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, from 1994 to 2003 by assoc. prof. Kęstutis Baltrušaitis, from 2003 to 2017 by Professor Angelija Valančiūtė. In 2017 Professor Ingrida Balnytė was elected the head of the Department.
The Department of Histology and Embryology owns three microscopy laboratories equipped with modern facilities. During laboratory work, every student is supplied with a binocular microscope Olympus and a wide collection of histological slides. Every study laboratory is supplied by an image demonstration system which allows interactive demonstration of images from histological slides and facilitates 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 spontaneously aborted normal embryos and embryos with various birth defectsat different stages of development. Our Department also owns a collection of old microscopes that were used for Histology studies during different periods.
The Department of Histology and Embryology is responsible for teaching the Human Histology and Embryology subject to the first year students of the Faculty of Medicine as well as in integrated modules of the second and the third years 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 coordinating the part Reproduction and Inheritance of the module Human Reproductive Health and Essentials of Clinical Studies. Human Histology and Embryology subject is delivered to the first year and the second year students of the Faculty of Odontology. Histology is also studied by students of Medical and Veterinary Biochemistry and Medical and Veterinary Genetics. Subject Embryology and Developmental Genetics is studied by students of Medical and Veterinary Genetics. Midwifery students study Embryology and Embryo Development at our Department during their third year of studies. General and Special Histology topics are instructed to Health Psychology students in modules Psychophysiology and Biological Basis of Behaviour and Cognitive Psychology. Our academic staff members also participate in several elective courses, as well as in supervising students’ scientific research, and postgraduate studies (PhD doctoral studies).
Research at the Department of Histology and Embryology has 2 main directions: 1. Research in experimental oncology, employing two models: a) chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model to investigate tumour-induced angiogenesis, tumour cell invasion and proliferation; b) investigation of spontaneous lung tumours in Balb-C mice following urethane injections. 2. Investigation of age-related changes of female and male reproductive system.
Experimental research employing CAM and spontaneous lung tumours allow testing effects of different drugs on tissues, clearing out their influence on angiogenesis, tumour cells proliferation and invasion. Experimental research is also conducted onartificially formed tumours from cells, cultivated at Living tissue laboratory, which was recently established at the Department. Immunohistochemical, in vivo biomicroscopical and histomorphometrical investigations are performed at the Department.
The academics of the Histology and Embryology Department are members of Lithuanian Morphology Society, they present the results of their research in national and international scientific conferences.
Prof. Ingrida Balnytė
Head of the Department
Tel. (8 37) 327282
Tel. (8 37) 327281