Genetics and the neurophysiology of vision are the main areas of research in the institute. Research is carried out in three scientific structural units: Dr. K. Janušauskas’ Laboratory of Genetics, Scientific Twin Center, and the Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Vision.
Dr. K. Janušauskas’ Laboratory of Genetics. In 1987 Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics a laboratory of Animal Cytogenetics was founded in the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy and in 1997 a new division – of Animal Molecular Genetics - was established. The founder of the laboratory was Assoc. Prof. K. Janušauskas (1939-1999) - the patriarch of genetic research of farm animals in Lithuania. In 2000 the laboratory was named after the professor, who pioneered the Cytogenetical and Molecular Genetical research of farm animals in Lithuania and under whose initiative a DNA bank of farm animals was created and research of native Lithuanian farm animals and birds began. Assoc. Prof. K. Janušauskas headed the laboratory from 1987 up to 1999, followed by Prof. Dr. Ilona Miceikienė who was the head of the laboratory until 2017. In 2011, after being merged with the Medical and Veterinary academies, Dr. K. Janušauskas’ Animal Genetics Laboratory was incorporated into the Institute of Biology Systems and Genetic Research. The main focus areas of the Laboratory involve fundamental research, education, counseling with a mission to help to increase effectiveness of selection procedures, improve animal productivity and the quality of dairy and meat. Additionally, the activities of the Laboratory are aimed at testing animal and human genetic diseases, performing parentage verification and traceability of milk and meat by using novel molecular technologies – marker assisted selection and genomic selection; and also to gather and conserve genetic material in DNA bank. The laboratory is equipped with molecular and cytogenetic technologies of the highest quality. Research directed at finding markers for obesity and milk ability as well as a project for application of genomic selection to increase milk and beef cattle breeding value have also started recently. Since 2017 the head of the laboratory is Junior Researcher, Dr. Renata Bižienė.
Scientific Twin Center – in 1970 a laboratory of cytogenetic was founded at the Department of Biology of Kaunas Medical Institute. The laboratory was headed by Prof. A. Sinkus, who before interned and worked in Vienna and Ulm Universities and whose work became widely known and acknowledged in other countries. In 2004 the Twin Center was established on the basis of the Department of Biology. This center is dedicated to genetic research, studies and services. It is constitutes a functional unit of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, which also includes the following departments: the Institute of Biological Systems and Genetic research, the Orthodontic Clinic, the Institute of Endocrinology, the Diabetes mellitus laboratory, the Laboratory of Cardiovascular research Automation in Cardiology Institute and the Gastroenterology Clinic. At the Twin Center the heritability of multifactorial pathology is tested by the twin method.
From 2011 to 2016 the head of Biology Systems and Genetic Research Institute – Prof. I.T.Miceikienė – also was the head of the Scientific Twin Center. Since November 2016 the Twin Center is being coordinated by Lecturer, Dr. Loreta Šalomskienė.
The Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Vision has been successfully analyzing vision perception problems more than 50 years. During this period the Laboratory scientists, using modern methods of electrophysiology and psychophysics acquired through internships abroad, studied the receptive fields of cortical and subcortical neurons, the structure of their assembles and principles of activity; examined the regularities of visual perception of objects shape, size, brightness and color; tried to explain the neurophysiological origin of color constancy and invariance, the effects of the visual field anisotropy; mathematically modeled the peculiarities of various phenomena in visual perception. In 1991, the Laboratory scientists actively participated in the organization of the European Conference on Visual Perception ECVP-1991 in Lithuania. In 1993, the work of the department’s scientists was positively evaluated by the official International Quality Committee, recognizing that important scientific projects are being carried out in the department. In collaboration with foreign colleagues, the monograph “Spatial Color Vision” was published. In 1993, prof. A. Bertulis has been awarded the Lithuanian National Prize. Over the past 20 years, the Laboratory researchers continued the studies on visual perception of objects size, shape, orthogonality and curvature. An important part of modern investigations is further development of mathematical models of the geometrical illusions of extent with aim to reveal the principles of organization of neural mechanisms underlying the perception of visual objects localization. Since 2008, the Laboratory is headed by Prof. Aleksandr Bulatov.