Sön 14 aug / År 40 / Nr 3 2022

Top-Class Medical Research

The Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg, is a guarantor of top-class international research in Gothenburg and West Sweden, from basic studies of molecules, to studies of disease principles and care.

The Sahlgrenska Academy constitutes a node of medical, odontology and care research in West Sweden. Its close proximity to northern Europe’s biggest university hospital gives both researchers and students unique access to patients for clinical research.
”Our clinical environment is quite hard to beat. Sahlgrenska University Hospital is a big cohesive hospital, providing a strong foundation for clinical research. Big structures are good both from a research and an educational perspective,” says Professor Olle Larkö, Dean of Sahlgrenska Academy.
The faculty has six departments in the fields of medicine, odontology and health care sciences. In many fields, research at Sahlgrenska Academy is of the highest international class. Examples include pharmacology, obesity, children’s health, odontology and cardiovascular disease.
There are approx. 3,000 research projects being conducted at the Sahlgrenska Academy. In many fields, research is of the highest international class. Examples include pharmacology, obesity, children’s health, odontology and cardiovascular disease. The list of renowned researchers include Nobel Prize Winner Arvid Carlsson.
There’s currently a strong influx of funding for major research projects and studies, where the Sahlgrenska Academy and/or University Hospital constitute a node and/or the centre of coordination for the entire project or study.
One example is the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS), which you can read about in this issue of The Forefront of Life Science. Another is the investment in establishing four national centres of top-notch research in molecular medicine made by The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, in an effort to re-position Sweden as a leader in medical science. The centres are to be located at the universities of Lund, Umeå, Linköping and Gothenburg, and will act in close collaboration with SciLifeLab in Solna, a national centre for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research.
In Gothenburg, the Wallenberg Centre of Molecular and Translational Medicine will be built in co-operation between the University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland and AstraZeneca. The close collaboration between the actors shall ensure that the results from the basic research will lead to new therapies relatively fast. The centre has funding for ten years, but the ambition of University of Gothenburg is to create an internationally leading research unit, which will last much longer.
”We welcome this effort on basic research,” comments Olle Larkö, who points out that the Sahlgrenska Academy’s ambition has always been to create the best possible conditions so that the researchers can reach their full potential and become top international scientists in their respective fields. He sees the above examples, and many more, as proof of the academy doing a good job at this.

Good Climate of Collaboration
Life science projects are all about collaboration and Olle Larkö emphasises the good climate of collaboration in West Sweden.
”We’re, naturally, part of that good climate. Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy collaborate closely with clinicians at the university hospital and engineers at Chalmers University of Technology. Academy professionals are also involved in research projects supported by regional organisations, such as Gothia Forum and MedTech West, as well as in projects sponsored by companies active in applied medical research. We also have agreements with more than 100 universities world wide.”
Professor Maria Anvret, Senior Advisor of Life Science at the Sahlgrenska Academy, stresses the need of strong collaboration even more urgently than Olle Larkö does.
”Major strategical investments are made by governmental agencies like Vinnova and big foundations like the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. To be granted some of these investments, we need to synchronise our efforts, be transparent and work together, strategically,” she states.
Collaboration with the industry is also vitally important, if medical research results shall benefit society at large. As Senior Advisor of Life Science, Maria Anvret represents the Sahlgrenska Academy in its contacts with businesses.
”We have dialogue meetings with 25-30 companies on a regular basis. For two hours we, informally, discuss how we can contribute to each other’s progress. These meetings are very rewarding, giving us a unique picture of the industry’s needs and demands,” she concludes.

Fact box:
Facts The Sahlgrenska Academy
MEUR 90 in external funds.
188 professors.
850 research students.
Ranked top 50 in Medicine.

6 institutes, 22 centres and 3 units.

Professor Olle Larkö is Dean and Chairman of the Board.

International Office
Agreements with more than 100 universities world wide.