Department of Physics, Mathematics and Biophysics
Studies and scientific research in the Department of Physics, Mathematics and Biophysics belong to fundamental science disciplines, which shape the academic attitude. The staff of the Department have adapted these disciplines to biomedical programmes and have adjusted them to the needs of all the faculties of the University. Currently, Basics of Higher Mathematics, Basics of Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics, Computer Science are delivered together with subjects of Medical and Biological Physics. These subjects are delivered to students of all the faculties because they are relevant today. Starting with the academic year 2012-2013, the course unit of Bioinformatics has been offered to students in the study programmes of Medical and Veterinary Genetics as well as Medical and Veterinary Biochemistry. The elective course unit of Basics of Scientific Work Organisation, which deals with medical research studies, their planning and organisation according to evidence-based medicine principles and requirements, is delivered to the third year students from the Faculties of Medicine, Odontology and Pharmacy. This course deepens students’ knowledge of Mathematical Statistics and helps in final scientific works. Furthermore, in the Department, the biostatistics course Mathematical Statistics and Informatics in Biomedicine is delivered to PhD students of biomedical sciences. It deals with various regression models, generalised linear models, planning of mathematical experiment, survival analysis and other multivariate statistical analysis. Statistical evaluation of research data using IBM SPSS Statistics software is a very important issue in today’s medical science. Also, Mathematical Statistics and Computer Science are taught to listeners of medical refresher courses.
The scientists of the Department participate in the University scientific programme "Functioning mechanisms of living tissues". The main scientific topics are: a) Mathematical-Physical Modeling of Transesophageal Atrial Pacing’s Method and the Properties of Biomaterial Surface; b) Study of Variation of Thin Island Films Surface Roughness; c) Development and Analysis of Informational Clinical Decision Support Method; d) Methods for Evaluation of Signals Reflecting Heart Activity Based on Biophysical Models and Multivariate Analysis; e) Eigenvalue Problem for Differential Operator with Nonlocal Integral Conditions.
The staff of the Department collaborate closely not only with Lithuanian universities (Kaunas University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University and Vilnius University) but also with foreign universities (University of Michigan in the USA, Institute of Physiology in the University of Oslo in Norway, University of Rennes in France).
Department of Biochemistry
The Department of Biochemistry under this name exists since 2000; however, it was established as a part of Kaunas University – the Department of Physiology and Physiological Chemistry – in 1922. It became the Department of Biological and General Chemistry of Kaunas Medical Institute in 1944, the Department of Chemistry in 1950 and the Department of Biological and Bioorganic Chemistry in 1953. The Department was headed by senior lecturer A.Gabrėnas, Dr. N.Edigorov, Dr. R.Khesin and Prof. A.Praškevičius. Currently, Prof. L.Ivanovienė is the head of the Department. There are 39 employees in the Department of Biochemistry, 27 of whom are the pedagogical staff, including professor emeritus Antanas Praškevičius, member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, 7 professors, 7 assistant professors, 9 lecturers and 4 assistant lecturers. Since 2000, the Department of Biochemistry has published 11 books on biochemistry and chemistry. The teachers of the Department teach students of both the Medical Academy and the Veterinary Academy. Connections with Cambridge University (UK) and other European universities help to improve the methods of teaching. There 4 laboratories in the Department: the Laboratory of Medical Chemistry and 3 laboratories of Biochemistry.
Students of the Medical Academy study 3 biomedical disciplines both in Lithuanian and English. The course of Medical Chemistry is important for first year students of Medicine and Odontology as it prepares them for biochemistry studies. It also provides them with the basic principles of scientific work. Biochemistry, one of the fundamental disciplines of modern medicine, is a part of all preclinical study programmes. With problem-based teaching introduced at the University, the course has been included in almost every module of the second and third year programmes. Biochemistry makes a big part of studies of Odontology and Pharmacy students as well. First year students of the Faculties of Public Health and Nursing have the basics of biochemistry, too. The Clinical Biochemistry course, related to the laboratory diagnostics, is designed for the Medicine students in advanced clinical modules. A few elective courses on chemistry of biological structures, rational and healthy nutrition and vitamins are offered to students of all the faculties. Students of the Veterinary Academy study analytical, general and colloidal chemistry as well as a number of specialised chemistry courses. Postgraduate students can choose a relevant biochemistry programme for their further studies, taught by highly qualified teachers of the Department, who improve their teaching methods by using experience of foreign universities.
The Department of Biochemistry participates in the programmes of the Medical Academy by conducting scientific research in molecular mechanisms of protein synthesis in the cells under experimental pathologies. In the research work, the Department cooperates with the laboratories of the Institute of Neurosciences and the Institute of Cardiology. The scientists of the Department publish their work in Lithuanian and international scientific magazines and participate in various conferences.
Department of Disaster Medicine
The Department of Disaster Medicine is responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in a number of programmes at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. The main tasks involve teaching disaster medicine to students of the Faculties of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health as well as first aid training to students of the Faculties of Nursing and Pharmacy. Students who have completed the basic course can choose different elective courses, e.g. Emergency Medical Care in Critical Environmental Conditions, Medical Management of Mass Disasters and Terrorism, Basic Skills in Emergency Procedures, Principles of Patient Communication in Emergency Situations, etc. The Department also participates in a number of training courses for postgraduate sudents, doctors and nurses in Lithuania and abroad.
The teaching staff are certified as training instructors in various international organisations: European Resuscitation Council (ERC), American Heart Organization (AHA), Advanced Life Support Group (UK), American College of Surgeons, Critical Incidents Stress Management Foundation, etc.
The Department of Disaster Medicine is a leader in innovative training methods using interactive lectures and seminars, simulation training, video and web-based teaching. Students may use extensive library resources in disaster and emergency medicine, prepared by staff of the Tepartment: Textbook of the First Aid, Study books on Advanced Life Support, Prehospital and Advanced Trauma Life Support.
The Department of Disaster Medicine is a coordinator of the Emergency medicine research programme at the LSMU. Much of the basic research carried out at the Department is aimed at the effective methods of resuscitation and resuscitation training. Extensive research is also carried out on the abdominal pain management, mechanics of spinal immobilisation and experimental modeling of factors involved in neuroprotective processes. The researchers of the Department participate in various research projects with partners from Maryland (USA), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and other Lithuanian universities. The experts of the Department are actively engaged in development projects of Emergency and Trauma Systems in Lithuania, Latvia, Kazachstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, etc.
Department of Histology and Embryology
The Department of Histology and Embryology was established in 1923 in the Faculty of Medicine of Lithuanian University in Kaunas. The first head of the Department was Eber Landau, Professor of Bern University in Switzerland. Prof. E.Landau worked in the Department until 1932. In 1934, another foreign Professor Vera Danchakova was employed. Prof. V. Danchakova arrived from Columbia University (USA, New York) in 1934 and stayed until 1937. From 1939 to 1971, the Department of Histology and Embryology was headed by prof. Blažiejus Abraitis, from 1971 to 1994 by prof. Albertas Vitkus and from 1994 to 2003 by assoc. prof. Kęstutis Baltrušaitis. In 2003, Professor Angelija Valančiūtė was elected the head of the Department.
The Department of Histology and Embryology owns 2 microscopy laboratories equipped with modern facilities. During laboratory work, every student is supplied with binocular microscope Olympus. For teaching purposes, in every laboratory there is an image demonstration system composed of a teacher’s microscope, aninteractive whiteboard and 1 or 2 monitors. This system allows teachers to demonstrate live images from histological slides and helps in the teaching process. The Department of Histology and Embryology also owns the Museum of Embryology with more than 100 items. The collection of preparations started before the Second World War and was well preserved. The collection of the Museum includes preparations of aborted normal embryos at different stages of development and with various birth defects. Our Department also owns a collection of old microscopes that belonged to the Department at different periods. The Department is equipped with items necessary for preparation of histological slides, incubation of chicken embryos and immunohistochemistry.
The academic staff of the Department is composed of 9 teachers, including 2 professors, 4 associate professors, 2 lecturers and 2 assistants. The majority of the academic staff (7 teachers) are full-time employees, and the remaining 2 are part-time teachers from other departments of the University. Among full-time staff, there also is a study administrator and 3 technicians.
The Department of Histology and Embryology is responsible for teaching the Histology and Embryology subject to first year students of the Faculty of Medicine and to first and second year students of the Faculty of Odontology. Our Department is involved in the teaching process in integrated modules of the second and third year of medical studies. These modules are the following: Basics of Pre-clinical Studies and Locomotion, Nutrient Uptake and Homeostasis, Respiration and Circulation, Fundamentals of Neuroscience, Human Reproductive Health and Essentials of Clinical Studies, Immune Response and Infection. The modules include lectures, laboratory work, seminars and tutorials. The Department of Histology and Embryology is responsible for the organisation the part Reproduction and Inheritance of the module Human Reproductive Health and Essentials of Clinical Studies. Our Department also teaches the Histology and Embryology subject to students of Medical and Veterinary Biochemistry and Medical and Veterinary Genetics. In the academic year 2012-2013, we started teaching in the following new study programmes: Obstetrics and Medical Psychology. In the academic year 2012-2013, we started teaching the new subject Embryology and Developmental Genetics to students of Medical and Veterinary Genetics. Our academic staff also participate in several elective courses, including students’ scientific research, and postgraduate studies (PhD doctoral studies).
Research in the Department of Histology and Embryology has 2 main directions: 1. Investigation of age-related changes of female and male reproductive system and 2. Investigation of changes in chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane and the embryo itself after transplantation of malignant cells on the chorioallantoic membrane. The teachers regularly participate in international scientific conferences.
Department of Languages and Education
The mission of the Department of Languages and Education is to develop humanitarian competence of medical professionals. The Department is one of the University departments implementing the academic humanitarian and social studies.
Educational subjects have been delivered in the Department of Languages since 1999. In 2003, the Senate of Kaunas University of Medicine approved of the name of the Department of Languages and Education. In 2003, the Center for Teachers’ Educational Competence (CTEC) was established in the Department.
The compulsory subjects such as Introduction of Studies and the module of Professional Language, consisting of Latin Professional Terminology, Professional Foreign Language (English, German, French or Russian), and Culture of Language are delivered to students of all the faculties. Along with mentioned above the following elective subjects are delivered: Second Foreign Language (English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Swedish, and Danish), Translation of Medical Literature, Basics of Russian Medical Terminology, Scientific Style, Introduction to the Science of Education. The Latin and Lithuanian languages are delivered to foreign students.
The research theme of the Department is "Dimension of Liberal Education through the Aspect of Specialised Socialising of University Biomedical Studies". Research dates: 01-01-2012 – 31-12-2016
The research theme covers 2 sub-themes:
• Socialising of Biomedical Studies Applying the Methodology of Education Science.
• Socialising of Biomedical Studies Applying the Methodology of Linguistic Science.
The research aims to investigate the expression of liberal education dimension through the aspect of specialised socialising of university biomedical studies.
The teachers of the Department are members of EERA (European Educational Research Association), Classical Association (Societas Classica), Language Teachers' Association of Lithuania and The Lithuanian Applied Linguistics Association.
The Department cooperates with the Language Department of the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, Ankara University Language Centre and the Departments of Foreign and Lithuanian Languages of Vilnius College.