Last Friday I took my bicycle over the Solna bridge to Gävlegatan, to a part of our university that I have not had the chance to visit before: The Aging Research Cente, ARC. I met with Johan Fritzell, ARC Director, Kristina Johnell, Martin Lövdén, Laura Fratiglioni and Maria Eriksdotter, Head of the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS). They all made the visit a very rewarding experience. ARC was established as a multidisciplinary research center in 2000, by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University jointly. Itis organized as a division under the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society and includes about 70 people. The center has been very successful at attracting external funding and I believe that part of the success is based on their strong commitment to invest in building up infrastructures in the form of large cohorts that are followed over time and that can be used to address questions like; Why do we age and why do we age so differently? Is it possible to decrease disease and disability in elderly? Questions that call for answers in times of enormous demographic changes. In the life science sector there is, and should be, a large focus on developing novel drugs. However, equally important is of course compliance – that drugs are taken in accordance with recommendations – and not least to study how they interact in the body. Kristina Johnell showed that many old people take several drugs and it is very important to establish how they interact to get a good therapeutic efficacy. When the meeting was finished I bicycled through Kungsholmen, which forms the basis for recruitment of individuals to the cohorts that are studied at ARC, with a feeling that KI researchers really make a difference!
Inauguration of the Campus Plan
The property company Akademiska Hus, that own, develop and manage properties for universities and colleges, has prepared a campus plan for KI campus in Solna. Several from KI staff have contributed to the plan, which outlines the vision and the path for an attractive campus as part of a world-leading life science cluster. For KI as an internationally leading university, aiming to recruit students, teachers and scientists on a global market, it is important to provide attractive surroundings. The plan was inaugurated by Akademiska Hus’ Regional Director Magnus Huss and myself last week. The plan is presently for exhibition in the entrance hall of Aula Medica. Take a chance to have a look into the future KI when you pass by!
The cutting-edge capabilities of the Swedish life science sector
Thursday May 2nd, Aula Medica hosted the seminar “The cutting-edge capabilities of the Swedish life science”. This seminar was one way to demonstrate what Sweden can offer if the European Medical Agency is relocated to Stockholm/Uppsala. The Government has decided to actively engage in the relocation of EMA from London to Stockholm/Uppsala following Brexit and the government’s commitment was clearly demonstrated by the presence of ministers and state secretary’s from four departments at the meeting. I believe that we can provide a very attractive environment for EMA and its employees and of course EMA will further strengthen the Life Science Cluster.