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Felipe Cava is SEM Jaime Ferran Awardee and best young microbiologist in Spain 2017

cava felipe Elin Berge 2017[2017-05-02] The Spanish Society for Microbiology (SEM) awarded MIMS group leader Felipe Cava as best microbiologist in Spain for 2017. The Jaime Ferran Prize is the most prestigious recognition to a microbiologist in Spain, and is awarded to young scientists for their outstanding achievements in microbiology. The Federal European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) highlighted the awardee in a Spotlight interview on the 28 April 2017.

The prize is called after the Spanish physician Jaime Ferran who developed the first cholera vaccine in 1885. It consists of € 2000 and Felipe Cava is also invited to talk at the closing ceremony of the FEM congress in July this year.

Link to the FEMS spotlight about Felipe Cava (17-04-28)

Link to the FEMS 2017 Congress of European Microbiologists, July 9-13, Valencia, Spain

Link to the webpage of the Cava lab at MIMS

Link to the webpage of the Cava lab's own website

(picture: Elin Berge)

Emmanuelle Charpentier was honoured at the Japan Prize Ceremony

[2017-04-20] More than 1000 people, including the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, attended the formal Japan Prize Ceremony, on Thursday 19 April in Tokyo.

Emmanuelle Charpentier received the Japan Prize 2017 in the life sciences together with Jennifer Dounda, University of California at Berkeley. Adi Shamir, Weizmann Institute Israel, was awarded with the Japan Prize for his research in cryptography and his contributions to cybersecurity.

The same day the Japan Prize Foundation published videos which highlighted the laureates:

movie by the Japan Prize Foundation (activate the subtitle function in the down right corner)


More information about the Japan Prize and the announcement of the Laureates in February 2017

New method reveals how proteins stabilize the cell surface

[2017-02-22] To withstand external mechanical stress and handle trafficking of various substances, a cell needs to adjust its surrounding membrane. This is done through small indentations on the cell surface called caveolae. In order to stabilize its membrane, cells use the protein EHD2, which can be turned on and off to alternate between an inactive closed form and an active open form. The discovery, made by Umeå University researchers and colleagues, was recently published in the journal PNAS.

Read the whole press release from the Faculty of Medicine

Read the article in PNAS

Richards Lundmark’s research at MIMS

Text by: Daniel Harju, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University

Emmanuelle Charpentier - awardee of the 2017 Novozymes Prize

Emmanuelle Charpentier by HallhuberFioretti

[2017-02-13] Emmanuelle Charpentier, is one of the two awardees of the 2017 Novozymes Prize, which is awarded by the Novozymes Prize Committee on behalf of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

MIMS group leader and visiting professor at Umeå University Emmanuelle Charpentier has been awarded together with Virginijus Siksnys for their "pioneering research activities, which have been key in developing the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic tool" (..).

More information:

Webpage of the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Picture: Hallbauer & Fioretti

Congratulations to Poul Nissen, recipient of the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize!


NIB Aug 2014 Poul Nissen DANDRITE IMG 0913 lr

Poul Nissen, director of DANDRITE and professor at Aarhus University, is receiving the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize for his "pioneering studies of the structure and function of ion pumps".


More information:

Webpage of the Novo Nordisk Foundation


Picture: Poul Nissen at the 5th Network Meeting of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, 26 - 28 August 2014 in Umeå (Eva-Maria Diehl)

Tick-borne infections - new findings

Felipe Cava Akhilesh Yadav 190[2017-01-23] Before infecting humans, tick-borne bacteria or viruses first have to get past a tick’s defences and colonize it. How they can manage this, is not well understood. To investigate this smart mechanism, researchers from Umea University, and Yale University, studied a model of the second-most-common tick-borne infection in the United States, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, which can cause headaches, muscle pain, and even death.

Researchers Felipe Cava and Akhilesh K Yadav from The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden at the Department of Molecular Biology in Umea University, in collaboration with researchers from Yale University have found that in ticks, the bacterium A. phagocytophilum, before infecting the humans causes the infection, first triggers the expression of a particular protein in the ticks. This protein then alters molecules in the tick’s gut, allowing the bacteria to enter and colonize the gut microbes.

Read more: Tick-borne infections - new findings

Swedish Research Council's Web Magazine Curie is highlighting MIMS

[161214] The Swedish Research Council's web magazine Curie, highlighted this week MIMS and the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. In the first article Bernt Eric Uhlin is informing about the recruitment and evaluation process of young group leaders at MIMS and within the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.
The second article is about Felipe Cava and Nelson Gekara, young group leaders at MIMS.


Maria Fällman and Johan Normark receive JPIAMR grants

[16-11-26] JPIAMR, the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, published its decision on November 18th, at the European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Two of the nine Swedish praticipants who received a grant are from MIMS: Maria Fällman, group leader at MIMS, and Johan Normark, MIMS Clinical Research Fellow. Congratulations!

Maria Fällman and Johan Normark are part of the research consortium "A multi-scale approach to understanding the mechanisms of mobile DNA driven antimicrobial resistance transmission", with participating researcher from Canada, Germany (EMBL), Spain, France, and Switzerland. The MIMS researchers will receive together 6.6 million SEK for three years from the Swedish Research Council.

Sweden is one of the 22 member states participating in the transnational Jont Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. The Swedish Research Council i managing the overall coordination and dissemination of this endeavour.

Read more about the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Webpage of the Swedish Research Council about the JPIAMR grants decision: Tranmission Dynamics

How the bacterial protective shell is adapted to challenging environments

Illustration JACS Publication Cavalab[2016-07-07] Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have published new findings on the adaptation of the bacterial cell wall in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The study reveals novel bacterial defence mechanisms against the immune system and how they can become resistant to antibiotics.

Bacteria are surrounded by a mesh-like structure which, similar to an external skeleton, defines the cell shape and provides protection against external attacks. This remarkable polymer cell wall called peptidoglycan, given its basic composition of sugars and amino acids, is well known for being a major target of beta-lactam antibiotics such as Penicillin.

Despite this structure having been the focus of extensive investigations on the long-lasting battle against bacterial pathogens (i.e. bacteria that cause infectious diseases), there is currently little understanding of its natural variability and the consequences of such changes on the ability of bacteria to adapt and survive in a threatening environment.

Read more: How the bacterial protective shell is adapted to challenging environments

Gene amplification – the fast track to infection

Wang et al Science[2016-06-30] Researchers at Umeå University are first to discover that bacteria can multiply disease-inducing genes which are needed to rapidly cause infection. The results were published in Science on 30 June 2016.

More than 22 years ago, researchers at Umeå University were first to discover an infection strategy of human pathogenic Yersinia bacteria – a protein structure in bacterial cell-walls that resembled a syringe. The structure, named “Type III secretion system” or T3SS, makes it possible to transfer bacterial proteins into the host cell and destroy its metabolism.

After the discovery, researchers have found T3SS in several other bacteria species and T3SS has proven to be a common infection mechanism that pathogens, i.e. an infectious agent such as a virus or bacterium, use to destroy host cells. Now, Umeå researchers are again first to find a link between infection and rapid production of the essential proteins needed to form “the poisonous syringe”.

Read more: Gene amplification – the fast track to infection

Emmanuelle Charpentier about MIMS (2015):
“A sense of high-level education and high-level research, a respect for excellent research, an understanding of support for basic research, for long—term training of PhD students and understanding that good research also comes with time, good working conditions, a sense of community joining forces and reduced administrative burden, respect for junior scientists.” 

Emmanuelle Charpentier on YouTube

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