23 April 2015

The new research centre – the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Linköping University – is part of a national campaign to re-establish Sweden’s leading position in medical research. The centre is being funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, in collaboration with Linköping University and Region Östergötland.

”We are delighted to be part of this investment, and to build this centre. Moreover, it’s exciting to combine molecular medicine with medical technology – one of our real strengths. It enables us to recruit excellent young researchers, and offers huge potential for collaboration across faculty boundaries,” says Helen Dannetun, Vice-Chancellor at Linköping University.

The Centre will focus on medical technology, a unique niche in Sweden. All modern life science involves technology, and both patients and health care staff come into contact with medical technology on a daily basis, when diagnosing and treating medical conditions. Examples include radiology, orthopedic implants and synthetic materials.

”By focussing on technology and molecular medicine we can make research advances within various specialty fields, such as neuroscience where research on addictive disorders, dementia and hearing disorders can be intensified. Another field that is growing strongly, and that requires further funding, is regenerative medicine, where for instance new methods are being developed for replacement tissue such as cornea and skin,” says Jan Marcusson, Head of Research and Development, Region Östergötland.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is contributing SEK 150 million to the new centre over a nine-year period, 2016-2024, primarily in the form of staff recruitment. To further secure excellence in translational and clinical research, and to improve patient care, Linköping University and Region Östergötland are together providing an additional SEK 150 million.

”It is with great satisfaction that we have been able to incorporate Linköping University into the Foundation’s investment in the life sciences. In combination with investments in similar centres in Gothenburg, Lund and Umeå, the Centre for Molecular Medicine at Linköping University will form strong research environments that can collaborate with the Science for Life Lab in Stockholm-Uppsala, to return Swedish molecular medicine research to a world-leading position,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chair of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The Foundation has taken a policy decision to invest a total of more than SEK 1.7 billion in the life sciences during the period 2014-2025.

”This is a way for the Foundation to boost Swedish research against a backdrop of increasing global competition. We want to enable Sweden to regain a leading position and create a robust foundation for the future of the life science industry,” says Göran Sandberg, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Photo: Göran Billeson

Published 2015-04-23