EMBO AWARDS PROF. AN EMBO INSTALLATION GRANT
EMBO is pleased to announce that Dr. Jones and nine additional life scientists have been awarded EMBO Installation Grants, which support group leaders who will move to, or have recently moved to, countries participating in the scheme. The scientists’ inspiring research spans a wide range of biological processes: ageing, tumour biology, gut-brain axis communication, microbiota and gene editing tools are among the topics they are exploring. EMBO Installation Grantees also enter the prestigious EMBO Young Investigator Network for exceptional young group leaders from across the world.
IEVA SEREIVA AWARDED A SUMMER FELLOWSHIP
Each year, students from around the world compete for paid summer fellowships at research centers across Lithuania. This year, Ieva submitted a proposal to continue her work understanding how gRNA sequence and structure impact its role in gene editing. The Lithuanian Research Council (LMT) funded her proposal, seeing as much value in her work as we do!
FOUR JONES!LAB RESEARCHERS EARN DEGREES THIS YEAR
Three masters students and one bachelor student - Daniel, Ieva, Lina and Urte - submitted and defended their theses this month. Their efforts cover a range of topics in gene editing technologies, and have made a huge contribution to the success of our team. Their degrees are well earned - join us in congratulating our very first graduates!
JONES!LAB MEMBERS PRESENT AT THE 2023 COINS CONFERENCE
The COINS is a yearly international conference for life sciences organized by students at Vilnius University. This year, Fausta, Daniel, Lina and Ieva presented posters, while Uzair and Stephen shared oral presentations. Thanks to Fausta and Ieva, who helped organize this year's conference!
IEVA WINS THE LINEA LIBERA SCHOLARSHIP
Our MS student , Ieva Jaskovikaite, won the 2023 Linea Libera Scholarship for the "implementation of a technological research project with links to market demand." Congrats!
THE JONES!LAB SECURES LITHUANIA'S 1ST ERC STARTING GRANT
The Jones!Lab has secured Lithuania's very first Starting Grant from the European Research Council! This prestigious award supports our team with five years of funding as we carry out an exciting project titled PROTEGE - Profile nucleases and Repurpose Off-Targets to Expand Gene Editing. We're glad that the European community shares our excitement for this research, and we hope that this Starting Grant is the first of many for Lithuania!
DANIEL EARNS A PLACE IN THE EMBL'S "EIPODS INSPIRE" MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Daniel has become one of the newest mentees in EMBL's EIPODs Inspire program, where he receives career and research mentorship from a postdoctoral researcher at EMBL. He'll visit EMBL-Heidelberg in December to meet other program members and his mentor, and learn of the exciting research being performed by EMBL's PhD students. Congrats Daniel!
DR. GRIGAITIS EARNS AN EMBO POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP
We congratulate our postdoctoral research teammate, Rokas for his new fellowship! The EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship supports internationally mobile postdoctoral researchers in Europe and around the world. Rokas' exceptional research plan pursues the discovery and characterization of CRISPR nucleases and other phage-derived interference machinery with high throughput methods. His efforts bridge the Jones and Pausch laboratories at the EMBL Partnership Institute.
RESULTS PUBLISHED IN NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
In the March issue of Nature Communications, we share the results of recent collaborative efforts with Martin Depken's team at TU Delft. It describes a new kinetic model for how CRISPR-Cas9 operates and how it discriminates its DNA targets. This work was made possible through inter-disciplinary collaborations with the Depken and Finkelstein labs.
LITHUANIAN BIOTECH ASSOCIATION INTERVIEW
January 26, 2022
Dr. Monika Paule, CEO of CasZyme and board member of the Lithuanian Biotechnology Association, interviews our team's leader about how Lithuania can attract top level scientists. Find out about Dr. Jones' transition to Lithuania from the US for science and adventure!
DR. ROKAS GRIGAITIS JOINS THE TEAM
January 10, 2022
Dr. Rokas Grigaitis is the first postdoctoral researcher on our team: He joins us from ETH Zurich, where he studied DNA repair with Dr. Joao Matos. His shared appointment with our collaborator, Dr. Pausch, means his expertise will make a big contribution to the EMBL Partnership Institute. Learn more about Rokas on out Teams page.
CRISPR MEDICINE NEWS WEBINAR: OFF-TARGETS II
December 8, 2021
CMN invited Dr. Jones to share his work and thoughts on off-targeting by CRISPR nucleases. He first described the available tools and future goals for assessing the off-targets of gene editors. Later, he showcased how the CHAMP and NucleaSeq tools help us identify off-targets and mechanisms of Cas9 and Cas12a.
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC'S SCIENCE DAY
November 10th, 2021
Dr. Jones was invited to share his research at Thermo Fisher Scientific's Mokslo Diena (Science Day). This annual event brings together scientists and researchers from across Lithuania and the world. Follow the link below to learn more!
THREE MASTERS STUDENTS JOIN THE TEAM
October 1st, 2021
We are excited to share that our laboratory team has grown! Lina Krikščikaitė joins us from the Genetics program, while Ieva Jaskovikaite and Daniel Adelakin join us from the Molecular Biotechnology program. Learn more about these talented scientists on our Team page. Welcome, everyone!
OUR FIRST UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER JOINS THE TEAM
September 1, 2021
Urtė Glibauskaitė is a third-year student Vilnius University's Biochemistry program. She's our very first addition to the team, and we're excited to have her! For the next two years, she'll help us make new discoveries in CRISPR biochemistry while completing her Bachelors thesis. Learn more about her on our Team page. Welcome, Urtė!
DR. JONES JOINS THE FACULTY OF THE EMBL PARTNERSHIP INSTITUTE AT VILNIUS UNIVERSITY'S LIFE SCIENCES CENTER
Dr Stephen Jones has started working at the VU LSC and he will lead a scientific group at the newly established sui generis operational unit of VU LSC, EMBL Partnership Institute.
Stephen’s group will create and research new genome editing tools.
Stephen got his PhD in 2015 in Brown University, Providence, USA. He is coming to LSC from University of Texas, Austin, where he worked very productively in the group of Prof. Ilya Finkelstein researching ageing processes of cells and epigenetic regulation.
Stephen got his works published in the most prestigious scientific publications, such as Cell, PNAS and others. Together with other well-known scientists of this field, such as the Nobel winner J. Doudna, Stephen Jones has established a platform that allows massive parallel kinetic profiling of CRISPR nucleases. The platform is called NucleaSeq and was presented in the Nature Biotechnology in 2020.
‘We expect that the experience of the new group leader and his group would significantly expand our presence in genome editing research areas, contribute towards the development of interdisciplinary research and enhance collaboration between scientists at VU LSC and EMBL. I wish all the best for the new research group. Stephen, welcome to the Life Sciences Center of Vilnius University!’ says Dr Gintaras Valinčius, Director of VU LSC.
RESULTS PUBLISHED IN NATURE BIOTECH
In the September issue of Nature Biotechnology, we shared our research describing the specificity of natural and engineered CRISPR nucleases. We showcased our newly-developed "next-generation" biochemistry method - NucleaSeq - that captures nuclease kinetics and cleavage outcomes at nucleotide-resolution. The data and models presented in this publication help genome engineers select a nuclease that matches their goals and predict its activity.