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Two MIMS postdocs awarded fellowships from the Swedish Society for Medical Research

Written by Marta Nieckarz, Atin Sharma and Nóra Lehotai. Pictures: Marta Nieckarz and Atin Sharma. Credit: Marta Nieckarz and Atin Sharma.

Marta N and Atin Sh 2021 postodc fellowship

Marta Nieckarz and Atin Sharma received a three-year fellowship for postdoctoral studies in medical science from the Swedish Society for Medical Research (Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning, SSMF). Marta and Atin are both postdoctoral researchers at MIMS, Umeå University. Marta is a member of the Cava lab (group leader: Felipe Cava) and Atin is a member of the Puhar lab (group leader: Andrea Puhar).

Read more: Two MIMS postdocs awarded fellowships from the Swedish Society for Medical Research

MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Anna Överby Wernstedt

Text written by Nóra Lehotai and Anna Överby Wernstedt. Pictures: 1) Anna Överby Wernstedt, credit: Mattias Petterson, 2) Work in the Överby lab, credit: Mattias Petterson.

This is a MIMS Spotlight Series Extra article before the longer summer break. I chatted with Anna Överby Wernstedt, who is now a rather senior MIMS group leader. She was born and raised in Sweden and during her studies and career so far, she has lived in Scotland, Canada, the USA and Germany, to return to Sweden and join MIMS in 2011. Her life is full with activities, which she shares with her husband and their two children. 

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Can you tell us about your role at MIMS, what are you working on now? 

I am a MIMS Group Leader,but as my 9 years-period is up, I am justfinishing the leftover funding for a postdoc in my group and will take up a new association within MIMS.My research field is virologyspecialized in virus-host interactions. I am supervising a group of 9 people, and we are working with tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus and other mosquito- and tick-borne flaviviruses, and during the last year, it has been a lot of COVID and SARS research which means that a third of the lab switched to work on that topic and the rest of the group continued to do TBE research. 

Read more: MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Anna Överby Wernstedt

MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Stefanie Willekens

Text written by Nóra Lehotai and Stefanie Willekens. Pictures owned by Stefanie Willekens. 

I had a chat with Stefanie, who joined the Överby lab in February 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow. However, she was no stranger to Umeå by that time. Stefanie has a Belgian nationality and has lived in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden throughout her career. She shares her life with her dog, motorbike and an impressive stiletto collection.

Can you tell us about your role at MIMS, what are you working on now? 

SW 1I am working in Anna Överby’s group, mainly on flaviviruses, but I am the only one in Anna’s group who is not a virologist. I have a
background in imaging. I did my PhD in nucleo imaging, so I am someone who is more specialized in image processing. I am developing new imaging strategies for visualizing viral spread in neurotropic viruses in the brain. In short: brain mapping of virus infection, what type of viruses and what do they cause in the brain and how to visualize that with imaging techniques, this is my main topic.

 

Read more: MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Stefanie Willekens

PATHOgenex RNA atlas - one of the best 50 articles in the area of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Text written by Nóra Lehotai

Kemal Nature Comms 2021 June reduced

Illustration of the PATHOgenex, a freely available online RNA atlas of 32 human bacterial pathogens exposed to 11 infection relevant stress. Illutsration by Kemal Avican.

The recently published scientific article of MIMS researcher Kemal Avican and MIMS group leader Maria Fällman and their co-authors, is now among the Nature Communication's Editor Highlight articles as one of the best 50 publications in the area of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. It is a great achievement to conquer in such a short time as the article got published just in the beginning of June 2021. 
Both Maria and Kemal, the corresponding authors of the study, predicted that their work on stress responses in cross-microbial species, resulting in the PATHOgenex RNA atlas (www.pathogenex.org), could give a new, interactive tool into the hands of scientists to better understand adaptation strategies of different bacterial pathogens and give rise to the development of AI-powered approaches to solve complex research questions. Receiving this editorial highlight, also shows that this work is of particular interest and potential. 

Read more: PATHOgenex RNA atlas - one of the best 50 articles in the area of Microbiology and Infectious...

Anna Överby Wernstedt awarded the 2021 Eric K Fernströms Prize

Text written by Nóra Lehotai. Picture: Anna Överby Wernstedt (on the right) with one of her group members in the lab. Credit: Mattias Petterson.

Överby lab 9870 210120 MPN

Anna Överby Wernstedt, Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University, and senior MIMS group leader, got awarded the prestigious Eric K Fernströms Prize for her research efforts on tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus and other mosquito- and tick-borne flaviviruses.

"This prize means a lot to me both at the personal and at the professional level. It is always nice to be recognized by others because they see potential in what you do, and this gives you a confirmation that you are on the right track”-says Anna.

The Eric K Fernströms Prize is awarded each year to young, exceptionally promising, and successful researchers working at the six Swedish universities’ medical faculties. The prizes are managed by the medical faculty at Lund University, and the prize money is donated by the Eric K Fernströms Stiftelse.

Read more: Anna Överby Wernstedt awarded the 2021 Eric K Fernströms Prize

Andrea Puhar elected as board member of Svenska Föreningen för Mikrobiologi

Text written by Nóra Lehotai. Picture: Andrea Puhar, MIMS group leader, Umeå University. Credit: Mattias Petterson.

Puhar Andrea 8961 151127 MPNMIMS group leader Andrea Puhar became a board member of Svenska Föreningen för Mikrobiologi.

The Svenska Föreningen för Mikrobiologi (SFM; Swedish Society for Microbiology) is an organization which collects and provides membership for individuals interested in microbiological sciences. SFM aims to support the progress and development of fundamental and applied microbiology both at the national and international level since the society is the Swedish node of FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies). SFM organises scientific symposia, workshops and other networking activities, and they also collaborate with NDPIA to organize courses for young scientists.

Read more: Andrea Puhar elected as board member of Svenska Föreningen för Mikrobiologi

MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Milica Milivojevic

Text written by Nóra Lehotai and Milica Milivojevic. Picture: Milica Milivojevic, owned by Milica Milivojevic.

Milica Milivojevic profilbild 1

I had a chat with Milica, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Sixt group. She is another true cosmopolitan scientist with Serbian-British dual nationality, who then studied in France and did a postdoc fellowship in New York, before arriving at Umeå in March 2021.

 

Can you tell us about your role at MIMS, what are you working on now? 

As a postdoc in Barbara’s lab, I will be working on Chlamydia trachomatis infection. C. trachomatis is an obligate intracellular pathogen that resides and replicates in a bacteria-containing vacuole called the inclusion. My project will be focused on studying the host-pathogen interaction at the inclusion membrane using proteomics and lipidomic approaches, in order to better understand this intriguing niche.

Read more: MIMS Spotlight Series: Meet Milica Milivojevic

Stress responses in cross-microbial species are disclosed

Maria Fällman och Kemal Avican GBP 6867 1The Fällman group has published a new article in Nature Communications with the title: “RNA atlas of human bacterial pathogens uncovers stress dynamics linked to infection”. “I think the results obtained from this study could be very helpful for better understanding of adaptation strategies of different bacterial pathogens.”-says Kemal Avican, the main driver of the study, one of the corresponding authors.

Bacterial pathogens have to cope with stressful environments in human host. Their response with the activity of gene products enables them to adapt to those stressful environments and cause troublesome infections. Therefore, genes involved in the adaptation are potential targets for new antimicrobials.
Researchers of this study has exposed 32 different bacterial human pathogens to 11 stress conditions mimicking human host environments and catalogued their transcriptome. Investigation of over 100 000 genes enabled them to identify stress responsive genes, common and unique regulatory responses, and processes participating in different stress responses. By comparing the gene expressions to publicly available data, they could show that these responses are employed during infection of two clinically important pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They have shown that a significant proportion of responses is originated from known and putative novel non-coding RNAs, indicating existence of potential novel ncRNAs in the dataset to be discovered. The RNA atlas is deposited on an interactive and user-friendly webpage at www.pathogenex.org.

Picture: Maria Fällman and Kemal Avican at Umeå University campus. Credit: Gabrielle Beans Picón.

Read more: Stress responses in cross-microbial species are disclosed

MIMS Annual Report 2019-2020 available

The digital version of the MIMS Annual Report 2019-2020 is now available online.

Take a look to learn about the past two years at MIMS:

MIMS Annual Report 2019 2020 cover
• How our scientists have studied phages, viruses, bacteria and parasites and how they interact with their hosts and vectors.
• How we have engaged with our international partners in the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.
• How we used the EMBL group leader model to bring many new scientists to Sweden.
• How we celebrated the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
• And much more.

Read more to see how you can dowload the MIMS Annual Report 2019-2020.

Read more: MIMS Annual Report 2019-2020 available

Björn Schröder receives Dr P Håkanssons Stiftelse grant

181019 GSO Portraits9505 562 Christopher Coe
MIMS group leader Björn O. Schröder received a research grant from Dr P Håkanssons Stiftelse (Dr Per Håkansson Foundation) for a project in which he and his team will investigate how specific diets affect the intestinal microbiota. For the project, Björn will collaborate with Anna Sjödin and Jonas Burén from the Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science, Umeå University, to analyze how consumption of a popular low carbohydrate diet affects the gut microbiota in healthy people and what consequences this might have for their interaction with the body. The grant will be awarded during a ceremony on the Näringslivdag in Eslöv in the south of Sweden.

Read more: Björn Schröder receives Dr P Håkanssons Stiftelse grant

Emmanuelle Charpentier took the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Emmanuelle has been awarded jointly with Jennifer Doudna the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the groundbreaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She is a former group leader at MIMS, honorary doctor at Umeå University and former visiting professor at UCMR.

Movie by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (https://kaw.wallenberg.org/)

Battling antibiotic resistance

movie by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, with participation of scientists from MIMS and UCMR:
Or watch the original movie on:
https://kaw.wallenberg.org/

Research about infectious diseases:

Oliver Billker in movie of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation:
Or watch the original movie on:
https://kaw.wallenberg.org/

footer all slides 2014-02-06


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