We would like to present the 10th speaker of The Coins 2017 – Justas Dapkūnas.

Dr. Justas Dapkūnas is a researcher at the Department of Bioinformatics of Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology. He works on the analysis of protein structure, its surface properties and interactions.



Aras Mattis was born in Los Angeles and grew up with among the Lithuanian-American community in California. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and his Medical and PhD degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with doctoral mentor Richard Gumport. Aras went on to complete residency at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) as a Pathologist with specialization in liver and gastro-intestinal pathology.


Dr Petri-Jaan Lahtvee is a senior scientist and group leader at centre for synthetic biology at the University of Tartu Institute of Technology (TUIT). Dr. Lahtvee received his PhD in 2012 from Tallinn University of Technology and continued as a postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. In the group of synthetic and systems biology, he applied multi-layer omics analysis and computational modelling to understand stress regulation mechanisms in yeast with the aim to create more robust cell factories.


Meital Reches is faculty member of the Institute of Chemistry, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her Ph.D. (with distinction) in 2007 from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University. In 2007-2010, she was an EMBO and a HFSP postdoctoral research fellow at the Chemistry Department, Harvard University. Meital Reches joined the Institute of Chemistry of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a faculty member in October 2010.


Dr. Irina Borodina is Senior Scientist and Group Leader at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Her research focuses on advancing the methodologies for metabolic engineering of cell factories for sustainable production of bulk and high-value chemicals.  Dr. Borodina received Chemical Engineering degree from Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania in 2001 and her PhD degree in Biotechnology from DTU with Prof. Jens Nielsen as advisor.


Danny Porath is the Etta and Paul Schankerman Professor in molecular biomedicine at the Hebrew University. He got his B.Sc. in Physics, Mathematics and Electronics, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics at Hebrew University. He did his Postdoctoral work with Quantum Transport group at Delft University of Technology.


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.


Sonata Jarmalaitė is a Professor at the Life Sciences Centre of Vilnius University and a Deputy Director for Research and Education of Lithuanian National Cancer Institute. Her Master’s and PhD theses were defended at Vilnius University, while post-doctoral work was carried out at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland. Currently she leads the Epigenetics group of a Division of Human Genome Research Centre, Institute of Biosciences, Vilnius University.


Janis Liepins is researcher in the institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Latvia. He has defended his thesis in 2015, in University of Latvia. Currently he is leading research group that focuses on the fundamental aspects of yeast nutritional physiology. The group aims to clarify mechanisms, which are involved in formation of starvation specific phenotype in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Verena Siewers is a project leader at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering in the Systems and Synthetic Biology Group. Her main research interest is the application of yeast as a cell factory for sustainable production of a variety of chemicals as well as advanced biofuels. This also includes the development of synthetic biology tools to improve the construction of efficient yeast strains. Verena Siewers is furthermore involved in the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability and the FORMAS Center for Metabolic Engineering.