Prof Algirdas Utku
Algirdas Utkus is Dean of Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University, where he was Vice-Dean for Postgraduates studies from 2004 to 2012 and Professor of Clinical Genetics from 2012 until present; also, he is Head of Department of Human and Medical genetics at the same University. Graduating Vilnius University at 1989, he started his career from Republican Panevežys Hospital as clinical geneticist 1989 to1991, after this he was in Department of Human and Medical Genetics of Vilnius University Assistant of Professor from 1991 to 2004 and then he was Associate Professor at the same place.
In 1992, he began work as a clinical geneticist at the Medical Genetics Center of the Vilnius University Hospital’s Santara Clinics. In 2001, he defended his medical doctor’s thesis on the Etiology, Prevalence and Structure of Congenital Anomalies in Lithuania’s Children. He became a Associate Professor in 2004, began professorial duties in 2009, and received the title of professor in 2012, after completing his habilitation procedure with a work on Rare Disease Phenomics and Genetic Counseling. Since 2012, he is the Head of the Department of Human and Medical Genetics of the Medical Faculty and the Medical Genetics Center of the Vilnius University Hospital’s Santara Clinics as well as Dean of the Medical Faculty.
With regard to clinical genetics, Algirdas Utkus’s main research interests are in the areas of rare hereditary diseases of the nervous and muscle systems, teratogenesis, and chromosomal abnormalities. With regard to medical education, his main research interests are in modernization of the study process and quality assurance.
Since 2012, he is the chair of the Lithuanian Society of Human Genetics and of the Vilnius Medical Society, a member of the Education Committee of the European Society of Human Genetics as well as a member of the editorial boards of the journals Laboratorin? medicina(Laboratory Medicine) and Sveikatos mokslai (Health Sciences). From 2012 to 2017, he was Chair of the Medical Faculty’s Council, and since 2017 is a member of the National Health Council of Republic of Lithuania.
Algirdas Utkus received professional training in Lithuania and abroad: at the Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA); the Salt Lake City University Hospital’s Division of Medical Genetics (Salt Lake City, USA); Wisconsin University’s Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Waisman Center (Madison, USA); the Postgraduate Medical Institute (Moscow, Russia); the Department of Medical Genetics at the Hôpital de la Timone (Marseille, France); the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic of Vilnius University; the Republican Children’s Hospital in Vilnius and elsewhere.
Algirdas Utkus is the author of 65 scientific articles; author and co-author of 8 medical textbooks and methodological monographs.
Under his leadership, the auditoriums and laboratories which the Medical Faculty took over from the Natural Sciences Faculty at the Vilnius University campus have been renovated and modernized; the technical project for the new (second) medical campus was prepared. In order to increase the quality of medical education, the best medical literature databases have been ordered. At Algirdas Utkus’s initiative, an international board of advisors has been formed, structural reforms of the Faculty of Medicine carried out, a new Studies Department established as well as four new institutes: the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Clinical Medicine, the Institute of Dentistry and the Institute of the Health Sciences. Due to the efforts of Algirdas Utkus and his team, the international recognition and prestige of the Medical Faculty grows every year: many cooperation as well as student and faculty exchange agreements have been signed, medical and dental courses in English initiated. The mobility of faculty and students has increased greatly.
At the end of 2016, Algirdas Utkus won the City of Vilnius St. Christopher statuette for promoting Vilnius with his scientific work.
Algirdas Utkus was elected member of the AMSE Executive Committee in 2017.