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National doctoral programme on infections and antibiotics - registration open!

To all PhD students and postdocs active in infection biology or antibiotics research

The MIMS-affiliated National doctoral programme in Infections and Antibiotics - Registration open!

The new National doctoral programme in Infections and Antibiotics is open for all postdocs and PhD students active in research projects in the area of infection biology and antibiotics. After registration to the programme, young researchers will have access to courses, meetings and workshops organized by different universities in Sweden.

There will also be a possibility to apply for support for travel and accommodation costs for participation in activities at other universities than the "home" university. In addition, there will be an annual network meeting open to all registered students and postdocs.

We are currently establishing a web-site for the programme ( At this site you will find additional information about the programme, organization and contact persons together with information on future courses, workshops etc.

Welcome to register to the programme! The first registration deadline is set to 30 September.

Åke Forsberg
National Co-ordinator
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Anna Holmström
National Director of Studies
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Interview with Emmanuelle Charpentier published in EMBLetc.

EMBLetc issue 80 thumbEMBL magazine EMBL etc. published in the summer 2014 issue an interview with MIMS groupleader Emmanuelle Charpentier.In the article by Claire Ainsworth Charpentier gives credits to The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine which helped her to make her discoveries on CRISPR-Cas9.

Read the whole article in issue 80 of the EMBL etc. (page 40)

Swedish Research Council: Funding for UCMR Linnaeus Centre extended. 45 million SEK during second period

Umeå's infection research receives continued Linnaeus Centre funding with 45 million SEK during the second five-year period

Umeå University's successful infection research at Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) will continue to receive Linnaeus Centre funding from the Swedish Research Council. This means continued funding with nine million SEK per year over a period of five years.

The Swedish Research Council and Formas has now completed the mid-term evaluation of the 20 Linnaeus environments, which received funding in 2008. One of these environments is the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research, UCMR.

"We are very pleased with the result of the evaluation and the continued support for UCMR", says Bernt Eric Uhlin, Scientific Coordinator for this Linneaus Centre.

The evalution states:
"UCMR is a leading centre nationally and internationally for chemical microbiology. This interdisciplinary centre brings together chemists, physicists and biologists. It is very well structured and has a remarkably successful training programme for young scientists. Their integration with the associated EMBL/MIMS structure has produced an impressive international centre. The GE Panel recommends continued funding at the existing level."

More information:
"Mid-term evaluation report of the 2008 Linnaeus Centres".

For further information:
Bernt Eric Uhlin, Professor at the Department of Molecular Biology, Scientific Coordinator of UCMR and Director of MIMS, Umeå University.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Göran Gustafsson Prize for Emmanuelle Charpentier

charpentier emmanuelleEmmanuelle Charpentier receives Göran Gustafsson Prize for Molecular Biology 2014

Emmanuelle Charpentier, group leader at MIMS, is one of the five recipients of the Göran Gustafsson's prize 2014. She is being awarded the prize in Molecular Biology for her important discoveries of the mechanisms that control bacterial immunity. The discoveries have led to the development of a molecular tool for the modification of genes. The prize consists of 4.5 Million SEK in research funding and a 225.000 SEK personal award.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences  press information, published on Monday 31 March 2014 (in Swedish)

Webpage of Emmanuelle Charpentier's research group

SEK 57 Million for new advanced electron microscopy - successful application by UCMR and MIMS scientists within a national network

Umeå University becomes national resource for advanced electron microscopy

[2014-03-27] Umeå University will be a national resource for advanced electron microscopy thanks to a contribution of SEK 57 million. Scientists across the country will be able to use the techniques for research, including detailed studies of microorganisms that cause infectious diseases.

- Sweden needs a national platform with a state-of-the-art electron microscopy facility to meet the future needs of visualization in medical, chemical and biological research. Umeå will now become a central node in a national network of research groups working together to improve the methods. This is not only a strength for our researchers, but also for the university as a whole, says Lena Gustafsson, Vice-Chancellor at Umeå University.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is investing SEK 37 million to develop the platform. The main applicants are Bernt Eric Uhlin and Linda Sandblad, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), who along with colleagues at Umeå University, Karolinska Institutet, Linköping University, Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have developed plans for a national platform in Umeå.
Umeå University is also supporting the venture with another SEK 15 million. Moreover, the Kempe Foundations is investing SEK 5 million, which allows the acquisition of the most advanced and powerful equipment for electron microscopy.

Read more: SEK 57 Million for new advanced electron microscopy - successful application by UCMR and MIMS...

Novel insights on CRISPR-Cas9: a game changer in genome technology

The three-dimensional structure of the genetic engineering tool is now clarified. MIMS group leader Emmanuelle Charpentier is one of the authors in the article published in Science, 6 February 2014.

After the first description in 2012 in Science, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is considered one of the most important discoveries in molecular biology in our time. Now an international team with Charpentier and her colleagues at the University in Berkeley and Zürich, described the three-dimensional structure of the complex for the first time. The structure indicates how CRISPR-Cas9 works: A so-called guide RNA acts as the decisive switch to trigger conformational rearrangement of the Cas9 enzyme and targeting of the genetic material.

Original publication:
Jinek M, Jiang F, Taylor D, Sternberg S, Kaya E,  Ma E, Anders A, Hauer M, Zhou K, Lin S, Kaplan M, Iavarone AT, Charpentier E, Nogales E, Doudna JA (2014)
Structures of Cas9 endonucleases reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1247997.

More information:
First description of the CRISPR-Cas9 system:
Jinek M; Chylinski K; Fonfara I, Hauer M, Doudna JA, Charpentier E (2012): A Programmable Dual-RNA-Guided DNA Endonuclease in Adaptive Bacterial Immunity,SCIENCE 337 (6096):816-821.

MIMS information:
Programmable RNA complex could speed genome editing in the lab - Publication in Science by Emmanuelle Charpentier and colleagues

Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the scientists behind the discoveries on CRISPR-Cas9  system

Emmanuelle Charpentier's research group at MIMS

Emmanuelle Charpentier's research group at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany

2013: Signaling Breakthroughs of the Year:
"The editorial staff and distinguished scientists in the field of cell signaling nominated diverse research as advances for 2013"...
SCIENCE SIGNALING 7 (307), 7 January 2014, DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005013.

2013 Runners-Up: Genetic Microsurgery for the Masses. Science 342 (6165); DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6165.1432.

365 days: Nature's 10
Read the story "FENG ZHANG: DNA's master editor, Borrowing from bacteria, a biologist helps to create a powerful tool for customizing DNA.", Feng Zhang mentioned the ground breaking artilcle in 2012 by Doudna and Charpentier et al as the basis for his discoveries in the CRISPR-Cas9 field.

MIMS receives SEK 15 Mio for national research school on Infections and antibiotics

During the next three years MIMS will receive funding from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) setting up a National doctoral programme in infection and antibiotics to connect the research environments of infectious disease and infection biology at the major Swedish universities within the national infection biology network.

Under the coordination of Åke Forsberg,professor at MIMS and director for the present UCMR research school, MIMS will build up an active network of nodes contributing to an advanced training programme that will promote scientific work and recruitment of young scientists in research on infections and antibiotics. Co-applicants for the new doctoral programme are professor Birgitta Henriques-Normark, Karolinska institutet, professor Björn Olsen, Uppsala University, Lennart Svensson, University of Linköping, Ann-Mari Svennerholm, University of Gothenburg, and Sun Nyunt Wai, professor at MIMS and UCMR.

The new national research school aims to strengthen the national recruitment base and quality for promoting research on infectious diseases and other risks to health. A particularly important objective of this doctoral programme will be to strengthen domestic and international networking in infection biology.

Read the press information of Umeå University in Swedish

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)

footer all slides 2014-02-06

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