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Nijole Savickiene

Professor in the Department of Pharmacognosy

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences


Peculiarities and advantages of an interdisciplinary approach to science

Interdisciplinary science is an integrated approach that synthesizes the perspectives of multiple individual disciplines during all phases of the research to investigate and answer a question, or solve a problem. Cooperation among contributors is necessary. The Consortium of the international “Eureka“ project E! 3695 („Creation of the methodology for effects of natural antioxidants on the development of the Diabetes mellitus complications“) was as a model of multi-institutional collaboration in biomedical research. It capitalized on complementary resources and expertise from different disciplines (Pharmacognosy, Endocrinology, Neurology, Biochemistry, Statistics, Psychology) and organizations (different departments of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Riga Stradiņs University and Joint-Stock Company “Sanitas”, Joint-Stock Company “Aconitum”, Lithuania, and Joint-Stock Company “Grindeks”, Latvia) to address scientific problems of phytopreparations investigation in the most impactful way. There was evaluated the effects of Ginkgo biloba L. and Camellia sinensis L. leaves extracts on oxidative damage in type 2 diabetic patients with diabetic complications (neuropathy, nephropathy, rethinophaty) in this clinical trial. 88 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus were enrolled into the study. All patients were randomly allocated to receive standardized Ginkgo biloba dry extract (Ex.Gb), Ex.Cs (standardized Camellia sinensis L. leaves extract), compound of both extract -  Grinvitals Cereloba plus tablets (GCP) or placebo capsules. The comparisons between three different measurements (at baseline, after 9 and 18 months) were made using Friedman test and Two-way ANOVA. The results were considered statistically significant at p < 0.05. The results confirm the beneficial influence of Ex.Gb on reducing amount of MDA and HNE in diabetic patients. Ex.Gb had the most influence on perivascular changes in bulbar conjunctiva vessels. The decrement of VC (Index of the vascular changes) was observed immediately after receiving 160 mg of Ex.Gb per day for nine months. The results show that ingestion of  Ex.Gb (240 mg per day) determines significant decrease in quantity of creatine. The relation between the more intensive distal leg area microcirculation and use of Ex.Gb (160 mg and 240 mg per day) and Ex.Cs ( 600 mg per day) was determined during the investigation of vibratory sensation threshold. It was estimated the minor improvement of indicators in psychological status and quality of patients life after the application of Ex.Gb (160 mg and 240 mg per day) – for women and Ex.Cs ( 400 mg and 600 mg per day) – for men. The results of this study show that ingestion of antioxidants (ExGb, ExCs) has possibility to determine the significant positive changes of complications in patients with type 2 Diabetes.

The scientific consortium of project “Pelargodont” (“Engineering and functionalization of delivery system with Pelargonium sidoides biologically active substance on inflamed periodontal surface area”) is even larger: Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (Lithuania), Riga Stradiņs University (Latvia), Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (Latvia), Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Science (Poland), Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland), Università Piemonte Orientale (Italy), UAB Ferentis (Lithuania). The aim of the PELARGODONT project is to engineer a biodegradable mucoadhesive drug delivery system of local action with natural active substance for periodontitis treatment. The system will be designed to release optimized levels of multiple antibacterials from Pelargonium sidoides root extract in the disease-affected area for a sustained period of time aiming for both ease of use and high patient acceptance. The expected result of this research will develop a comprehensive approach in order to determine the relationships between structure and properties of advanced biodegradable polymeric materials for particular medical application. Obtained results will allow to define further perspective aimed at the development of a new area of knowledge concerning the safety of biodegradable polymers for intra - pocket applications.

The project will deliver an innovative product that will help to avoid or delay surgical treatment, prevent side effects, bacterial resistance, reduce the number of severe cases and decrease societal medical costs. The PELARGODONT Project is financed under the M-ERA.NET 2 Programme, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 685451.

It is a great advantage, when Consortium researchers continue to develop groundbreaking research methods and strategies, collaborative models and data, and biological sample-sharing paradigms to support research endeavors. The recent development in synergy research has opened highly interesting perspectives for a new generation of phytopharmaceuticals.


  1. Špadienė, Asta; Savickienė, Nijolė; Jurgevičienė, Nijolė; Žalinkevičius, Rimantas; Norkus, Antanas; Ostrauskas, Rytas; Skesters, Andrejs; Silova, Alise; Rodovičius, Hiliaras; Francaitė-Daugėlienė, Miglė. Effect of ginkgo extract on eye microcirculation in patients with diabetes / Asta Spadiene, Nijole Savickiene, Nijole Jurgeviciene, Rimantas Zalinkevicius, Antanas Norkus, Rytas Ostrauskas, Andrejs Skesters, Alisa Silova, Hiliaras Rodovicius, Miglė Francaite-Daugeliene // Central European Journal of Medicine, 2013,3.
  2. Kolodziej, H.; Kiderlen, A.F. In vitro evaluation of antibacterial and immunomodulatory activities of Pelargonium reniforme, Pelargonium sidoides and the related herbal drug preparation EPs® 7630. Phytomedicine 2007, 14, 18-26.
  3. Natalie et al, Delivery system for the administration of drugs to the periodontal pockets, Advanced drug delivery review, 1994; 13: 181-203.



Nijole Savickiene is the professor in the Department of Pharmacognosy, Lithuanian university of health sciences. Scientific interests: the investigations of the biologic active substances in plants, search of the new drugs and pharmacological activities in them.

Activity: She was the head and coordinator of International “Eureka“ project E! 3695 „Creation of the methodology for effects of natural antioxidants on the development of the Diabetes mellitus complications“. Nijole Savickiene participated in the research supported by a Grant of Lithuanian Foundation for Research and Studies for the Projects according functionalization of lectins. Together with Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of Sapienza University of Rome was evaluated investigation of lectin-enriched protein fraction from Urtica dioica L. as antitumor and antimutagenic agent. She participated in Project entitled „Research and elaboration of directions for use of new plant polypeptides in the lectin family as potential immunomodulators and cytostatic agents“ jointly with V. F. Kuprevich’s Institute of Experimental Botany of Belarus Academy of Sciences, Horizon 2020 Project “ PELARGODONT” (Engineering and functionalization of delivery system with Pelargonium sidoides biologically active substance on inflamed periodontal surface area”, 9 Publications over last 5 years cited in the database of the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science.

Nijole Savickiene is Expert of European Commission, Member of the Council of Faculty Pharmacy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Member of Lithuanian pharmacists association Council, Member of A.Kaikaris relief and charity Council, Member of Lithuanian Apitherapy Society, President of Endobiogenic Medicine and Integrative Physiology Association.