Kaunas, Lithuania

Vytautas Magnus University

Kaunas, Lithuania

Vytautas Magnus University ) is a public university in Kaunas, Lithuania. The university was founded in 1922 during the interwar period as an alternate national university. Initially it was known as the University of Lithuania, but in 1930 the university was renamed to Vytautas Magnus University, commemorating 500 years of death of Vytautas the Great, the Lithuanian ruler, well known for the nation's greatest historical expansion in the 15th century.It is one of the leading universities of Lithuania, has now about 8,700 students, including Master and Ph.D. candidates. There are slightly fewer than 1000 employees, including approximately 70 professors. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2016 | Award Amount: 140.41K | Year: 2016

The LT2016 Researchers Night projects for 2016 and 2017 will take place in major Lithuanian cities, i.e. Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Moletai, as well as in rural areas. The project aims to enhance public recognition of researchers and their work through bringing scientists and public closer to one another and thus increasing an understanding of the impact of researchers work on citizens daily life as well as encouraging young people to choose careers in science and research. Both events will offer a broad range of varied activities addressing all categories of the public at large, regardless of age and scientific background, i.e. notably: Meetings and activities together with researchers; Lectures, discussions; Visits to open laboratories; Real life observations and experiments; European corners; Various contests, games, exhibitions, movie and online broadcast watching. All the activities planned will actively involve researchers and will offer a balanced combination of serious activities and funny ones to be attractive for the general public. Activities will be hosted in labs, lecture halls, meeting places, cafes, while in the rural areas they will take place in schools or public spaces. Some activities conducted in the main sites will be broadcasted online. Common concept for the Night in 2016 and 2017 will be Learning about Technology Futures. Therefore activities of Researchers Night projects in 2016 will be organised with focus on Virtual Reality thus building foundations for the Night in 2017 which will focus of science futurity or Futures of technologies. Both events will be finalised with the grand event unifying different fields - music, science and cinema. We expect at least 500.000 people made aware of the Researchers Night and its objectives through the awareness campaign and 11.500 direct attendees to the various events planned in 2016 as well as in 2017.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 71.57K | Year: 2013

The LT2013 Researchers Night will take place in Lithuanian major cities, i.e. Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Panevezys and Moletai, as well as in remote rural areas. The project aims to enhance public recognition of researchers and their work through bringing scientists and public closer to one another and through exploration of researchers interests, hobbies and other occupations beside their primary research work. The event will offer a broad range of varied activities addressing all categories of the public at large, regardless of age and scientific background, i.e. notably: Meetings and activities with researchers; Lectures, discussions; Visits to open laboratories; Real life observations and experiments; European corners; Various contests, movie and online broadcast watching; Broadcasting online. All the activities planned will actively involve researchers and will offer a balanced combination of serious activities and fun ones. Activities will be hosted in labs, lectures halls, meeting places, while in the rural areas they will take place in schools or public spaces. Some activities conducted in the main site will be broadcasted on line.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2011.1.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 4.52M | Year: 2012

Indications exist that close contact with nature brings benefits to human health and well-being. The proposed work will investigate the interconnections between exposure to natural outdoor environments, in both rural and urban settings, and better human health and well-being in the North West, South and East of Europe. The project will explore the underlying mechanisms at work (stress reduction/restorative function, physical activity, social interaction, exposure to environmental hazards) and examine the health effects (general health and well-being, mental health/neural development, stress, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory mortality and morbidity, birth outcomes and obesity) for different population groups (pregnant women and/or foetus, different age groups, socio-economic status, ethnic minorities and patients). We will use conventional and new innovative high tech methods to characterize the natural environment in terms of quality and quantity. Preventive as well as therapeutic effects of contact with the natural environment will be covered. We will address implications for land-use planning and green space management. The work will produce more robust evidence base on links between exposure to natural outdoor environment and human health and well-being, and a better integration of human health needs into land use planning and green space management in rural as well as urban areas.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-3 | Award Amount: 11.29M | Year: 2013

The aim of HELIX is to exploit novel tools and methods (remote sensing/GIS-based spatial methods, omics-based approaches, biomarkers of exposure, exposure devices and models, statistical tools for combined exposures, novel study designs, and burden of disease methodologies), to characterise early-life exposure to a wide range of environmental hazards, and integrate and link these with data on major child health outcomes (growth and obesity, neurodevelopment, immune system), thus developing an Early-Life Exposome approach. HELIX uses six existing, prospective birth cohort studies as the only realistic and feasible way to obtain the comprehensive, longitudinal, human data needed to build this early-life exposome. These cohorts have already collected large amounts of data as part of national and EU-funded projects. Results will be integrated with data from European cohorts (>300,000 subjects) and registers, to estimate health impacts at the large European scale. HELIX will make a major contribution to the integrated exposure concept by developing an exposome toolkit and database that will: 1) measure a wide range of major chemical and physical environmental hazards in food, consumer products, water, air, noise, and the built environment, in pre and postnatal periods; 2) integrate data on individual, temporal, and toxicokinetic variability, and on multiple exposures, which will greatly reduce uncertainty in exposure estimates; 3) determine molecular profiles and biological pathways associated with multiple exposures using omics tools; 4) provide exposure-response estimates and thresholds for multiple exposures and child health; and 5) estimate the burden of childhood disease in Europe due to multiple environmental exposures. This integration of the chemical, physical and molecular environment during critical early-life periods will lead to major improvements in health risk and impact assessments and thus to improved prevention strategies for vulnerable populations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.2.1 | Award Amount: 4.15M | Year: 2013

ACAT focuses on the problem how artificial systems (robots) can understand and utilize information made for humans. For example, a statement like: Put the nut on the bolt and tighten, which one might find in any assembly instruction sheet, is easily understood by us, but not by any robot. Too much background information is missing: Which tool to use? How to hold the tool? How to operate it? And much more. To make this understandable for a machine, ACAT introduces the concept of an action category. Action categories are extracted from large bodies of human sources (text, images) and will fill in the missing background information. An action category, thus, includes the general computer code to perform the action (e.g. by a robot hand). But, as actions are always situation dependent, it also includes all situation specific information (e.g. how to shape the hand, how to generate the correct pose relative to a manipulated object). This is called action-specific background information. Action categories are obtained by combining linguistic analysis with action-simulation and robot self-exploration. They are assembled in an action-specific knowledge base. The ACAT project will develop a system that uses this knowledge base to compile and execute plans as sequences of individual actions. The execution of these plans by a robot serves as a test-bed for the success of the stored action categories. Repeated execution, error analysis, and correction lead to a life-long update process of the action-category knowledge base. The ultimate purpose of ACAT is to equip the robot on an ongoing basis with abstract, functional knowledge, normally made for humans, about relations between actions and objects leading to a system which can act meaningfully. For testing, ACAT uses instruction sheets (manuals), made for human workers, and translates these into a robot-executable format. This way the robot will be able to partially take over human tasks without time-consuming programming procedures improving the efficiency of industrial processes. Thus, similar to computer science, where the development of the first compilers had led to a major step forward, the main impact of this project is that ACAT develops a robot-compiler, which translates human understandable information into a robot-executable program.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2009

This proposal has been elaborated by a consortium of 35 partners coming from 27 European countries and including scientists, government institutions and authorities, NGOs and industry. The main goal is to develop a coherent approach to HBM in Europe as requested by ACTION 3 of the EU Environment and Health Action Plan through coordination of ongoing and planned HBM activities. The project will exploit existing and planned HBM projects and programmes of work and capabilities in Europe. The consortium will investigate what is needed to advance and improve comparability of HBM data across Europe. Work prepared under DG Research and DG Environment activities dealing with development, validation and use of novel biomarkers including non-invasive markers and effect markers will be exploited. Through close collaboration with similar initiatives in the field of Health - such as the EU Health Examination Survey - appropriate economies and efficiencies will be assessed. Key issues such as Ethics and human Biobanks will be addressed. The project will deliver a number of key outputs including: 1. Tested Proofs of Concept and/or Demonstration project assessing the feasibility of a coordinated approach, including strategies for data interpretation & integration with environmental and health data. 2. A rationale and strategy for communication and dissemination of information, results and key messages to all stakeholders from the public to policy makers 3. Training and capacity building will aim to promote knowledge and experience exchange and development in the field of HBM within Europe A common understanding within all parties involved on the potential of HMB in supporting and evaluating current/future policy making (including e.g. REACH) and for environmental health awareness raising will be promoted This project aim is to significantly advance the process towards a fully operational, continuous, sustainable and scientifically sound EU HBM programme.

Grazuleviciene R.,Vytautas Magnus University
Environmental health : a global access science source | Year: 2014

The aims of this study were to explore associations of the distance and use of urban green spaces with the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and its risk factors, and to evaluate the impact of the accessibility and use of green spaces on the incidence of CVD among the population of Kaunas city (Lithuania). We present the results from a Kaunas cohort study on the access to and use of green spaces, the association with cardiovascular risk factors and other health-related variables, and the risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. A random sample of 5,112 individuals aged 45-72 years was screened in 2006-2008. During the mean 4.41 years follow-up, there were 83 deaths from CVD and 364 non-fatal cases of CVD among persons free from CHD and stroke at the baseline survey. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used for data analysis. We found that the distance from people's residence to green spaces was not related to the prevalence of health-related variables. However, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus were significantly lower among park users than among non-users. During the follow up, an increased risk of non-fatal and fatal CVD combined was observed for those who lived ≥629.61 m from green spaces (3rd tertile of distance to green space) (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.36), and the risk for non-fatal CVD-for those who lived ≥347.81 m (2nd and 3rd tertile) and were not park users (HR = 1.66) as compared to men and women who lived 347.8 m or less (1st tertile) from green space. Men living further away from parks (3rd tertile) had a higher risk of non-fatal and fatal CVD combined, compared to those living nearby (1st tertile) (HR = 1.51). Compared to park users living nearby (1st tertile), a statistically significantly increased risk of non-fatal CVD was observed for women who were not park users and living farther away from parks (2nd and 3rd tertile) (HR = 2.78). Our analysis suggests public health policies aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in urban settings could produce cardiovascular benefits.

Saulis G.,Vytautas Magnus University
Food Engineering Reviews | Year: 2010

Using of pulsed electric fields (PEF) for killing of microorganisms in liquid foods is a promising new nonthermal food processing and preservation technology. However, to implement and optimize this technology, a good understanding of the actual mechanisms that govern microbial inactivation by this technique is required. Here, fundamentals of cell electroporation, which is considered as underlying phenomenon of food processing technology, are discussed. The whole process of the cell electroporation (food processing) by PEF is divided into the following four main stages: (1) building the transmembrane potential up by the applied external electric field, (2) creation of small metastable hydrophilic pores, when the transmembrane potential has been built up; (3) evolution of the pore population- the change in the number and/or sizes of pores- during an electric treatment; and (4) post-treatment stage consisting of the processes that take place after the electric treatment (leakage of intracellular compounds, pore shrinkage and disappearance, etc.). The current knowledge of the processes taking place during each of the above stages as well as the factors influencing them is discussed. Theoretical considerations are illustrated with the experimental data available. © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-3.2.3. | Award Amount: 3.29M | Year: 2009

In order to explore the linkages between new jobs, conditions of work and employment in these jobs and more or less favourable outcomes for employees quality of work and life, WALQING combines data analysis on the chief European data sources, in-depth comparative investigation of stakeholder policies, organisational arrangements and strategies, and the perspectives and agency of individuals in new jobs. WALQING involves interest organisations and other stakeholders from an early point in time by focusing on existing policies and arenas and gaps in these policies and taking an action-research perspective. Its aims are 1. to identify expanding economic activities in Europe with problematic configurations in terms of low wages, precarious employment and lack of social integration; 2. to investigate existing social partner and other stakeholder policies seeking to improve conditions in these industries and involve stakeholders in the assessment of both problematic and favourable practices; 3. to analyse possible relations between various ways of organising new types of work in terms of contractual arrangements, working hours, etc., and the impact on the quality of work and life, as well as the conditions of configurations that are favourable and sustainable on both the organisational and the individual level; 4. to bring together institutionalist, organisational and action-research perspectives in order to transfer examples of good practice beyond their national context and to explore the limitations of such transfers; 5. from these analyses, to identify gaps in stakeholder, national and European policy that may contribute to locking organisations and individuals in patterns of low-wage and poor job quality and investigate the possibilities to transfer examples of organisational strategies that support higher-quality paths.

News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - February 23, 2017) - The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is the nation's largest organization for legal education. This year, Professor Mark Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School, is serving as a Chair of an AALS Section for the 10th time. This year Wojcik is chairing the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange, a section that he previously chaired in 1998. The Section promotes communication and understanding by helping to promote foreign educational exchange programs for faculty and law students in the United States and in foreign nations. "Being involved in the AALS allows me to work with law professors from across the country and around the world," said Wojcik, who practiced customs and international trade law before joining John Marshall's faculty in 1992. "I'm grateful for the confidence that my colleagues have in me when they elect me as Chair of an AALS Section." At John Marshall, Wojcik teaches International Law, International Business Transactions, Lawyering Skills, Torts, and Sexual Orientation Law. He has taught and lectured in 11 foreign countries, including at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland, the Free La Faculty of Monterrey in Mexico, Vytautas Magnus University School of Law in Lithuania and the University of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy. Wojcik chaired the AALS Section on North American Cooperation last year and in 2004-2005 and also has twice chaired the Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers. He has chaired the Section on International Human Rights; the Section on International Law; the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research; and the Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity issues. He has also served as an officer of the Section on Art Law and a member of the Executive Committee of the Section on Defamation and Privacy. Wojcik is currently serving as Diversity Officer for the Section of International Law of the ABA. He is President-elect of Scribes-The American Society of Legal Writers. He also served on the governing boards of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. He is the author and co-author of numerous law review articles, book chapters and books, including the first casebook on AIDS Law, the first legal writing text for non-native speakers of English and Illinois Legal Research. Wojcik also founded the Global Legal Skills Conference, an international legal skills conference that has been held in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico and Italy. The Chicago Bar Foundation presented him with awards for outstanding service to the legal profession and for pro bono service. He was also inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools ranks John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program 5th, its Trial Advocacy Program 19th and its Intellectual Property Law Program 21st in the nation. Since its inception, John Marshall has been a pioneer in legal education and has been guided by a tradition of diversity, innovation, access and opportunity.

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