Laboratory of Molecular Neurooncology


Laboratory of Molecular Neurooncology
Neuroscience Institute
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Eiveniu st. 4
Kaunas LT-50161
Phone: +370 37 326769
Fax: +370 37 795482


Head of Laboratory:

Kęstutis Skauminas, M.D., PhD

Phone +370 37 326883




prof. Vytenis Pranas Deltuva, M.D. PhD,

Arūnas Kazlauskas, PhD,

Daina Skiriutė, PhD,

Paulina Vaitkienė, PhD,

Giedrius Steponaitis, PhD,

Rūta Urbanavičiūtė, PhD student,

Indrė Valiulytė, PhD student,

Rytis Stakaitis, PhD student,

Jūratė Žeglienė,

Kristina Mašalaitė,

Raminta Bagdanavičienė,


Laboratory short history

The Laboratory of Neurosciences was established on April 28th 1978, as a sub-division of the Oncology Scientific-Research Institute, Ministry of Health Care. The task of Laboratory was to organize additional scientific research to analyze the central regulation of brain and systematic blood circulation. In the structure of Oncology Institute, it was referred to as the Nervous System Surgery Department while Department of Neurosurgery of Kaunas Medicine Institute Clinics was appointed as its clinical basis. In due course, namely in 1982, the Laboratory moved from Oncology Institute to Central Scientific-Research Laboratory of Kaunas Medicine Institute and was renamed into Nervous System Surgery Laboratory. In 2005 the Laboratory was renamed into the Laboratory of Neurosciences and in 2011, after reorganisation, Laboratory got the name of Neurooncology and Genetics, and functions in the structure of Neuroscience Institute of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. In 2011 Laboratory got the name of Neurooncology and Genetics and in 2018, after reorganisation, got the name of Molecular Neurooncology .


Research topic

Title: Research on molecular markers and etiopathogenesis of rare CNS diseases for optimisation of diagnosing and treatment

The main trends of research work are: research of clinical, etiopathogenetic, radiological factors, playing a decisive role in the course of CNS tumours and the accumulation of pathological material for the investigation for new combinations of clinical genetic and epigenetic markers in diagnosis and prognosis, research on diagnostic molecular markers in glioblastoma and pituitary adenoma, optimisation of the surgical diagnosing of cerebral gliomas using innovative optical technologies. 

The main goal of these studies is to estimate the complex of molecular markers (projects GREAT and GlioPRoSer) and clinical factors valuable for rare CNS diseases diagnosis and prognosis, to identify molecular factors that are responsible for the initiation of cancerogenesis in CNS cells (project "Novel systems of prodrug activation for the cancer gene therapies") and to evaluate the possibilities of combination of intraoperative tissue identification methods by segmentation of intraoperative magnetic resonance, 3D ultrasound and fluorescence images for optimal visualization of brain tumours.

Objectives: with the use of cell culturing facilities, to develop procedures necessary for isolation, cultivation and identification of glioma tumour stem cells (GTSC) and by using a number of molecular biology techniques such as Western blot analysis, real-time PCR, and protein co-precipitation, to investigate the composition of transcription regulatory complexes of genes that determine invasiveness of GTSCs.                                             Enlarge picture:labofmolecularneurooncology.jpg (250x170, 188x170)

Research on epigenetic alterations (DNA methylation, chromatine modifications, miRNAs, etc.) of genes associated with oncogenesis, invasion and resistance to therapy of glioblastoma; research on association between gene epigenetic alterations and gene expression (at mRNA and protein level) in glioblastoma tissue; investigation of the influence on certain gene expression and function of epigenetic promoter alterations (DNA methylation, chromatine remodeling), caused by in vitro manipulating cell culture; selection on the relevance of epigenetic alterations and gene expression diagnostically meaningful genes or gene complexes in glioblastoma and pituitary adenoma. Employing three imaging modalities there will be created methodology for coregistration of 3D interlinked information. There will be investigated methods for quantification and segmentation of FS, US and MRI images. Processing of interrelated images is planned to implement in optimised algorithms to support tissue discrimination. 

The information and experience obtained from this research could be used for developing new diagnostic methods and developing a methodology for the search for new therapeutic agents against rare CNS diseases.


Main projects

2018 – a project "NRP1 gene expression in different grade gliomas", funded through the Research Council of Lithuania, head I.Valiulytė

2018 – a project "Long-non coding RNA HOTAIR and CASC2 gene expression in glioblastomas", funded through the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. D.Skiriutė

2017-2021 – contribute (dr. A.Kazlauskas, dr. G.Steponaitis) in the project No 01.2.2-LMT-K-718-01-0036 EXOTARGET „Exosome application for targeted drug delivery“, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. A.Jekabsone

2017-2020 – a project No S-MIP-17-108 "The prognostic value of miRNA classifier as a novel tool for prediction of glioma patient outcome and response to therapy", funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, dr. P.Vaitkienė

2015-2018 – collaboration (dr. A.Kazlauskas) in the project No SEN-07/2015 „Novel systems of prodrug activation for the cancer gene therapies“, of the National Programme "Healthy Aging" funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. J.Urbonavičius (VU)

2015-2018 – a project "New genetic and metabolic biomarkers search in healthy subjects and patients with age-related macular degeneration", funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head prof. V.P.Deltuva

2015-2018 – a project GlioProSer "Quantitative serum profiles estimation of proteins related to glioma angiogenesis and invasiveness”, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. D.Skiriutė

2014-2016 – contribute in the project No MIP-008/2014 "New molecular prognostic markers search in pituitary adenomas and associations with visual functions", funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head prof. D.Žaliūnienė

2014-2015 – collaboration in the Lithuanian-Ukrainian project "Identification and characterization of novel biomarkers for human glial tumors", head dr. P.Vaitkienė

2012-2015 – contribute (dr. D.Skiriutė) in the Global grant project* No VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K-02-060 „Gene-Environment Interactions Connecting Low Triiodothyronine Syndrome and Outcomes of Cardiovascular Disease (GET-VASC)”, head prof. R.Bunevičius

2012-2014 – a project No LIG-12003 "Gene expression and function-based identification of biomarkers for diagnosis of glioma malignancies", funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. A.Kazlauskas

2010-2011 –a  project “Low T3 syndrome impact on the outcomes after the brain tumour surgery”, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head dr. V.P.Deltuva

2010-2011 – a project „The investigation for new combinations of clinical and epigenetic markers in diagnosis and prognosis“, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, head prof. A.Tamašauskas

2007-2009 – post doc (dr. D.Skiriutė) project "Research on molecular markers of recurrence in benign and malignant meningiomas", funded by Lithuania State Science and Studies Foundation, head prof. A.Tamašauskas

2006-2008 – ESF project No ESF/2004/2.5.0-03-385/BPD-210/ES2006-01 "Implementation of advanced studies for medical physics technologies and nanophotonics", dr. K.Skauminas

2006-2008 – ESF project No BPD2004-ERPF-1.5.0-12-05/0035 “Centre for science and studies of medical physics technologies and nanophotonics”, dr. K.Skauminas

2006 – a project “Intraoperative fluorescentic imaging of brain tumour gliomas”, funded by Lithuania State Science and Studies Foundation



2017.09.28-12.27 – R.Urbanavičiūtė traineeship at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology (Heidelberg), head dr. Stefan Pusch

2015.01.15-06.01 – dr. D.Skiriutė traineeship at the Debrecen University (Hungary), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centre of Clinical Genomics and Personalised Medicine, head dr. Balint Laszlo Balint

2014.09.17-09.27 – G.Steponaitis traineeship at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, head prof. V.M.Kavsan

2013.02-2013.05 – G.Steponaitis Erasmus funded traineeship at University of Helsinki, Haartman Institute, Department of Virology, Kalle Saksela laboratory, head prof. Kalle Saksela


pdf-logo.jpg (90x68, 68x68)  2018 - 2011 main publications


Updated on 22 May 2019