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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.

http://www.tidningencurie.se/nyheter/2016/12/13/klimatet-som-framjar-framgangsrika-forskare/
 
http://www.tidningencurie.se/nyheter/2016/12/14/bra-villkor-lockar-dem-till-umea/

 

Consolidator Grant to Nelson Gekara

Nelson Gekara photo by Mattias Pettersson lrNelson Gekara is one of the twenty researchers in Sweden who will receive a Consolidator Grant 2016 from the Swedish Research Council.

His project "The roll of DNA damage and signal proteins on the innate immune system” will be supported with 9 million SEK within the next 6 years.

Read more: Consolidator Grant to Nelson Gekara

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

Regulated release of membrane vesicles from the human pathogen Group A streptococcus

[2016-11-14] Release of vesicles from the outer membrane are known to play an important role in the biology of Gram-negative bacteria. They are relevant for pathogenesis and interaction of the bacteria with their environment. Only recently was it observed that membrane vesicles (MVs) also can be released from Gram-positive bacteria which lack an outer membrane and have a thick cell wall. The composition and mechanisms which govern the MV formation in Gram-positive bacteria was still unclear. Now, a new study, published in mBio, a high impact journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows new findings on the composition and the regulation of MVs production in the Gram-positive, human pathogen, Group A streptococcus.

Read more: Regulated release of membrane vesicles from the human pathogen Group A streptococcus

Call for UCMR Linnaeus Program Gender Policy Support Grants.

The UCMR Linnaeus program actively attempts to reinforce and increase the role of women in science. The objective of this policy is to achieve a gender equal distribution within each of the principal investigator categories, i.e. for research professors/teachers with tenure and junior research group leaders.

Female scientists holding positions as assistant/associated professor (forskarassistent/universitetslektor) or group leader/researcher are invited to apply for research grants of 750 kSEK/year during two years, 2017-2018. Entitled to apply are female group leaders associated with UCMR (http://www.ucmr.umu.se/ ) at Umeå University and who have established themselves as independent principal investigators with research of relevance for infection biology. In addition to the applicants´ research accomplishments the situation with respect to funding and obligations in e.g. teaching will be considered in the selection. Priority will be given to applicants who have not earlier been recipients of grants from the UCMR Linnaeus Gender Support program.

Read more: Call for UCMR Linnaeus Program Gender Policy Support Grants.

One more reason to swear off tobacco: The inflammatory trap induced by nicotine

Illustration on how cigarette smoke transforms NETs[2016-09-02] An Umeå-based team in collaboration with US researchers reveals a new link between nicotine and inflammation. They report that nicotine strongly activates immune cells to release DNA fibres decorated with pro-inflammatory molecules, so called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The continuous exposure to these NETs can harm the tissue and could explain the hazardous consequences of tobacco consumption for human health.

Read more: One more reason to swear off tobacco: The inflammatory trap induced by nicotine

Reactive oxygen species – fuelling or putting the brakes on inflammation?

Saskia Erttman Anetta Hartlova Nelson Gekara Immunity July2016 lr[2016-07-12] Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxides and superoxides are important signalling molecules in an organism’s regulation of metabolism and inflammation. Accumulation of ROS have been linked to neurodegeneration and cancer. Researchers at Umeå University and Hospital of Halland in Sweden now reveal an unexpected function of ROS. They dampen a key inflammatory process and weakens the immune system´s ability to combat pathogens such as those that cause pneumonia. The findings are published in the July 2016 issue of the Cell Press Journal Immunity.

Read more: Reactive oxygen species – fuelling or putting the brakes on inflammation?

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

“Limited only by the Imagination” - Emmanuelle Charpentier awarded the Tang Prize 2016

Tang Prize Logo[2016-06-20] The 2016’s Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science recognizes Emmanuelle Charpentier together with Jennifer Doudna and Feng Zhang “for the development of CRISPR/Cas9 as a breakthrough genome editing platform that promises to revolutionize biomedical research and disease treatment”.

Dr. Charpentier’s research focuses on mechanisms of regulation in infection and immunity. Her laboratory strives to understand how RNA and protein molecules work together to control gene expression and biological processes in bacterial pathogens. To identify new molecules and decipher their origins, functions and modes of action at the molecular and cellular level, Dr. Charpentier applies a combination of a wide range of methods, including -omics, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology as well as cell infection approaches.

Read more: “Limited only by the Imagination” - Emmanuelle Charpentier awarded the Tang Prize 2016

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