The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet is a novel initiative aimed to promote efficient integration of cutting edge technologies and medical research. In this interdisciplinary setting, a scientific environment is established with the aim to solve biological and medical problems using various kinds of nano-technological approaches.
The ultimate goal is that the research outcomes should lead to novel therapies for the benefit of the patient, as well as the development of new med-tech equipment. A distinct path will be established to link medical innovations and commercialization. From the educational perspective, this setting will foster a new brand of young researchers with skills to communicate across disciplines, e.g. the technological and medical communities, or between academia-industry.
In order to achieve these goals, the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center will act as a knowledge hub on the national and international arena. Researchers representing biological/medical/clinical research fields will intimately collaborate with researchers from a number of nano-related research areas, e.g. nanoparticles, organic bioelectronics, photonics, functionalized materials etc. As the projects are focused to solve medical problems, numerous biological model systems of various complexities offered at KI will be used. These ranges from microbes such as virus and bacteria, via cell cultures, animal models, and human material to clinical trials, in order to eventually benefit the patient. Major synergistic effects are expected, as existing infrastructure at both the technical universities and at KI will be utilized.
The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center will be very active in matching competences from the medical community at KI and technological communities at other Swedish universities. Whereas some research groups working at the interface of medicine / technology will be housed within the center, part-time positions will be available for researchers from the technological side to enable a true engagement in solving medical problems together with experts in medical research fields. Current research in the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center is mainly targeting the neuroscience field in its broadest definition, infection biology, and general cell biology. These areas will, however, expand to include numerous others, such as cancer and diabetes.
The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center has obtained major funding (> 60 MSEK) from KI, VINNOVA and Carl Bennet AB. Director of the Medical Nanoscience Center is professor Agneta Richter-Dahlfors, currently co-chairing the Strategic Research Center in Organic Bioelectronics at KI (a joint SSF-funded center between KI and Linköping University). Chairman of the center board is professor Maria Anvret; board members include Mr Axel Wachtmeister; the former Swedish University Chancellor, Professor Sigbrit Franke; Dr Magnus Persson, The Column Group, and Professor Lou Brundin, Chief Physcician, Karolinska Univeristy Hospital.
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