LiU is characterised by curiosity and openness
One of the reasons I applied for the post of vice-chancellor at Linköping University was the creative and open pioneering attitude here. It is a relatively young university that has the courage required to seek new pathways for both education and research. Furthermore, its ties to the society around us are strong, leading to new challenges and advances.
Since the early 1990s, I have worked on the mechanisms that control the formation of all blood cells from particular stem cells. The formation of blood is an amazing process that never stops throughout life – 2-3 million new blood cells are formed every second.
I arrived at Linköping University in 2003 after having worked, among other things, as a researcher in the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg and later in Toronto, Canada. I worked on the blood system and immune defence, and in 2008 I became professor in medical cell biology.
In the years that followed, I also spent a lot of time on research strategy, and how Sweden can support the best medical research in the future. I was member of the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council during the period 2013-2015, and from 2016 until the summer of 2020 I was secretary general of the Swedish Research Council, with scientific responsibility for medicine and health.
Good research depends on research environments that are secure, creative and provide the opportunity for open collaboration between different fields of research, with international research groups, and with the society around us. We must also untiringly discuss the ethical questions and promote good research practice. I hope to be able to contribute to this as vice-chancellor of Linköping University.
Linköping University has a reputation as an innovator in education and teaching methods, with a way of working that breaks down boundaries between fields of study in research and education that has gained many followers. Now we must develop our areas of strength and identify new areas in which we can become forceful players, both in Sweden and abroad. This will require structures that bridge across faculties, common solutions and – once again – greater collaboration with the society around us.
We are facing an exciting and challenging period. It will require unceasing curiosity, innovation and openness, such that we together can formulate the vision and ambition that will carry Linköping University into the future. The task will require trust and openness that enables everyone to present their opinions and suggestions. As new vice-chancellor this is where I will start – by inviting dialogue!