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A miniaturized version of the eukaryotic ribosome found in microsporidia

190722 Illustration Mikrosporidium Ribosom Jonas Barandun only structureA research team lead by MIMS/SciLifeLab research group leader Jonas Barandun uses cryo-electron microscopy to provide near atomic details of the smallest known eukaryotic cytoplasmic protein synthesis machine, the microsporidian ribosome.

Jonas Baranun 1000

150 years ago, the European silk industry was threatened by an unknown epidemic killing the silkworms. At that time, Louis Pasteur was able to identify the source of infection and made important suggestions for treatment. The silk production in Europe survived. Today, a microsporidian parasite is known as the cause of this epidemic and silk worm diseases still cause more than 100 million USD losses to the Chinese silk industry every year. Microsporidiosis is not restricted to silk worms. The diverse phylum of the microsporidia contains thousands of different species with parasites for essentially every animal. At least 14 of them can infect humans. Particularly challenged by microsporidia are not only aquacultures, sericultures and honey bee populations in which infections can wipe out entire hives, but also immunocompromised patients. Microsporidia are a risk for the environment, agriculture and human health and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently added the parasitic fungi to the list of emerging pathogens of high priority. Even if microsporidia infections are among the most common parasitic diseases in all animals, relatively little is known about their fascinating molecular life which is shaped by an accelerated evolutionary rate and extreme genome compaction.

Together with researchers from The Rockefeller University and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Jonas Barandun, new group leader at The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), publishes the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the microsporidian ribosome which visualizes the effect of extreme genome compaction on an essential molecular machine (Nature Microbiology, 22 July 2019).

Read more: A miniaturized version of the eukaryotic ribosome found in microsporidia

10 years of MIMS celebration

Group picture V9A0599[2019-06-24] It was a big surprise for both Bernt Eric Uhlin, founding director of MIMS, and the audience attending the “10 years of MIMS symposium”, when Emmanuelle Charpentier – one of the first group leaders who started a lab at MIMS -  entered the podium and gave a speech to honor Bernt Eric and MIMS.

"When people ask me what attracted me in Umea, I reply that MIMS could offer me what I was looking for",  said Emmanuelle Charpentier and described the MIMS environment as follows: "an innovative model for a new research institution; freedom of research; an understanding for risky projects and an understanding that more unconventional research projects need time and focus; respect for young students and scientists; a world-class scientific education for the junior scientists; an interactive and relaxed environment where scientific discussions are always a priority; and an enjoyable community of colleagues always ready to challenge novel scientific questions".

Read more: 10 years of MIMS celebration

2019 Fernström award to MIMS Group leader Vasili Hauryliuk

vasili hauryliuk 140[2019-05-28] The 2019 Fernström Prize awardee for younger, especially promising and successful researchers at Umeå University becomes Vasili Hauryliuk, MIMS group leader and Researcher at the department of molecular biology.

The Faculty of Medicine at Umeå University decided on 22 May to award Vasili for his research on molecular mechanisms and regulation of ribosomal protein synthesis.

Vasili Haruyliuk will receive the prize and 90 000 SEK at a ceremony in Lund on November 6 2019.

Read more: 2019 Fernström award to MIMS Group leader Vasili Hauryliuk

The Nordic EMBL Partnership Directors featured on

Partners in the North 20190411 EMBL Etc[2019-04-12] Leadership was not only changed at EMBL, when EMBL Director General Edith Heard succeeded Iain Mattaj in January 2019. Also the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine welcomed new directors: Janna Saarela, became new director at NCMM, Mark Daly, started as new director at FIMM, and Oliver Billker succeeded Bernt Eric Uhlin in the directorship in October 2018. The leadership changes were a reason for EMBL to about on its largest partnership and discuss with the new directors about values of the Nordic collaboration.
(Photo: Massimo del Prete/EMBL, screen shot)
Read the article on (authors Annabel Darby and Plamena Markova)

From gut to space: How Candida albicans exploits lack of oxygen to cause disease

Neutrofils biofilmScientists from Umeå university have shown how the yeast Candida albicans can modulate and adapt to low oxygen levels in different body niches to cause infection and to harm the host. Studying adaption to hypoxic or anoxic niches is particularly fruitful, since it helps us to understand the pathogenicity of C. albicans and promotes the development of better therapy approaches. Details about the study can be found in a report recently published in the journal MBio, a publication of the American Society of Microbiology.

Read more: From gut to space: How Candida albicans exploits lack of oxygen to cause disease

Welcome! 2nd Arctic Meeting on Clinical Tuberculosis, Umeå 22 March 2019

Mycobacterium NIH NIAD 2nd Arctic Meeting on Clinical Tuberculosis, Umeå!

22nd March, University Hospital of Umeå, Lecture hall Betula and Common Ground

On behalf of the Tuberculosis Center Arctic we welcome  you to attend the 2nd Arctic Meeting on Clinical Tuberculosis.!

This is a joint meeting for clinical TB researchers and staff working hands on with TB on a daily basis. There will be lectures, discussions, mingle and team-building activities. The language of the meeting is English.

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The 2nd Arctic Meeting on Clinical Tuberculosis is part of the WORLD TB DAY 2019.

This year’s topics are:

  • Tuberculosis in Migrants
  • Pediatric Tuberculosis – A Holistic Approach to TB in the Family
  • Treatment Strategies and Outcome Measures for MDR TB

Read more: Welcome! 2nd Arctic Meeting on Clinical Tuberculosis, Umeå 22 March 2019

The Nordic EMBL Partnership welcomes Oliver Billker

Oliver Billker mpn[2018-12-08] Annabel Darby, Communication Officer for the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, interviewed Oliver Billker a few weeks ago. Read about his visions for MIMS, his research and life in Umeå.

Interview with Oliver Billker on

Fernström Prize for research on bacterial cell walls

cava felipe Elin Berge 20172018 Fernström Prize awardee at Umeå University becomes Felipe Cava. His research group studies how bacteria can adapt the construction of the cell wall to different host environments, knowledge that may be important for the development of new antibiotics.

Felipe Cava will be honored for the Fernstrom Prize at Umeå University's annual festival on Saturday, October 20th. The actual award ceremony takes place during Research Day at Lund University in November.

Read more: Fernström Prize for research on bacterial cell walls

A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå

[2018-06-21] Scientists affiliated with MIMS and UCMR describe their findings about a new toxin and its secretion mechanism from the major bacterial pathogen Vibrio cholerae in a recent publication in the journal Communications Biology (7 June 2018).

Dongre et al 2018 Communications Biology 3The bacterium Vibrio cholerae was discovered more than 150 years ago but remains as one of the main causes of bacterial infectious disease globally, especially in low-income nations where it occurs endemic, and outbreaks of cholera disease can lead to major epidemics.

In addition to causing cholera disease characterized by very severe watery diarrhea, different variants of V. cholerae can cause, for example, wound infections and infections in the ear canal (ear inflammation). If the infection is reaching the bloodstream, it can lead to blood poisoning. Such variants of Vibrio bacteria are common in brackish water, but can be found both in freshwater and saltwater and are also present in such environments in our country.

Scientists from Umeå University have now discovered and characterised the structure and function of a so far unknown Vibrio toxin. A team led by Professor Sun Nyunt Wai at Department of Molecular Biology and MIMS used the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a predatory host for the bacteria and identified by molecular genetic analysis the V. cholerae genes required for production and release of the new protein toxin, now called MakA.

Read more: A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå

Battling antibiotic resistance

movie by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, with participation of scientists from MIMS and UCMR:
Or watch the original movie on:

Research about infectious diseases:

Oliver Billker in movie of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation:
Or watch the original movie on:

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