New Nordic EMBL partnership for molecular medicine will advance understanding of molecular mechanisms underpinning disease

Heidelberg 03 October 2007The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL); the University of Helsinki, Finland; the University of Oslo, Norway; and Umeå University, Sweden, officially have launched their new Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. The agreement will encourage scientific exchange and collaborations between the partners and will facilitate access to respective scientific infrastructure, facilities and services for an initial period of five years.

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The partnership between EMBL, the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway and the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden is dedicated to molecular medicine, a growing field in the life sciences that investigates the molecular basis of disease and explores molecularly and genetically based treatments.

"Each partner has a long history of research in specific areas relevant to molecular medicine and brings in a unique set of expertise, skills and facilities", stated Iain Mattaj, Chair of the partnership's steering committee and Director General at EMBL. "Combining complementary strengths in the new Nordic EMBL Partnership equips us to tackle some of the most challenging problems of biomedicine."

EMBL's recognised research strengths in the areas of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, bioinformatics and structural biology will be complemented by Norway's expertise in molecular mechanisms of disease, Sweden's focus on microbial pathogenicity and molecular infection medicine and Finland's strength in genetic epidemiology.

The agreement will facilitate access to scientific infrastructure, including databases, facilities and instrumentation, as well as to services and training activities provided by the partners. The partnership will result in the adoption of the EMBL model for international recruitment, staff turnover and scientific reviews to the Nordic nodes. The co-ordination between the Nordic nodes and EMBL will be overseen by a steering committee constituted by two representatives from each node. Scientific progress will be reviewed regularly by a committee of external experts.

In addition to their partnership with EMBL the individual Nordic research centres will engage in collaborations with other national partners, including research and public health institutes, hospitals and research councils, to establish an extensive Nordic network for molecular medicine.


Leslie Versweyveld

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