funding a scholarship in the name of the scientist, and has commissioned a sculpture for the achievements made in the life sciences field. For more information visit: https://www.govilnius.lt/do-business-and-invest/revolutionary-life-science-innovations-are-born-in-vilnius.
Find out more about life science innnovations born in Lithuania: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEjeqmRTK5c&feature=emb_title.
Photo: © E. Kurauskas; ©Go Vilnius