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.