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Bernt Eric Uhlin receives funding for Field Emission Scanning-EM and Cryo-technology

UCEM logo posIn its latest decision on research infrastructures, the Swedish Research Council assigned an operation grant with SEK 4.7 Mio for 2014-2018  to the national FESEM resource for training and research in using high resolution Field Emission Scanning-EM and Cryo-technology.

The newly established national FESEM resource at the Chemical Biological Centre in collaboration with MIMS and UCMR is providing a high resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope with a cryo-SEM system for life science and materials research. In particular, scientists within the Swedish National Network for Infection Biology from all major universities; Umeå University, Uppsala University, Stockholm University, Karolinska Institute, Linköping University, Göteborg University, Lund University, are aiming to strengthen the infection biology research in the country by this joint infrastructure.

The Field Emission Scanning-EM instrument equipped with a cryo-SEM system is integrated in the Electron Microscopy platform UCEM – Umeå Core facility for Electron Microscopy and the adjacent high resolution light microscopy infrastructure at the newly established open access Biochemical Imaging Centre at KBC, Umeå University.

It has added completely new possibilities for ultra-high resolution analysis of the three dimensional overview of surface properties and in combination with immuno-gold labeling the precise localization of surface proteins. Correlated light and electron microscopic imaging will be possible by combining structural information obtained at the EM level with functional and dynamic information obtained from 4D imaging of live cells at the light microscopy level. The National FESEM Resource will provide an infrastructure open to all researchers within the infection biology field and will facilitate research collaborations and advanced training within the high resolution Scanning-EM field. The accessibility to analyze pathogens and host cells with such equipment is limited in Sweden and the need for high resolution electron microscopic imaging is urgent in the infection biology field. The high resolution Field Emission Scanning-EM instrument will also be used in research projects with focus in additional research fields of biomedicine/cell biology, as well as plant biotechnology/wood science, chemistry and physics at Umeå university and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

More about the FESEM Platform here

Swedish Research Council (VR) decision: Seven MIMS group leaders receive funds

This year's funding decision of the Swedish Research Council gives support to 7 MIMS group leaders with more than 20 Mio SEK.
Felipe Cava will receive, SEK 8.5 Mio , which is the highest single fund to a scientist at Umeå University.

In total the funding is very impressive for the infection biology research at Umeå Centre for Microbial Research UCMR and MIMS which receive 29% of the total funding of the University by the Swedish Research Council.

Press release by Umeå University (in Swedish only - including the list of the funded projects)

Press release and analysis by the Swedish Research Council (in Swedish only)

Anna Överby receives grant for Future Research Leaders by SSF

Anna Överby, since 2011 group leader at MiMS is the only researcher at Umeå University who will receive the Future's Research Leaders grant from the Foundation for Strategic Research ("Framtidens Forskningsledare, Stiftelsen för Strategisk Forskning"). She is one of 20 other young outstanding scientists who will receive 10 million SEK each. Anna Överby is the only scientist at Umeå University who was selected. Before her the MIMS group leaders Richard Lundmark, Andrei Chabes, and Niklas Arnberg received the generous grant.

More information:
Webpage of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research SSF

Webpage of Anna Överby's research group

Press release of Umeå University (iin Swedish only)

Iain Mattaj, Honorary Doctor 2013 at Umeå University

Honorary Doctor Iain Mattaj 20131019 JG2

Professor Iain Mattaj, Director General, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany, received a honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine during Umeå University's Annual Autumn Ceremony. On the left: Dean Professor Anders Bergh. Iain Mattaj was honoured for his invaluable leadership and continued guidance in establishing the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine and in the development of MIMS.
(Picture: Johan Gunséus, Synk)

Read more about the Annual Autumn Ceremony, 19 October 2013 at Umeå University


Richard Lundmark honoured with Sven and Ebba-Christina Hagbergs prize

Associate Professor Richard Lundmark, group leader at MIMS and head of the Biochemical Imaging Centre at the department of medical biochemistry and biophysics, receives the Sven and Ebba-Christina Hagbergs prize for 2013.

Richard and the second awardee, Emma Sparr at Lund University will receive SEK 300.000 each from the foundation which mainly promotes biochemical and medical research.

Richard Lundmark is not the first MIMS group leader who receives the prize. In 2012 Andrei Chabes was also awarded by the Sven and Ebba-Christina Hagberg foundation.

Press release in Swedish on (in Swedish only)
Webpage of Richard Lundmark's group at MIMS
Webpage of the Biochemical Imaging Centre at the department of medical biochemistry and biophysics

VINNOVA funding for research on tuberculosis

Mikael Elofsson and Christer Larsson, researchers at Umeå University's departments for chemistry and molecular biology, were granted SEK 3.9 million by VINNOVA for a three-year research project to study new therapies against tuberculosis. The poject involves expertise in chemistry, and molecular infection biology and is a collaboration with scientists in Bangalore, India, headed by Tanjore Balganes, Open Source Drug Discovery, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Read more on the webpage of Umeå University; in Swedish only)

Antibiotics may trigger bacterial resistance against immune defences - Sun Nynt Wai and colleagues publish in PLOS Pathogens

TEM of Vibrio cell small SNWFor the first time, scientists at Umeå University show how bacterial resistance to antimicrobial peptides in the immune defence may develop as the result of treatment with an antibiotic substance.

The rapid emergence antimicrobial resistance among pathogenic is a big medical and scientific challenge of our time. There is a need for development of new treatment strategies and such efforts require that the molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance are understood.

Umeå University’s scientists professor Sun Nyunt Wai, professor Bernt Eric Uhlin and their colleagues at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) study the molecular mechanisms contributing to the survival and spread of Vibrio cholerae, the causative organism of cholera. This Gram-negative bacterium is responsible for many large epidemics of infectious disease that has killed millions of people. Cholera infections are getting more and more life-threatening as several bacterial variants already exist that are resistant against some antibacterial components of the innate human immune system.

During their growth Vibrio cholerae bacteria release small membrane vesicles from the outer membrane. They are filled with substances that may affect and damage the human host cells.

Read more: Antibiotics may trigger bacterial resistance against immune defences - Sun Nynt Wai and colleagues...

56,8 million SEK funding from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for infection research in Umeå

Important funding for MIMS and UCMR.

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation considers two projects lead by MIMS scientists that they will lead to scientific breakthrough and assigned them with extraordinary funding.

The project "New drugs against viral infections of the respiratory tract and eyes" will receive 23,8 million SEK and has the long-term goal to identify the detailed mechanisms that viruses use to get into  a cell. The main applicant is Niklas Arnberg, professor and group leader at MIMS.

The second project will mainly study "New strategies to disarm bacteria" and receives 33 million SEK . Main applicant of this project is MIMS/UCMR group leader professor Sven Bergström, also head of the department of Molecular Biology.

Read more: 56,8 million SEK funding from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for infection research in Umeå

Andrei Chabes and Olga Tsaponina publish breakthrough article in Nucleic Acids Research

The journal Nucleic Acids Research published an article of the Andrei Chabes' group as a breakthrough article on September 17, 2013.

When treated with DNA - damaging drugs (chemotherapy) cells must activate special signaling pathways for the DNA repair. These signal paths have a similar structure in humans, other mammals and also in simpler organisms, such as baker's yeast .

Olga Tsaponina and Andrei Chabes at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Umeå University, show that a pre-treatment of yeast cells with substances that produce a mild activation of these protective pathways, protects these cells when they are then subjected to a tougher treatment with DNA -damaging drugs (chemotherapy) .

- A similar pretreatment could possibly be used also to cancer patients to protect healthy cells during chemotherapy. In cancer cells, by contrast, these signaling pathways are destructed in order to enable unlimited growth.  These cells would therefore not be protected by this pretreatment says Andrei Chabes, lecturer at the Department of Medical Bichemistry and Biophysics and group leader at MIMS.

The journal Nucleic Acids Research selects only 2-3 percent of the magazine's best articles as a " Breakthrough Article" in terms of originality, significance and scientific excellence.

Original Publication:
O Tsaponina, A Chabes: Pre-activation of the genome integrity checkpoint increases DNA damage tolerance Nucleic Acids Research, 2013, 1–8. doi:10.1093/nar/gkt820
Fulltext for download (pdf)

Press release of published by Umeå University (in Swedish)
Webpage of Andrei Chabes' group at MIMS
Webpage of Andrei Chabes at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

ONE HEALTH SWEDEN- Symposium in Umeå, 7th Nov 2013

 One Health Sweden

One Health Sweden ( is a interdisciplinary network of scientists in Sweden which stimulates interdisciplinary collaborations to increase knowledge of the emergence, spread and effects of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance in humans, domestic animals and wildlife.

The network invites to an information symposium on

Thursday 7th November 2013, 14.00 - 16.00
at Chemical Biological Centre (KBC), Lilla hörsalen
Organised by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: ONE HEALTH SWEDEN- Symposium in Umeå, 7th Nov 2013

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:

footer all slides 2014-02-06

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