“Biosan” President V. Bankovskis

The University of Latvia (UL) is the leading science university in Latvia. Hand in hand with UL funds, patrons support and promote UL researchers at both local and international levels, and the results are outstanding. Research and technology company of medical biology, as well as the long-standing and trusted patron “Biosan”, have awarded a scholarship to molecular biologist Dita Gudrā.

In collaboration with the UL Foundation, “Biosan” a creative competition for students and faculty members of the University of Latvia was organized, giving the most promising researcher a one-time EUR 1,500 scholarship to attend a high-profile and large-scale international scientific conference. The aim of the scholarship is to promote and support the research of doctoral students in the field of life and medicine in the University of Latvia and internationally. The winner of the competition, the new researcher Dita Gudrā, will bring Latvia and her alma mater title into the world with a new meaning.

UL graduates – inventors and innovators

The company “Biosan” was founded in 1992 by a group of young scientists, including a graduate of the Faculty of Biology at the University of Latvia, Dr.biol. Vasilijs Bankovskis. Since 2005, “Biosan” is a Latvian-British joint venture that aims to become a global leader in the preparation of natural science samples and analytics. For more than 25 years, “Biosan” has been developing innovations in laboratory equipment manufacturing in Latvia. In addition, many “Biosan” employees have graduated from the University of Latvia, most of them from the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry. The philosophy of the company is based on the development of modern personal and unusual features for the preparation of samples in the field of genomics, proteomics and cello. Diagnostic technologies are being developed using the latest trends in research and understanding the needs of researchers while working in the laboratory. Many of the principles included in the design of the equipment are patented.

The more educated the country, the more competitive it is in the world. “Biosan” supports projects for young scientists because it is competent and able to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of a particular project in perspective. “By supporting young scientists of UL, we are helping to raise the quality of higher education with the goal of unifying the level of education with the world's leading universities,” explains “Biosan” President V. Bankovskis.
Successful collaboration is achieved through the introduction of the latest technologies in the lab day to day activities. “Life sciences are one of the fastest growing spheres in the world today, and “Biosan” is actively working to meet the growing demand. Therefore, we are interested in training Latvian young specialists especially in the field of life sciences in order to create a live competition with the graduates of the world's leading universities,” continues Bankovskis, emphasizing the importance of qualitative education and its benefits. In response to the question "Why do you donate to the University of Latvia?", Bankovskis replies with no hesitation that "it is a pure social necessity – to support your alma mater".

An UL student sees Latvia developing

The recipient of the scholarship, M.biol. Dita Gudrā is a third year PhD student at the Faculty of Biology in the University of Latvia. A talented and determined researcher started her study path at the University of Latvia, choosing a Bachelor's study program in Microbiology and Molecular Biology, but when the end of studies approached she realized she wanted to gain a broader understanding of molecular biology and biology-related data processing, therefore she continued her studies at the University of Luxembourg. "Studying in Luxembourg provided a broad and profound knowledge of the processing of various "-omics” samples and data to be able do it also independently, so after graduation I returned to Latvia and joined the doctoral study program at the UL Faculty of Biology” adds D. Gudrā. The thesis is being developed with the help of a leading researcher Dāvids Fridmanis in the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center (BMC).

I recommend everyone taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the University of Latvia and its foundation to support their studies and raise their competence, because only by taking risks and taking new paths it is possible to reach the goal. Both the University of Latvia and UL Foundation, as well as its patrons, are open to purposeful students who want to see Latvia developing,” says Dita Gudrā.

The scholarship recipient will add on the knowledge about microbiome

The doctoral thesis examines the long-term effects of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy on the diversity and distribution of patients' intestinal microbiome and the extended spectrum of β-lactamase-encoding genes that are directly related to the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotic preparations. One of the main methods within the study is the latest generation sequencing technology for DNA nucleotide sequencing to identify the taxonomic profile of microorganisms and the prevalence of resistance-related genes in patient samples with different data analysis tools.

Thanks to patron “Biosan” awarded scholarship, I have the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and to supplement my existing knowledge in the field of human microbial research. These types of research are important from a scientific point of view in order to understand the interactions between human and microorganisms and its impact on the physiological processes occurring in a human being, extending from the micro-organism to the synthesis of vitamin B12 in the intestine up to the healthy functioning of the nervous system and the regulation of emotional balance. I will use the scholarship to attend the international scientific conference "International Scientific Conference Probiotics, Prebiotics, Gut microbiota and Health", which will happen in Prague, Czech Republic to present the results of the study on the long-term effects of H. pylori eradication on the human intestinal microbiome, and to get to know the latest and most up-to-date research results from the most prominent professionals in the industry, ” BMC's scientific assistants, winner of the scholarship D. Gudrā shares her upcoming plans.


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