Tor 20 jun / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

SciLifeLab sets high standards

Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab, brings four prominent universities in Stockholm and Uppsala together. Stockholm University, the Karolinska Institutet, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Uppsala University are working towards a common goal: to build up a center for large-scale biosciences focusing on health and environmental research.

The center combines advanced technical know-how and state-of-the-art equipment with a broad knowledge in translational medicine and molecular bioscience. SciLifeLab provides the technology needed for optimal usage of resources unique for Sweden and Scandinavia, among them clinical material in the form of biobanks and excellent medical records.

Eminent progress
First-class medical and biomedical research from the three universities in Stockholm will be coordinated in a new, well-equipped laboratory facility that is built specifically to enhance interaction between the different players in SciLifeLab.
“We will build new technological platforms that will be implemented to assist research and development in medicine and bioscience. Today, there are already about 350 researchers gathered from the three universities in one building. Now, as we build another 8000 square meters of office and laboratory space we will be able to house another 350 people. By the end of 2013, we will thus be 700 researchers gathered in one place”, says Professor Mathias Uhlén, Center Director in Stockholm.
The progress of SciLifeLab is eminent, having gone from zero to 700 researchers in only three years. Most of them come from institutions at the three Stockholm-based universities, but some have also been recruited from partner universities.

From basic research to product development
Currently, the founders of SciLifeLab are looking at new challenges at three different levels. The first is to form an organisation that is transparent and where participation of all parties is equal. “Furthermore, we need to establish powerful technological platforms that work and finally, we naturally want to attract the best international scholars from across the world”, Mathias Uhlén continues.
“We need to go from basic research to actual product development. The aim of SciLifeLab is to be a resource for the use of modern infrastructure. We want to develop a holistic understanding of biology and disease progress and development. In the future we also want to address environmental problems and climate change. To develop new systems for cleaner energy production is a future goal”.
Mathias Uhlén stresses that developing pharmaceutical drugs is not the primary goal of SciLifeLab. “We will develop an understanding of how diseases spread, develops over time and how they can be treated. We have a good fundamental base for this. We will for example develop better diagnostics and contribute to the development of personalised medicine, and in time, ultimately we will address the issue of assisting in the development of new pharmaceuticals”.

A research partner to count on
SciLifeLab is a resource primarily for Swedish scientists. Mathias Uhlén sees the centre as a node in Europe and the world to assist and motivate global collaboration. “We aim to be a fully equipped bioscientific research centre and a partner to count on concerning world-class research expertise. We have every reason to set high standards and we will continue to strive to the top, he concludes.