SciLifeLab, a national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research is a national resource and a collaboration between four universities: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University.

Four of the approved projects are from Stockholm University researchers:

  • Johanna Cannon with “New methods for ancient worms: applying low-input protocols for single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to Acoelomorpha”
  • Francisco Nascimento with “Uncovering and understanding metazoan diversity in Baltic Sea sediments“
  • Tanja Slotte with “Causes and consequences of dominance at a locus under long-term balancing selection”
  • Christopher Wheat with “Studying Biodiversity using Butterflies”

Johanna Cannon, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, is one of the scientists whose project has been granted. Her research deals with tiny marine animals called acoels that are at the crux of a number of important transitions in evolutionary history.

− These animals cannot be grown in culture, and have large genomes that have proven difficult to sequence with traditional approaches. With this SciLifeLab funding, we can employ cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies to generate complete genomes of these animals and to elucidate genomic signatures that underlie key evolutionary innovations in animal diversity. Success of this project will provide answers to a number of major evolutionary questions, and will help develop innovative third-generation sequencing approaches for small organisms with large genomes, said Johanna Cannon.

The grants are awarded as a 50% deduction of sequencing reagent costs for senior researchers. For proposals relating to establishment of a national genetic variant reference database and for proposals from junior researchers the complete costs will be covered by SciLifeLab.

A new call for projects will be announced in early 2015.