MBL Signs Agreement with Vilnius University, Lithuania, to Promote Academic Exchange

Glomerular capillaries in kidney tissue imaged with the polychromatic polarization microscope developed at MBL. Credit: Michael Shribak and Arvydas Laurinavičius

Glomerular capillaries in kidney tissue imaged with the polychromatic polarization microscope developed at MBL. Credit: Michael Shribak and Arvydas Laurinavičius

WOODS HOLE, Mass. — The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lithuania’s Vilnius University, the oldest university in the Baltic states, “to develop a spirit of amity” and “promote academic cooperation and exchange of experiences” between the two institutions.

Vilnius University, founded in 1579, is the largest university in Lithuania, with nearly 21,000 students enrolled in undergraduate, masters, Ph.D. and M.D. programs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) grew out of a research collaboration between Arvydas Laurinavičius, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Pharmacology at Vilnius University, and Michael Shribak, Ph.D., associate scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

“Michael Shribak has invented microscopy imaging techniques that can evolve into novel applications for digital pathology and precision medicine,” Laurinavičius said. “We foresee this collaboration can expand into a much broader scope. Vilnius University is making fast progress in life sciences and biotechnology. This memorandum of understanding provides a framework to exchange our staff and ideas, leading to new projects and synergies.”

Shribak and Laurinavičius will act as representatives of their respective institutions to implement the MoU. The institutions plan to exchange academic materials and information; conduct and host educational visits by faculty and researchers; hold joint international conferences; conduct joint research projects; and engage in other activities to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation.

Laurinavičius is using imaging technologies invented by Shribak to analyze tissue samples from patients with breast cancer and other types of cancer, as well as for kidney allograft pathology.

“Michael’s deep knowledge of the imaging techniques and my pathologist’s understanding of clinical needs and opportunities drive our experiments in the right direction,” Laurinavičius said. “We are exploring new imaging signals that can be generated by Michael’s polychromatic polarized microscopy that can be used for robust representation of tissue architecture. This can further be translated into novel digital pathology assays for precision medicine, which increasingly demands quantifiable and spatial information from diseased tissues.”

—###—


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery – exploring fundamental biology, understanding marine biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through research and education. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the
University of Chicago.