11 December 2019

Kajsa Uvdal has been awarded SEK 17.8 million from the Swedish Research Council for an interdisciplinary research environment combining physics, chemistry, medicine and image sciences. The objective is to obtain improved treatments for heart disease and cancer.

Kajsa Uvdal Kajsa Uvdal Monica Westman

Kajsa Uvdal, Professor in Molecular Surface Physics and Nanoscience, has received a grant for an interdisciplinary initiative to develop tailor-made, targeting nanoprobes for medical imaging, by a new interdisciplinary approach.

Members of the research environment in addition to Kajsa Uvdal’s group at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology are Anders Persson, Professor in Medical Image Science at the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, and three further researchers and clinics: Lena Jonasson, Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tomas Lindahl, Professor in the Division of Clinical Chemistry, and Oliver Gimm, Professor in the Division of Surgery, Orthopedics and Oncology.

“Our interdisciplinary research area combines physics, chemistry and biology, and it is important for us that the results can be used in clinical applications. This is why it’s especially rewarding that we have achieved substantial funding for the coming six years. We’re just so delighted”, Kajsa Uvdal says.

Lower radiation dose

Even the best contrast agents currently available at radiology departments worldwide, may cause unwanted side effects, during computer tomography (CT) and it will enable us to reduce the radiation dose per examination. The main two objectives are to obtain super-resolution within CT and to deliver improved treatments for heart disease and cancer.

“We want to design new nanoprobes based on endogenous substances to obtain compositional resolution. These will enable us to distinguish between different types of tissues in the body using the information from the CT – which most hospitals today have available. Initially, we will concentrate on designing nano materials in combination with front line advanced technical tools within computed tomography to obtain super resolution. In the next step tailor-made targeting nanoprobes will give us information about diseases and changes that occur in the heart and blood vessels, and for different types of cancer. Right from the start, the project will have clinical expertise, and we plan to recruit a postdoc and a doctoral student to my group”, Kajsa Uvdal says.

Tough competition

The interdisciplinary research environment at LiU was awarded the grant in fierce competition. The Swedish Research Council received 113 applications in the call for research environments in the natural and engineering sciences, of which only nine received funding, an approval rate of 8%. The research grant is for SEK 17.8 million over 6 years, 2020-2025.

More information is available at the Swedish Research Council.

Translated by George Farrants



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