• Sweden edition
 
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Stockholm University: at the forefront of Chemistry research

Stockholm University: at the forefront of Chemistry research

Published: 19 Apr 2011 18:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Apr 2011 18:19 GMT+02:00

Sweden has produced some of the world’s leading scientists over the centuries, including many pioneering chemists - and as the home of the Nobel Prize, Stockholm has a special place in the world of chemistry.

Chemists at Stockholm University have long upheld this tradition of research and innovation - four Nobel Chemistry Prize winners have been associated with the university, most recently to Paul J Crutzen in 1995.

Some of the most important chemistry research currently being undertaken at Stockholm is being carried out by Professor Gunnar von Heijne. The professor, who until recently was chairman of the Nobel Chemistry Prize Committee, researches on the assembly and structure of membrane proteins and is head of the Centre for Biomembrane Research at the university.

In 2008, von Heijne was awarded a €2 million European Research Council Advanced Grant, to research how cells make membrane proteins. These constitute a third of all the proteins in a cell and play a vital role in the way pharmaceuticals enter cells.

Membrane proteins are associated with cell membranes. More than half of all pharmaceuticals on the market have membrane proteins as their targets. In other words, the pharmaceuticals use membrane proteins as their ‘way in’ to cells.

“Many drugs ‘tickle’ the target cells by binding to the proteins on the membrane,” is how von Heijne describes the process.

This means that understanding more about membrane proteins will have big implications for the development of future drugs.

The Centre for Biomembrane Research is one of the leading research centres in the field, and has around 20 research groups, which study all aspects of biomembranes.

“There are only one or two places in the world that have this broad level of knowledge,” says von Heijne. It is building on the historic strengths of Stockholm University, which has long been a leader in the study of respiration and photosynthesis, both of which have involved research into membrane proteins.

“We realised we had a strong base to build broader-based research into membrane proteins.”

The strength of the centre’s research has attracted talent from around the world, with group leaders drawn from many countries, including from the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, the US and Germany.

“We don’t have to try very hard to find good, young group leaders. The centre has been a magnet for attracting people,” says von Heijne.

In addition, almost all post-doctoral students and most master’s students are from outside Sweden.

“It is rare that we teach a class at master’s level in Swedish, and when we do we find we’re using English terminology all the time,” von Heijne says.

The Stockholm scientific community is, of course, used to a high international profile. This is due not least to its association with the Nobel Prize. von Heijne spent twelve years on the committee that chooses the winner of the Nobel Chemistry Prize, chairing it for three years. In that role he sifted through thousands of nominations and spent up to two months a year working to find a winner.

The Nobel Prizes make Stockholm a particularly stimulating place for researchers; the university welcomes a steady stream of the world’s top scientists as seminar speakers, who are attracted by Stockholm’s Nobel connection:

“You would have to be in a very high profile research university in Europe or the States to see a similarly high-level set of people,” says von Heijne.

Stockholm’s strength in chemistry is not confined to biochemistry. Its first Nobel Prize winner, Svante Arrhenius, was considered one of the founders of physical chemistry, and the university is home to leaders in all areas of chemistry, including organic, inorganic and quantum chemistry.

In the latter field, Fahmi Himo recently received one of Sweden’s most prestigious scientific prizes, the 4.6 million krona Göran Gustafsson Prize, “for his development and application of quantum mechanical techniques for elucidation of enzymatic and homogeneous catalysis of chemical reactions".

“We have internationally-leading scientists in many research areas - and they all teach. Study here, and you are at the forefront of research,” von Heijne says.

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

NEWS_NOT_YET_IMPORTED
Today's headlines
Thunderstorms replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Thunderstorms replace Swedish heatwave

UPDATED: The Swedish summer was brought to a halt on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm with further inclement weather forecast for the week ahead. READ  

Cops looking for dead woman's partner
Police carry out a technical examination following the discovery of a woman's dead body in Ystad on July 26th 2014. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Cops looking for dead woman's partner

Police in southern Sweden are eager to speak to the partner of a 43-year-old woman who was found dead in an apartment on Saturday. Elsewhere in the south a 26-year-old man was arrested in Malmö on suspicion of carrying out a string of shootings. READ  

Gaza crisis delaying case of murdered child
Protesters gather in Malmö for a pro-Gaza demonstration on July 26th 2014. Stig-Åke Jönsson / TT

Gaza crisis delaying case of murdered child

The ongoing conflict in the middle east is delaying the investigation into the death of an 8-year-old girl who was found dead in Sweden in May. Meanwhile, over a 1,000 people attended a pro-Gaza march in Malmö. READ  

Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
A selection of Swedish chocolate balls. Leif R Jansson/TT

Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'

UPDATED: The Afro-Swedish national association has reported Swedish politician Eva Sidekrans to the police for selling chocolate balls labelled as "old fashioned unprejudiced negro ball" saying it incites racial hatred. She has since apologized. READ  

'Dead' Swede's damages claim killed off

'Dead' Swede's damages claim killed off

A 36-year-old woman in central Sweden who was listed as deceased by the tax office has lost her claim for damages after the Chancellor of Justice rejected her demand for compensation. READ  

Five dead in 'black Friday' drownings
A life ring pictured in Stockholm. Maja Suslin/TT

Five dead in 'black Friday' drownings

Five people died in drowning related incidents on Friday, further raising the death toll of those lost in the water in July. READ  

Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

An EU public opinion poll released on Friday revealed that Sweden is the only nation which thinks the environment should be a top priority for the union. READ  

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
File photo: TT

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'

Police in Gothenburg have confirmed that sex trafficking in the city has developed into a full-blown slave trade - but that they lack the resources to do anything about it. READ  

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution
Photo: TT/The Missionary Church of Kopimism

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution

Peter Sunde has complained that his religious rights have been impinged after he was refused permission to meet a representative of a church inspired by the keyboard shortcuts for cut and paste. READ  

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported
Police at the scene of the threat in June. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported

The 43-year-old man who threatened Stockholm's Gamla Stan with a bomb in June was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail, followed by deportation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

723
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se