The building blocks of life
Genetics, molecular bioscience and protein science are the key to understanding how illness and disease develop. Stockholm-Uppsala is leading the charge in advancing knowledge in these areas to open the way for novel diagnostic tools, preventive strategies and treatments.
Today, more than 60% of all pharmaceuticals address proteins. The majority of all new pharmaceuticals and vaccines are protein-based.
With a growing base of both academic research and industrial companies, Stockholm-Uppsala is now one of the most successful regions for research and development in protein science. The list of innovations in the field is long and the research covers world-leading projects.
The Human Protein Atlas
In November 2010, Professor Uhlén’s initiative to map all human proteins, the Human Protein Atlas, had reached its half-way point with 10,000 individual proteins of the body’s approximately 20,000 proteins mapped. This ground-breaking project is one example from the Stockholm-Uppsala region with a potential to facilitate the development of new methods for early detection of disease and novel medical treatments. The project is expected to be complete in 2015.
Membrane protein research
The Center for Bio membrane Research at Stockholm University focuses its research on membrane protein biochemistry and protein assembly, folding, and dynamics. Membrane proteins are involved in a wide range of biological functions and are targets for the majority of pharmaceutical drugs currently on the market. The center collaborates with industrial partners, including GE Healthcare and AstraZeneca.
Molecular tools and diagnostics
Molecular diagnostics provides a radically improved ability to detect a disease early in its progression stage, sometimes even before it breaks out. Groundbreaking research, conducted at Uppsala University focuses on developing new, powerful molecular techniques and identifying informative biomarkers.
The Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab)
SciLifeLab is a national infrastructure for large-scale biological and medical research with a focus on genomics, comparative genetics, proteomics, bio bank profiling and systems biology. SciLifeLab has been created by a coordinated effort from four universities in Stockholm and Uppsala. The center combines advanced technical know-how and state-of-the-art equipment with a broad knowledge in translational medicine and technology-driven molecular bioscience. The availability in Scandinavia of clinical material in the form of bio banks and excellent medical records is an important part of the scientific foundation of the center.
Tools for advanced research and industrial applications
GE Healthcare Life Sciences develops and markets systems and chemicals for the purification of biopharmaceuticals as well as a range of tools for protein and cellular research. The company has a strong heritage from the former Pharmacia and since it made the first, strategic investment to establish a base in Uppsala, it has continued to invest. Over 90% of approved biotech drugs rely on equipment and media developed and manufactured by GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Uppsala. The region is also home to about 15 other, smaller companies offering research tools and expertise in protein science.