VILNIUS – Stephen Knox Jones Jr, a biochemist at Vilnius University's Life Sciences Center, and his team have received a prestigious 1.2-million-euro grant from the European Research Council, the university said on Tuesday.
The ERC Starting Grant, the first of its kind in Lithuania, was awarded to Jones for the next five years to carry out a project to improve gene editing techniques, it said.
"I see the significance of this grant at several levels – national, university and personal," the biochemist was quoted as saying in the press release.
"At the national level, it shows that Lithuania's investments in science pay off, and that its contributions to European research are coming back," he said. "This creates a cycle that is important for impactful funding."
"Furthermore, this reflects the high caliber of academic research in Lithuania."
Jones described the grant as "an excellent accolade" for the university.
"First, it delivers an essential message to our community that these grants are achievable," he said. "Second, it will have a significant impact in a process that I call institutional memory."
"Since our application was successful, the entire team involved in the submission phase has gained knowledge that they can share and employ for future projects of similar scale."
The research carried out by Jones and his team aims to develop more efficient gene editing technologies that can be useful in many fields.