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SciLifeLab Uppsala invites research collaboration

2010-02-16

Finding pathological genes and new possibilities for diagnosis and treatment is the goal as Science for Life Laboratory in Uppsala now commences its operations. It was standing room only when SciLifeLab Uppsala held an information meeting and inauguration at Rudbeck Laboratory.

Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders will be in focus when Uppsala University’s research in molecular bioscience is gathered in the research center Science for Life Laboratory in Uppsala. The aim of the initiative is to consolidate and expand the cutting-edge research collaborations that already exist at the University’s faculties and to coordinate and make better use of the infrastructure for research.

“We will be using new technologies for patient samples that are uniquely available in the Nordic countries and seek explanations for complex diseases in humans. We will be striving to have research lead to practical applications in diagnostics and treatment,” says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, professor of comparative genomics at Uppsala University and director of SciLifeLab Uppsala.

Collaboration with Stockholm
Last autumn the government decided to provide five years of strategic funding for a commitment to molecular bioscience at Uppsala University. Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology, and the Karolinska Institute are starting a similar initiative named SciLifeLab Stockholm. The two centers together make up the foundation of a strong region in molecular bioscience under the joint name of Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science.

“Instead of competing, we want to collaborate in the Stockholm-Uppsala region. We want to be a leading region in molecular bioscience in Sweden. We also want to be a strong European node and in the long term an international leader,” says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The inspiration for SciLifeLab comes from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the US, where Kerstin Lindblad-Toh also works. The Broad Institute is organized as scientific platforms and programs bringing together hundreds of researchers from different disciplines.

Researchers urged to become members
The new center in Uppsala consists of three platforms – genomics, proteomics, and comparative genomics – and two overarching scientific programs – evolutionary biology and medical biology. Associate members will be invited from Uppsala University and other Swedish universities, and associate partners will be selected from Swedish governmental authorities and industry.

“The initiative will build bridges between preclinical and clinical research, between different faculties at Uppsala University, among universities, governmental authorities, and industry, and between Uppsala and Stockholm,” says Ulf Landegren, professor of molecular medicine and deputy director of SciLifeLab Uppsala.

Within the framework of the center, program meetings will be arranged where researchers will have an opportunity to openly show and discuss ideas and findings under conditions of confidentiality. Funding will also be made available for application every year for so-called flagship projects.

“Members and associate members can pursue projects that draw attention to SciLifeLab Uppsala and generate data for new, larger project applications. So we are now welcoming researchers who are interested in participating in SciLifeLab Uppsala,” says Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

Read more about SciLifeLab Uppsala