Research Directions and labs
Research
Human genetics and disease mechanisms

J. Klovins lab

Research

The main priority of the group is translational research combining the genetic, pharmacogenomic and functional studies in order to understand the Human biology, disease and drug action mechanisms with emphasis on metabolic and endocrine processes. Taking advantages of Biobank developments and established collaborations with hospitals and medical doctors we aim to perform omics based research on number of proprietary directions involving identification of new disease and therapy related biomarkers and drug targets as well as their characterisation using cell and animal model systems followed by possible clinical validation and development of diagnostics and therapies.

In previous years, we have done several candidate gene and replication research projects, in purpose to study genetic predisposition of such multifactorial diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular and endocrine diseases as well as various metabolic parameters. In these studies, we have found and published associations between several diseases and various genetic factors

Continuing the successful collaborations, like population structure and schizophrenia research consortium, we have engaged in studies of genetic factors in Helicobacter pylori infection (project manager Voter J. den Hollander from Erasmus University Rotterdam) and 2TD pharmacogenetics (project manager Ewan Pearson Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK).

Group’s key strategy for the post-VGA study era is to focus on the longitudinal cohort formation, which are supported by well-detailed phenotypic and clinical information and which in addition to genetic research will be studied using integrated approach, where the disease associated genes or signalling pathways will be studied using epigenetics, expression analysis, cell biology and animal experimentation

Following the genetic studies on diabetes, we first engaged the studies of T2D pharmacogenomics and drug action mechanisms, establishing prospective cohort of T2D patients (more than 350 patients at this moment) and doing several small clinical studies. With these resources, we are performing complex epigenetics, expression and other biomarkers studies, such as the host and mikrobioma interaction in order to explore the factors that modify drug exposure.

Secondly, we are performing the studies on pathogenesis of pituitary tumors and identification of molecular biomarkers for prediction of tumor development and therapy efficiency. Our goal is to identify molecular characteristics that are determining tumorigenesis and differentiation of pituitary adenomas as well as progression, aggressiveness and recurrence of tumours. Researches are based on cohort (more than 300 patients at this moment), that has been deliberately collected since year 2007, involving major medical institutions in Latvia - Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital and Riga East Clinical University Hospital. Because of that, we have been able to recruit most of the registered pituitary adenoma patients in Latvia. Besides that, we are obtaining and studying pituitary adenoma stem-like cell cultures, in order to analyse their origin and differentiation as well as to create pituitary adenoma cell model, in which we could independently evaluate drug effectiveness and molecular maker dynamics.

Finally we are interested in elaboration the mechanisms of metabolic regulation and its interplay with inflammatory processes of adipose tissue as well as patient stem cell derived models of diabetes including the characterisation of existing and new drugs.

Scientific Staff

Valdis Pīrāgs , Dr. med., pirags@latnet.lv

Valdis Pīrāgs , Dr. med.

Senior researcher
Phone: 29237760
E-mail: pirags@latnet.lv

Liene Ņikitina-Zaķe , Dr. med., lienik@biomed.lu.lv

Liene Ņikitina-Zaķe , Dr. med.

Senior researcher
Phone: +371 67473083
E-mail: lienik@biomed.lu.lv

Vita Rovīte , Dr. biol., vita.rovite@biomed.lu.lv

Vita Rovīte , Dr. biol.

Researcher
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: vita.rovite@biomed.lu.lv

Ineta Kalniņa , Dr. biol., ineta@biomed.lu.lv

Ineta Kalniņa , Dr. biol.

Researcher
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: ineta@biomed.lu.lv

Ivo Kāpa , MSc. biol., ivo@biomed.lu.lv

Ivo Kāpa , MSc. biol.

Assistant
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: ivo@biomed.lu.lv

Ilze Radoviča-Spalviņa , Dr. biol., ilze@biomed.lu.lv

Ilze Radoviča-Spalviņa , Dr. biol.

Researcher
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: ilze@biomed.lu.lv

Gunita Varblane , MSc. biol., gunita@biomed.lu.lv

Gunita Varblane , MSc. biol.

Researcher
Phone: +371 67808212
E-mail: gunita@biomed.lu.lv

Linda Zaharenko , Dr. biol., linda.zaharenko@biomed.lu.lv

Linda Zaharenko , Dr. biol.

Researchers
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: linda.zaharenko@biomed.lu.lv

Ilona Mandrika , MSc. biol., ilona@biomed.lu.lv

Ilona Mandrika , MSc. biol.

Researcher
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: ilona@biomed.lu.lv

Raitis Pečulis , MSc. biol., raitis@biomed.lu.lv

Raitis Pečulis , MSc. biol.

Scientific assistant
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: raitis@biomed.lu.lv

Kaspars Megnis , MSc. biol., kaspars.megnis@biomed.lu.lv

Kaspars Megnis , MSc. biol.

Scientific assistant
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: kaspars.megnis@biomed.lu.lv

Ivars Silamiķelis , MSc. biol., ivars.silamikelis@biomed.lu.lv

Ivars Silamiķelis , MSc. biol.

Scientific assistant
Phone: +371 67808212
E-mail: ivars.silamikelis@biomed.lu.lv

Monta Ustinova , MSc, monta.ustinova@biomed.lu.lv

Monta Ustinova , MSc

Scientific assistant
Phone: +371 67808200
E-mail: monta.ustinova@biomed.lu.lv

Ilze Elbere , MSc.biol., ilze.elbere@biomed.lu.lv

Ilze Elbere , MSc.biol.

laboratory assistant
Phone: +31767808200
E-mail: ilze.elbere@biomed.lu.lv

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Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF 2.1.1.2. aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/2.1.1.2.0/10/APIA/VIAA/004 "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".