2022 09 28
VU Foundation Receives EUR 1 Million from the Biomedicine Future Foundation for Chrono-Epigenomics Research
Vilnius University Foundation has signed a €1 million support agreement with the Biomedicine Future Foundation. The funding is earmarked for the chrono-epigenomics programme at the Institute of Biotechnology at the VU Life Sciences Centre (LSC). Chrono-epigenomics is a new field of biomedical research that seeks to understand the general patterns of body development, ageing, and disease onset.
The development of chrono-epigenomics in Lithuania was proposed by Prof. Artūras Petronis, a scientist at the University of Toronto, one of the pioneers in studying epigenomic human diseases. He is the head of a newly established chrono-epigenomics programme at Vilnius University.
“Chrono-epigenomics is about molecular “clocks” that regulate and coordinate hundreds of different changes that take place in every cell of the body. If these biological timekeepers get out of sync - if they start to run late, become too quick, or halt altogether - the body’s developmental processes are disrupted, ageing accelerates, or diseases strike. “Clockwork” disease markers could open up new perspectives for the early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common and serious human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis,” Prof. A. Petronis said.
Prof. Arvydas Janulaitis, the founder of the Biomedicine Future Foundation & Prof. Artūras Petronis
According to Prof. Arvydas Janulaitis, the founder of the Biomedicine Future Foundation and the pioneer of biotechnology in Lithuania, progress in medicine is based on the fundamental discoveries of molecular biology, which bring an increasingly more profound understanding of the fact that every human being is unique, not only in terms of their personality or their life experiences but also in terms of genetic, epigenetic, and all other aspects of biological individuality.
“All of this influences who gets a certain disease and what the characteristics of that disease are. Treatment is significantly more effective when the individuality of each patient is taken into account, which is the ultimate goal of personalized medicine. The Biomedicine Future Foundation aims to bring personalized medicine research to Lithuania. We hope that the chrono-epigenomics programme will accelerate progress in both basic and applied biomedical sciences in Lithuania and worldwide,” Prof. A. Janulaitis said.
Director of the VU Foundation Justinas Noreika notes that this is the largest targeted support agreement in VU Foundation’s history.
CEO of VU Foundation Justinas Noreika, CFA
“We are grateful to Prof. A. Janulaitis and the Biomedicine Future Foundation for investing in Lithuania’s scientific breakthrough. Prof. A. Petronis’s research programme significantly contributes to developing biomedical sciences in Lithuania and increasing VU’s prestige in the international scientific context,” said J. Noreika.
Established in 2022, the Biomedicine Future Foundation is the only foundation specializing in personalized medicine research. The Fund has earmarked €10 million to fund Lithuania’s research in this field.
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