SciLifeLab Stockholm
SciLifeLab is a collaboration between Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Uppsala University. SciLifeLab provides technology and expertise in the fields of genomics, comparative genetics, proteomics, bioimageing and functional geonomics.
 

SciLifeLab, a collaboration between Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Uppsala University, provides technology and expertise in the fields of genomics, comparative genetics, proteomics, bioimageing and functional geonomics.

"Each of the partner universities have prioritised SciLifeLab in their most recent applications for government funding in the Natural Sciences," says joint vice director of SciLifeLab Gunnar Von Heijne, who is based at Stockholm University's Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. "They're very supportive of the centre."

SciLifeLab was founded in 2010 with governmental funding, its remit to build an international leading centre for high throughput biology.

Today the centre is a major national scientific resource in Sweden and includes state-of-the-art technologies for high-throughput biosciences. The combination of cutting edge equipment and highly skilled personnel drawn from the region's centres of learning enables SciLifeLab to provide outstanding services for the research community both within Sweden and internationally.

 
Gunnar von Heijne
Gunnar von Heijne is joint vice director of SciLifeLab.
 

"More than one hundred research groups are associated with the centre," says Professor Von Heijne, who is excited by the work that is being undertaken.

"Much of our focus is on delivering key research that will impact medical treatment. We're bridging the gap between research into genomics, comparative genetics, and proteomics, for example, and the work of clinicians in hospitals."

With the technological equipment available at SciLifeLab researchers can, for example, use sequencing to profile multi-resistant bacteria and identify what makes them resistant.

At Stockholm there is a particular focus on the environment, in keeping with the centre's remit to investigate biology, medicine and environmental sciences.

"Samples are take from sites under stress," says Von Heijne. "The Baltic Sea, for example. We use sequencing to identify the organisms in samples from the sea. From a technical point of view this is the same kind of sequencing you do for clinical research."

Now the centre is looking to expand and will know whether its funding will continue next autumn.

"If we get phase two funding we will keep developing the technological platforms," says Gunnar Von Heijne. "The aim is to develop SciLifeLab into a major international research environment, recruiting young PIs – principal investigators – from around the world. They will be young scientists looking to spend the first ten years of their career at a top notch centre with all the technology they need in-house. Effectively they would be the next generation of leading researchers in the fields of genomics, comparative genetics, proteomics, bioimaging and functional geonomics."

 

Text: Jon Buscall