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NMMP Annual Scientific Conference 2023

Photo: Mikael Stiernstedt

The National Molecular Medicine Fellows Program - NMMP - is a collaborative program between the four Wallenberg centres and SciLifeLab that was established in 2017. The aims of the program is to improve scientific networks and collaborations across Sweden, as well as to increase the awareness and accessibility of the cutting-edge infrastructure at SciLifeLab. 

Over the years, the four sites of WCMM and SciLifeLab have together recruited around 130 young group leaders, many from world-leading international universities, thereby adding to the strength and excellence in life science and molecular medicine research in Sweden. The network represents an important community of excellent young research group leaders in Sweden, who will network across university boundaries.

Within the scope of the collaboration, scientific meetings are arranged, giving the opportunity to create a unique and close network across the five sites, the national life science infrastructures, as well as the health care regions across the country. The effort also includes co-funding for joint projects or research visits. The NMMP annual scientific conference 2023, was hosted by SciLifeLab on April 26-28, 2023, at Vår Gård Saltsjöbaden in Stockholm.

The conference started with a visit at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences (KVA) in Stockholm, and continued at Vår Gård, Saltsjöbaden. During the meeting, SciLifeLab, DDLS and WCMM fellows were brought together to network around themes such as e.g. molecular medicine, biotechnology, molecular biology and data-driven life science. The meeting provided great opportunities for collaborations between experimental, clinical and computational groups. We had the great please to listen to talks by keynotes:

  • Elisabeth Björk, AstraZeneca 
  • Anthony Hyman, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics 
  • David Klenerman, University of Cambridge 
  • Jason Swedlow, University of Dundee 
  • Evelina Vågesjö, Ilya Pharma 

This together with a poster session and focused discussions on the next big questions in Life Science, this was a highly rewarding event for all participants! 

Lecture hall
KVA lecture

Program for Academic leaders in Life Science - PALS

This year’s meeting was organized for all SciLifeLab, SciLifeLab & Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) and WCMM fellows, as the network is transitioning into Program for Academic leaders in Life Science, PALS. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has granted funding of SEK 20 million for the period 2024 to 2028 to this new network, which will follow the success and track record of the previous WCMM and SciLifeLab collaboration (NMMP).
During the next period, the partners will expand the scope of the collaboration to include the diverse areas of life science that SciLifeLab and DDLS communities represent, with the PALS program covering 10 universities (Chalmers, GU, KI, KTH, LiU, LU, NRM, SLU, SU, UmU, and UU) and the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM). The aim of the program is to form a network for young group leaders in experimental, clinical, or computational life science and for them to engage in multi-disciplinary collaborations.

We see the Program for Academic Leaders in Life Science (PALS) as an important foundation for the development of life science in Sweden. The funding aims to support bridging the various national fellows’ programs together, says Göran Sandberg, Executive Director of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The focus of the program is to:

  • Continue with the successful tradition of a major annual meeting for all fellows. The responsibility for the meetings is rotated between WCMM, SciLifeLab, and DDLS sites. We expect that each meeting will feature joint general sessions of interest to all fellows, but also specific parallel sessions tailored to the diverse interest areas of specific fellow communities.
  • Promote additional scientific interactions between the fellows to initiate new, innovative, and cross-disciplinary research collaborations and technology/knowledge/data transfer in the context of research projects or training and workshops organized jointly by the research fellows with seed funding from the program.
  • Ensure interaction and promote collaboration between the fellow community and the SciLifeLab infrastructure.
  • Promote collaborations between curiosity-driven, technology-driven and data-driven researchers, as well as translational and clinical scientists.

The Program for Academic Leaders in Life Science (PALS) will strengthen Swedish life science and empower different types of multi-disciplinary connections between the young PIs, such as those between data-driven and experimental scientists; pre-clinical and clinical investigators and; across diverse areas of life science. This could lead to unexpected high-profile collaborations and benefit to different areas of society”, says Olli Kallioniemi, Director SciLifeLab.

This text originates from a press release from KAW. See original KAW press release.

Many thanks to the organizers at SciLifeLab for a fantastic meeting! Also, good luck WCMM Umeå with arranging the first PALS-meeting ever in spring 2024!