Golden donor of the University of Latvia, Dr. med. Jānis Priedkalns (1934) was born in Latvia, but during the World War II left the country due to the occupation of the USSR, and currently lives in Australia. J. Priedkalns, anatomist, histologist and embryologist, has been a professor at the universities of several countries and is an academician of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

The donor himself explains his decision to donate to UL as follows:

"There are numerous worthy goals in Latvia that I wanted to uphold, but I decided to support the University of Latvia. When I left Latvia in 1944 at the age of ten, I could not have imagined spending the greater part of my working life in academic and scientific work abroad. I became involved in medicine, doing research in the discipline of neuroendocrinology and studied the interaction between the brain and the endocrine glands. This is the goal that I support with my donation.

I am associated with the UL through my father's studies in veterinary medicine and mother’s education in theology at the University of Latvia, as well as through my own work in restoring the Faculty of Medicine in 1997 and teaching the students.

When I first became a professor at the University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, my mother gifted me money for the purchase of this Ferrari, a Daytona model of 1970. Now, with her blessing, I can dedicate these funds to Latvia."

J. Priedkalns hopes that the donated money will help young scientists to immerse more actively in neuroendocrinology research and to contribute to international high-level projects.

In addition to his professorship at the universities of several countries, for two years J. Priedkalns was also a professor at Riga Stradiņš University, Faculty of Medicine. From 1997 to 2001 he was the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Nations, and was elected as a member of the 6th Saeima of the Republic of Latvia and a representative to the Council of Europe.


In February 2010, Jānis Priedkalns donated EUR 142 400 to the University of Latvia to be used as an endowment for the Jānis Priedkalns Medical Science Research Foundation. The proceeds came from the sale of the Ferrari, with which he participated in races throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Jānis Priedkalns aims to promote the development of medical education in Latvia by supporting students involved in neurology research, primarily in the field of neuroendocrinology.

In the 2010/2011 academic year, the first Jānis Priedkalns Medical Science Research Foundation scholarships were awarded to three students of the University of Latvia Faculty of Medicine – Darja Isajeva (EUR 3 300), Zane Vīksna (EUR 2 150) and Sintija Sauša (EUR 1 000).

In the 2011/2012 academic year, the scholarship was awarded to Darja Isajeva (EUR 3 560).

In the 2012/2013 academic year, the scholarships were awarded to Kaspars Jēkabsons (EUR 3 560) and Zane Vīksna (EUR 2 850).

At the end of 2014, the purchase of equipment, apparatus and reagents for the project of the UL Faculty of Medicine "Modelling Alzheimer's Disease: Opportunities for Regulation of Behaviour and Brain Protein Expression" at the amount of EUR 7 291.32 was supported by the proceeds of endowment donated by Jānis Priedkalns.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!