Skirmantas Kriaučionis is an Associate Professor in University of Oxford, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. After graduating from Vytautas Magnus University he got Darwin Trust Scholarship for doctoral studies in the University of Edinburgh. Post-doctoral work he did in Rockefeller University in New York. Since 2010 he has established a group in Oxford, where his work aims do understand the function of DNA modification in genomes of normal and cancer cells.
As a post-doctoral fellow in Nathaniel Heintz laboratory, he investigated DNA methylation in two neuronal cell types, Purkinje and granule cells, where a distinct chromatin organization has been observed by electron microscopy. Development of methodology for isolation of neuronal sub-populations allowed them to probe cell type specific differences in chromatin organization in highly homogenous fashion. The final result exceeded expectations by revealing the presence of a novel DNA modification. They further demonstrated that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is enriched in neuronal cells and depleted in cancer cell lines. 5hmC is found distributed along the whole gene in actively transcribed genes and bound by MeCP2 in brain.
His laboratory at the Ludwig Institute in Oxford explores a variety of questions focusing on identifying molecular mechanisms in the genome function, affected by DNA modifications.
Prize for achievements in physics, biomedical sciences and technology for Lithuanian scientists working abroad (awarded by Lithuanian Ministry of Education), 2012
Poster competition award at Gordon research conference of Epigenetics, 2009
Rett Syndrome Research Foundation post-doctoral fellowship award, 2004
Darwin Trust Studentship, The University of Edinburgh, 2000
Certificate of Merit, Vytautas Magnus University, 1999