Skip to content

Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2577112

E: rfurmonaviciene@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Dr Furmonaviciene is an MD, MSc in Immunology and Allergy, PhD in Allergy, PGCert HE, currently working full-time as a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) at De Montfort University, Leicester. Ruta’s interests include: teaching, e-learning, biomedical science, immunology, allergy research, management in higher education, biomedical programme management and curriculum design.

Publications and outputs

  • Reasons for smoking among English-speaking adults in Leicester - a pilot study
    Reasons for smoking among English-speaking adults in Leicester - a pilot study Joshi, Kshama R.; Furmonaviciene, R. Cigarette smoke contains around 7000 chemicals that are harmful to health and cause premature death. Most smokers acknowledge the harm they are doing to them yet continue to smoke. This pilot study was designed to understand the impact of cigarette smoking, the addictive effect of nicotine, and also to hypothesize a recommendation for smoking cessation. Methods: This study recruited English speaking adult participants who were either current, occasional, and ex-smokers from NHS Stop Smoking clinics in Leicester, United Kingdom, using a self-completed questionnaire. Results: Out of 32 participants, white British and Asian were the top two ethnicities with the majority of males as respondents. Stress, boredom, nervousness, and ‘just like it’, were the main reasons quoted for cigarette smoking. Irritation & mood swings were the top reasons for craving. The visual stimuli and ‘smell of smoking’ were reported as the top two strong cues. Majority of the participants reported having several health problems mainly due to cigarette smoking such as respiratory cough, feel like tightening of lungs, asthma, high blood pressure, difficulty in losing weight, excess fat accumulation near the waist, poor appetite, fatigue, sleep disturbances, darkened teeth as well as an inability to differentiate between taste. Conclusion: Our study suggested that cigarette smoking may be more like a habit than an addiction, which unable to relieve stress or boredom but keeps smokers hooked to the habit. open access article
  • Using Co-creation and Instant Feedback for Teaching University Students’ interactive Adobe Spark e-page and 30 minute recorded online talk presented at the International UDL-IRN Summit On Demand, New York, USA, June 1-5th, 2020.
    Using Co-creation and Instant Feedback for Teaching University Students’ interactive Adobe Spark e-page and 30 minute recorded online talk presented at the International UDL-IRN Summit On Demand, New York, USA, June 1-5th, 2020. Furmonaviciene, R. Using Co-creation and Instant Feedback for Teaching University Students May 22, 2020 Ruta Furmonaviciene This session will present co-creation work and WhatsApp use to enhance learning. Dr. Furmonaviciene co-created an online textbook with an undergraduate student group of around two hundred students. The students completed their co-creation as group work during the revision sessions for the module. UDL underpins innovative teaching ways, where every student can actively learn. Co-creation of an online textbook and WhatsApp use increased student engagement and allowed students to provide unique inputs. This study argues that virtual learning environments for co-creation and mobile apps could represent valuable tools for effective UDL practice. Interactive poster and 30 minute video presentation and website created for the International UDL-IRN Summit 2020 using Adobe Spark: https://spark.adobe.com/page/PWNXn01fl11xY/
  • Academic Outreach and Widening Participation: Problems, Planning and Quick Wins
    Academic Outreach and Widening Participation: Problems, Planning and Quick Wins Furmonaviciene, R. Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene reflects positively on the transition to online delivery and identifies some tools which have helped her to continue working. Ruta explains how the pandemic has increased the opportunity for innovation and creativity and she highlights the benefits this could have for WP and outreach https://youtu.be/7LxHW8AetC0
  • Annual Nuffield Summer Research Projects and Nuffield Summer Research Project Celebration Event at DMU Venue
    Annual Nuffield Summer Research Projects and Nuffield Summer Research Project Celebration Event at DMU Venue Furmonaviciene, R.; Munday, Stacy (Please read at https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2019/october/record-number-of-college-students-complete-stem-placements-at-dmu.aspx for more details by DMU media team) Summary of the Project I have been leading UK Nuffield Research Placements for several years giving sixth form students hands-on experience of a university (DMU) research environment through a 4 week placement during their summer holidays. By providing a placement, our university can give someone a life-changing opportunity that will help transform them into a future scientist. Nuffield placements have a particular focus on high achieving students from more disadvantaged backgrounds (50% of Nuffield students are female and over 50% of students are from areas of high deprivation). On the other hand, our university researchers and research students have opportunity to apply and develop their coaching, mentoring and research group management skills. At HLS I have been looking after Nuffield research placement students for several years already starting from one and having a group of 10 students during the last two summers. My Nuffield student projects have changed over the years, depending on the interests and requirements of the student group an availability of the laboratories. Last year I have organised the projects as a cross-faculty interdisciplinary research showcase, involving library, pharmacy and allied health researchers and postgraduate students. We had Ceri, Anna (library team), Marilena, Harprit, Eva, Carika, Jay (BMS/MS), Joanne, Tarsem, Unmesh, Ketan (pharmacy) and Angela (WP) assisting with different aspects of the project and really well showcasing fantastic DMU research on diabetes; the students learned about scientific research and database search, small molecule drug synthesis, DNA extraction, second generation sequencing, microbiome tests, immunology of diabetes and serum/saliva biomarkers, impact of lifestyle on diabetes and vascular pathology. I have been leading summer research placement projects for Nuffield students for about ten years, starting with just one student, then a few, and gradually championing the scheme and expanding to even more project students and involving our new research Institute team, who have helped to disseminating the scheme to our whole university in 2019 with having 23 Nuffield students at DMU, this way making DMU the most popular summer research placement destination for talented college students in Midlands. In 2019 the following DMU members been leading Nuffield summer placements: Gabriel Egan – Department of Textual Studies Naomi Martin – Department of Health and Life Sciences Ruta Furmonaviciene – Department of Health and Life Sciences Shivanthi Samarasin – Department of Health and Life sciences Richard Smith – School of Computer Science Farukh Farukh – School of Engineering and Sustainable Development Rusi Jaspal – EGLS (HLS) I have also initiated and coordinated regional Nuffield research placement celebration event which was held at DMU for the first time at DMU Venue on the 30th September 2019. In collaboration with the LEBC and Nuffield team, I have helped with to organise meetings with DMU researchers, research and WP teams, our Venue, Estates and ITMS teams as well as helped to shape the list of the speakers and the agenda for the day of the Celebration event. This work has been presented in Nuffield Summer Research Placement Celebration event at Loughborough university (certificate for project provider obtained) and also at our DMU summer research conference and at DMU research conference. I have developed student-tailored strategy of supervision (the students interacted as a research group, with individual support when needed), our processes (e.g. induction, seminars and feedback sessions) seem to be working very efficiently and cost-effectively. We received some great oral and written feedback, as well as photos and tweets from students, staff and Nuffield foundation. In return, we get excellent publicity for DMU and DMU research, this way we are also attracting the most talented students in the region to DMU as well as their supporters and funders. We are also helping BAME students within the group to get their first HE experience at DMU; as a result of summer placement, a few Nuffield students including DMU in their study choices, and one of them has applied and joined our Biomedical Science course during the placement last year. The student has now completed her first year of BMS course with outstanding marks and has been interviewed by DMU media to promote our Nuffield project work further. Also, this is a great training opportunity for our MSc and PhD students interacting with Nuffield students in the labs. Together with Stacy Munday from Nuffield and LEBC, we have just set a date for the next Nuffield Celebration Event at DMU - this is now planned for the 5th October 2020. We are determined to make this event even bigger and better than the previous one! Other groups and departments involved in this research: DMU Library Team Gabriel Egan – Department of Textual Studies Richard Smith – School of Computer Science Farukh Farukh – School of Engineering and Sustainable Development Rusi Jaspal – EGLS
  • ImmunoCap 250 for Diagnostics of Allergy and Autoimmunity
    ImmunoCap 250 for Diagnostics of Allergy and Autoimmunity Furmonaviciene, R.; Patric, Anaya; Khorana, Amrat; Smith, Jacqueline; Lusack, A; Francis, Laura; Mayers, A; Baker, C See Abstract Booklet p.47 As HLS EU International coordinator, I have planned and led DMUglobal trips for students and staff in 2019 and 2020 to Vilnius Life Science Centre and the COINS Life Science conference, this poster has been presented at this conference in 2020.
  • Optimisation of MALDI-TOF MS analysis for rapid discrimination of intact yeast cells
    Optimisation of MALDI-TOF MS analysis for rapid discrimination of intact yeast cells Kwok, R. W. L.; Haris, P. I. (Parvez I.); Furmonaviciene, R.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • Optimisation of MALDI-TOF MS analysis of intact yeast cells
    Optimisation of MALDI-TOF MS analysis of intact yeast cells Kwok, R.; Haris, P. I. (Parvez I.); Furmonaviciene, R.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • MALDI-TOF-MS discrimination of -lactamase producing clinical isolates. British Mass Spectrometry Society: Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry
    MALDI-TOF-MS discrimination of -lactamase producing clinical isolates. British Mass Spectrometry Society: Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry Edwards, I.; Macdonald, L.; Chiriseri, E.; Ioannou, M.; Furmonaviciene, R.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • Detection and discrimination of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria by MALDI-TOF-MS
    Detection and discrimination of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria by MALDI-TOF-MS Edwards, I.; Chiriseri, E.; Ioannou, M.; Furmonaviciene, R.; Geary, C.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • The protease allergen Der p 1 cleaves cell surface DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR: experimental analysis of in silico substrate identification and implications in allergic responses.
    The protease allergen Der p 1 cleaves cell surface DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR: experimental analysis of in silico substrate identification and implications in allergic responses. Furmonaviciene, R.; Boyd, S.; Ghaemmaghami, A. M.; Jones, N. S.; Bailey, K.; Willis, A. C.; Sewell, H. F.; Mitchell, D. A.

Click here to view a full listing of Ruta Furmonaviciene's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou Oral presentation ‘Virtual Pathology Laboratory’ at Heads of University Centers of Biomedical Science (HUCBMS) Conference at DMU, Leicester (01-03/09/2009).
  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou Poster presentation ‘Antibiotic Resistance in Companion Animals’ in IBMS Congress, ICC in Birmingham (30/09/2009).
  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou Poster presentation ‘Virtual Pathology Laboratory’ in IBMS Congress, ICC in Birmingham (30/09/2009).
  • A Patrick, A Lusaac, J Smith and R Furmonaviciene  Poster presentation ‘A Comparison of the Use of EliA GliadinDP and EliA Celikey for the Diagnosis of Coeliac Disease’ Applied Biomedical Science Conference at DMU, Leicester (24/06/2010).
  • A Ukaegbu, A Lusaac, J Smith and R Furmonaviciene Poster presentation ‘Pernicious Anaemia: The Diagnostic Value of Parietal Cell Autoantibody and Intrinsic Factor Autoantibody Testing ‘Applied Biomedical Science Conference at DMU, Leicester (24/06/2010).

Research interests/expertise

  • Structural and biochemical features of allergens,
  • Immunology,
  • Immunobiology of human dendritic cells,
  • Proteomics.

Areas of teaching

Immunobiology, Immunopathology, Analytical Techniques.

Qualifications

MD, MSc, PhD, PGCertHE

Courses taught

Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

Honours and awards

DMU Research Informed Teaching Award (RITA) for the project ‘Virtual Laboratory for Clinical Diagnostic Pathology’ together with M. Ioannou and staff from Northampton General Hospital (2007/2008; £3,000).

DMU Research Informed Teaching Award together with Vivien Rolfe, Graham Basten, Simon Oldroyd and Marilena Ioannou for the project ‘Virtual Analytical Laboratory’ (2007/2008; £3,000).

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • British Society for Immunology (ordinary member)
  • European Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Society (ordinary member)
  • World Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) (founding member of the International unit of HUPO)
  • European Federation of Biotechnology (ordinary member)
  • Society for Biomolecular Sciences (ordinary member)
  • British Society of Cell Biology (ordinary member)
  • The Higher Education Academy (associated member)

Conference attendance

  • Rachel Kwok, Prof. Richard Jenkins, Dr Parvez Haris, Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene
    Poster presentation ‘Laser Revelations of Microbial Surface Signatures’
    Students’ Poster Competition and Research Showcase at DMU, Leicester (22/04/2009).
  • Rachel Kwok, Parvez I Haris, Ruta Furmonaviciene and Richard O Jenkins
    Poster Presentation ‘Optimisation of MALDI-TOF MS Analysis of Intact Yeast Cells’ Health Protection Agency Conference in Warwick University, Coventry (15/09/2009).
  • Rachel Kwok, Prof. Richard Jenkins, Dr Parvez Haris, Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene
    Poster Presentation ‘Spectroscopic Characterisation of Yeasts and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria’ for DMU Research Degree Society of General Microbiology Spring conference in Edinburgh (31/o4/2009-01/04/2009).
  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou
    Oral presentation ‘Virtual Pathology Laboratory’ at Heads of University Centers of Biomedical Science (HUCBMS) Conference at DMU, Leicester (01-03/09/2009).
  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou
    Poster presentation ‘Antibiotic Resistance in Companion Animals’ in IBMS Congress, ICC in Birmingham (30/09/2009).
  • R Furmonaviciene and M Ioannou
    Poster presentation ‘Virtual Pathology Laboratory’ in IBMS Congress, ICC in Birmingham (30/09/2009).
  • A Patrick, A Lusaac, J Smith and R Furmonaviciene  
    Poster presentation ‘A Comparison of the Use of EliA GliadinDP and EliA Celikey for the Diagnosis of Coeliac Disease’
    Applied Biomedical Science Conference at DMU, Leicester (24/06/2010).
  • A Ukaegbu, A Lusaac, J Smith and R Furmonaviciene
    Poster presentation ‘Pernicious Anaemia: The Diagnostic Value of Parietal Cell Autoantibody and Intrinsic Factor Autoantibody Testing ‘Applied Biomedical Science Conference at DMU, Leicester (24/06/2010).
  • Attended the HEA Subject Network one day event ‘New External Examiners, a practical survival guide’ in London, 44 Wicklow Street (30/09/2010).
  • Attended Allergy Show day 2011 and seminars on respiratory and food allergy at Olympia, London (06/05/11) obtaining 6 CPD credits certificate.
  • Attended DMU based seminar about NIHR Research Design Service for the East Midlands (10/05/11).

Consultancy work

  • Structural and biochemical features of allergens,
  • Immunity,
  • Immunobiology of human dendritic cells,
  • Proteomics.

Current research students

PhD projects:

Marilena Ioannou PhD PT second supervisor

Rachel Kwok PhD FT second supervisor

MSc projects:

Tejash Patel MSc PT ‘Utility of Complement 1Q Antibodies in the Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus’ second supervisor (2009)

Sekayi Mujuru  MSc  FT (2010) (first supervisor)

Maryam Mohamud MSc  FT (2010) (first supervisor)

Parveen Rayt  MSc  FT (2010) (first supervisor)

Amrat Khorana MSc PT (2011) (first supervisor)

Double marked MSc project by J Smith ‘The Role of Antinuclear Antibody Screening in Connective Tissue Disease: A Comparison of Immunofluorescence, ELISA and Multiplex Methods’.

External examiner for MSc in Research /Bioinformatics thesis by HE Fei ‘Towards defining complex biomarker patterns for disease diagnostics; application to COPD” Nottingham University School of Biology (19/05/11).

Second marked MSc thesis in Advanced Biomed Sc by Bongiwe Ndhlovu ‘Measurement Uncertainty Evaluation for Haemoglobin, Neutrophils and Platelets Count at or Near Clinical Decision Values’ (60%) (14/09/11).

Second marked MSc thesis in Advanced Biomed Sc by Jinendra Jogia ‘The Role and Therapeutic Manipulation of Total Antioxidant Status in Disease’ (65%) (01/10/11).

Acted as a second marker for an MSc thesis by Tracey Pesce, NGH, entitled ‘Evaluation of N-terminal Propeptide of Type 1 Collagen, Alkaline Phosphatase and Bone Alkaline Phosphatase Assays’ (15/12/11).

Externally funded research grants information

Funding has been obtained from the HEFCE/HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme to share the “Virtual Analytical Laboratory” (VAL) research and lab skills resources developed by Vivien Rolfe, Marilena Ioannou, Ruta Furmonaviciene, Graham Basten and Simon Oldroyd in the School of Allied Health Sciences (2009; £20,000).

Funding has been obtained by collaborators from the Bio-Health Informatics Research Group in the Faculty of Technology for part of the PhD project by C Chrisostomous on ‘Bioinformatics for characterisation and prediction of allergenic protein’, supervised by Dr H Seker (first supervisor), Dr R Furmonaviciene (second supervisor).

Internally funded research project information

Health & Life Sciences HEIF3 Grant Award (2008; £8,000) obtained in collaboration with Prof R Jenkins and M Ioannou, microbiology departments of the Leicester Royal Infirmary and the Northampton General Hospital and with Shimadzu Biotechnology, Manchester. Title of project: Characterisation of antibiotic resistant bacteria from regional hospitals by MALDI-TOF-MS. The project aimed to develop of a rapid proteomic approach to discrimination and characterisation of extended β-lactamase bacterial isolates from regional hospitals, via matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation – time of flight – mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). β-Lactams are the most widely administered class of antibiotics and the emergence of resistant strains harbouring β-lactamases is a significant problem for regional hospitals. The proposed project is a collaborative venture involving three members of academic staff within the School of Allied Health Sciences, two of whom (Ioannou and Furmonaviciene) are defined in RAE terms as early career researchers (ECRs). Whilst Jenkins has published previously on MALDI-TOF-MS discriminations of yeasts. Initial funding enabled to start this research work which still continues (2008-2011).

Funding has been obtained for ‘Virtual Laboratory for Clinical Diagnostic Pathology’ together with M. Ioannou and staff from Northampton General Hospital (DMU Research Informed Teaching Award (RITA) 2007-2008; £3,000). This is a project about creating and exploiting video e-learning material on research methods for training of laboratory staff and students. Video clip database was created in collaboration with staff members of Northampton Hospital Pathology Laboratory.

Funding has been obtained for MSc Research Project ‘Advanced diagnosis and prediction of allergy’ on advancement diagnostics of allergy using a blend of computational and laboratory techniques. Amino acid properties of allergenic proteins belonging to different groups of allergens (e.g. food, respiratory allergens, etc.) were proposed to be investigated using computational method developed here at DMU by Dr H Seker and his group in order to map allergen-specific molecular features according to similar amino acid properties. Allergenic and control protein sequences are going to be obtained from the most current database (AllerHunt) and subjected to computational analysis in order to determine optimal computational scales for allergen prediction. Laboratory methods are going to be used to improve current diagnosis of allergy, i.e. sets of novel allergen components recently produced by Phadia will be evaluated using ImmunoCap 250 with the aim of optimising specific IgE detection and selecting the most reactive and prognostic allergen component sets for clinical diagnosis of allergy. The project is carried out in collaboration with Prof R Jenkins (second supervisor) (DMU), Dr H Seker (advisor) (DMU), Prof R Dubakiene (second supervisor) (Vilnius University) and J Smith (advisor) (Immunology Department of Northampton General Hospital).

Professional esteem indicators

Journal Refereeing information:

  • Acted as research paper referee for the ‘Italics’ journal (10-11/12/2009)
  • Acted as research paper referee for the ‘BioScience Education’ online journal (10-11/12/2010)
  • Acted as a research paper reviewer for the Journal of Biological Education (29/11/11).

Other Reviewing Activities:

  • Oxford University Press, reviewed the textbook ‘Infection and Immunity’ by Playfair & Bancroft (28/04/09 and 01/09/2010)
  • Acted as a project referee for Leverhulm Trust (16/03/11).

 

Ruta-Furmonaviciene-1147