Pigeons know better

Virginia Meskenaite

Senior Scientist

Short Biography

Dr. Virginia Meskenaite was a senior scientist in The Interface Group. Her main research focused on cellular mechanisms of mechanosensing in the cerebral cortex. Previously, she was a research fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Hans-Peter Lipp at the Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, where she studied magneto- and graviception in avian navigation. Before that, at institutes of Biochemistry and Neuroinformatics UniZH/ETH her research centered on synaptic and perisynaptic receptors, proteases and other signaling proteins in context of neuronal microcircuitry of the cerebral cortex in health and disease. She acquired postdoctoral training in the labs of Prof. Peter Somogyi, F.R.S., MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit, Oxford Uni, UK and Prof. Tomas Freund, Semmelweis Univ. Medical School, Budapest. She obtained the Candidate of Biological Sciences (Ph.D. equivalent) in Histology & Embryology and Neuroscience under supervision of Prof. V.A. Otellin in I.P. Pavlov’s Institute of Physiology and Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. She completed her M. Sc. in Biochemistry at Vilnius University, Lithuania.


01965509.1-2405-IBO101662, co-inventor, filed 13.09.2001. European Patent Office: Calcium Binding Proteins

Peer-reviewed journal publications

  1. Meskenaite V, Krackow S, Lipp HP. (2016) Age-Dependent Neurogenesis and Neuron Numbers within the Olfactory Bulb and Hippocampus of Homing Pigeons. Front Behav Neurosci. 10:126.
  2. Blaser N., Guskov, S.I., Meskenaite V., Kanevskyi V.A., H.-P. Lipp (2013) Altered orientation and flight paths of pigeons reared on gravity anomalies: a GPS tracking study. PloS ONE 8(10): e77102.
  3. Starostenko V.I., Kanevskii V.A., Entin V.A., Gintov O.B., Guskov S.I., Morenkov E.D., Blaser N., Meskenaite V., H.-P. Lipp (2012) Distinctive characteristics of pigeon navigation within gravity anomalies in Ukraine. Geophys. J. 34(2): 20-35 (in russian).
  4. Bianchi V., Farisello P., Baldelli P., Meskenaite V., Milanese M., Vecellio M., Mühlemann S., Lipp HP., Bonanno G., Benfenati F., Toniolo D., D’Adamo P. (2009) Cognitive impairment in Gdi1-deficient mice is associated with altered synaptic vesicle pools and short-term synaptic plasticity, and can be corrected by appropriate learning training. Hum Mol Genet. 18:105-17.
  5. Konecna A, Frischknecht R, Kinter J, Ludwig A, Steuble M, Meskenaite V, Indermühle M, Engel M, Cen C, Mateos JM, Streit P, Sonderegger P. (2006) Calsyntenin-1 docks vesicular cargo to kinesin-1. Mol. Biol. Cell.17:3651-63.
  6. Schrimpf S.P., Meskenaite V., Brunner E., Rutishauser D., Walther P., Eng J., Aebersold R. and P. Sonderegger (2005) Proteomic analysis of synaptosomes using isotope-coded affinity tags and mass spectrometry. Proteomics. 5: 2531-41.
  7. Molinari F, Meskenaite V, Munnich A, Sonderegger P, Colleaux L. (2003) Extracellular proteases and their inhibitors in genetic diseases of the central nervous system. Review. Hum Mol Genet. 12:R195-200.
  8. Molinari F, Rio M, Meskenaite V, Encha-Razavi F, Auge J, Bacq D, Briault S, Vekemans M, Munnich A, Attie-Bitach T, Sonderegger P, Colleaux L. (2002) Truncating neurotrypsin mutation in autosomal recessive nonsyndromic mental retardation. Science. 298(5599):1779-81.
  9. Hintch G*, Zurlinden A*, Meskenaite V, Steuble M, Fink-Widmer K, Kinter J, Sonderegger P. (2002) The calsyntenins–a family of postsynaptic membrane proteins with distinct neuronal expression patterns. Mol Cell Neurosci. 21(3):393-409.
  10. Vogt L.*, Schrimpf S.P.*, Meskenaite V., Frischknecht R., Kinter J., Leone D.P., Ziegler U., Sonderegger P. (2001) Calsyntenin-1, a proteolytically processed postsynaptic membrane protein with a cytoplasmic calcium-binding domain. Mol Cell Neurosci. 17(1):151-66.
  11. Heider B., Meskenaite V., Peterhans E. (2000) Anatomy and physiology of a neural mechanism defining depth order and contrast polarity at illusory contours. Eur J Neurosci 12(11):4117-4130.
  12. Halford M.M., Armes J., Buchert M., Meskenaite V., Grail D., Hibbs M.L., Wilks A.F., Farlie P.G., Newgreen D.F., Hovens C.M., Stacker S.A.(2000) Ryk-deficient mice exhibit craniofacial defects associated with perturbed Eph receptor crosstalk. Nat Genet. 25(4):414-8.
  13. Latawiec D., Martin K.A., Meskenaite V. (2000) Termination of the geniculocortical projection in the striate cortex of macaque monkey: a quantitative immunoelectron microscopic study. J Comp Neurol. 419(3):306-19.
  14. Buchert M.*, Schneider S.*, Meskenaite V., Adams M.T., Canaani E., Baechi T., Moelling K. and C.M. Hovens (1999) The Junction-associated Protein AF-6 Interacts and Clusters with Specific Eph Receptor Tyrosine Kinases at Specialized Sites of Cell-Cell Contact in the Brain. J. Cell Biol., 144: 361-371.
  15. Fritschy J.-M., Meskenaite V., Weinnmann O., Honer M., Benke D. and H.Mohler (1999) GABAB-receptor splice variants GB1a and Gb1b in rat brain:developmental regulation, cellular distribution and extrasynaptic localization. Eur. J. Neurosci, 11: 761-768.
  16. Gabernet L., Meskenaite V. and M.C. Hepp-Reymond (1999) Parcellation of the Lateral Premotor Cortex of the Macaque Monkey based on staining with the Neurofilament Antibody SMI-32. Exp Brain Res 128(1-2):188-93.
  17. Meskenaite V. (1997) Calretinin-Immunoreactive Local Circuit Neurons in Area 17 of the Cynomolgus Monkey, Macaca fascicularis. J. Comp. Neurol., 379:113-132.
  18. Freund T.F. and Meskenaite V. (1992) gamma-Aminobutyric acid-containing basal forebrain neurons innervate inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex. Proc. Natl.Acad.Sci.USA, 89: 738-742.
  19. Prazdnikova N.V., Danilova V.F. and Meskenaite V. (1989) The Role of Cat Cortical Areas 7, 21, and Dorsal and Ventral Lateral Suprasylvian Divisions in Visual Recognition. Sensornyje Sistemy. 3:292-301 (in Russian).
  20. Danilova V.F., Meskenaite V. and Prazdnikova N.V. (1987) The Localization of Two Mechanisms of Visual Recognition in the Cat Cerebral Cortex. Sensornyje Sistemy. 1:93-101 (in Russian).
  21. Otellin V.A. and Meskenaite V. (1986) Initial Neurons of Associative and Callosal pathways of the Lateral Suprasylvian Area in Cat Brain. Neurosci.Physiol. 16:441-447.
  22. Meskenaite V. (1985) Specific Characteristics of Neuronal Interactions in the Lateral Suprasylvian Area of the Cat Cerebral Cortex. In: Ed. Otellin V.A. Problems of Anatomical-Neurochemical Organization, Transplantation and Regeneration of the Nervous System. pp 89-95 (in Russian).
  23. Otellin V.A. and Meskenaite V. (1984) Cells of Origin of the Associative
    and Callosal Pathways of the Lateral Suprasylvian Area in the Cat Cerebral Cortex. Arch.Anat. 87:14-21 (in Russian).
  24. Meskenaite V. and Rybakov V.L. (1981) The Application of the Fluorescent Retrograde Tracer Primuline to Determine Afferent Pathways of the Primary Visual Cortex. In: (Ed. Kostyuk P.G.) Axonal Transport in the Nervous System. pp.129-133. (in Russian).
  25. Otellin V.A., Meskenaite V. and V.L.Rybakov (1981) Studies on cortical interconnectivity by the application of the fluorescent retrograde tracers. Arch. Anat. 80:26-29. (in Russian).