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Seven researchers from the Baltic countries were announced the winners of the L’Oréal Baltic Programme ‘For Women in Science’ 2019. This year, the honour of the winners and scholarships of €6000 went to two researchers from Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre, Rima Budvytytė and Dominyka Dapkutė.
The programme ‘For Women in Science’ encourages young talented scientists to continue their research and honours their contribution to social progress. L’Oréal Baltic implements this programme in collaboration with the academies of sciences and the national commissions for UNESCO of the Baltic countries
This year, the winners of the competition are Rima Budvytytė and Dominyka Dapkutė from Lithuania, Iveta Pugajeva, Aiga Ivdre and Ivita Bite from Latvia, and Maarja Grossberg and Lisandra Meneses from Estonia. According to the evaluation panel, the researchers honoured with the ‘For Women in Science’ awards have made a weighty contribution to scientific progress in various fields, from green economy to cancer treatment.
Dr Rima Budvytytė, a senior researcher in the Department of Bioelectrochemistry and Biospectroscopy, Institute of Biochemistry, Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre, was recognized for her research into possible factors related to molecular biochemical and biophysical events causing or contributing to such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Her project is focused on the investigation of the interaction between disordered proteins and phospholipid membranes that may facilitate the understanding of the causes of neurodegeneration.
‘I strongly believe in the power of science, and knowing that my research can improve the quality of life and prolong the life expectancy of people with neurodegenerative diseases encourages me to move forward and continue my work,’ says Dr Rima Budvytytė.
Dominyka Dapkutė, a doctoral student in biophysics at Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre and a junior researcher at the Laboratory of Biomedical Physics at the National Cancer Institute, was recognized for her research into the ways of introducing nanotechnology-based teranostatic measures (combining diagnostics and therapy) into the cancerous tissue by using unique cells of the human body – mesenchymal stem cells. These interdisciplinary studies address the current gaps in cancer diagnostics and treatment and can make a significant contribution to the ongoing fight against cancer, as well as provide innovative insights at the fundamental level.
‘Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the human body as an impeccable mechanism working in unity, from molecules to organ systems. I am inspired to know how well everything combines and functions’, says Dominyka Dapkutė.
Every year, the evaluation panel reviews applications submitted by Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian researchers and awards scholarships of the ‘For Women in Science’ programme to PhDs under 40 years of age thus encouraging their research achievements in the fields of life, environmental, physical, and engineering sciences. Additional scholarships are awarded to the doctoral students below 33 years of age: two for Latvia and one for Lithuania and Estonia each, thus motivating them to complete their doctoral research in the above-mentioned fields.
Last year, awards and scholarships of €6000 went to two Lithuanian researchers working in the field of medicine: Milda Alksnė, a doctoral student at Vilnius University, was recognized for her contribution to the development of an artificial bone graft, and Dr Jurgita Skiecevičienė for her research aimed at identifying circulating biomarkers suitable for non-invasive diagnostics of gastric cancer. In Lithuania, scholarships were awarded to Dr Giedrė Motuzaitė-Matuzevičiūtė Keen in 2018 and to Dr Urtė Neniškytė in 2017.
L’Oreal Poland and Baltic HUB
Tel.:+372 5333 1232
Project website: www.forwomeninscience.com
Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO website: www.unesco.lt
The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences website: www.lma.lt