Swedish joint venture targets molecular research

Swedish university joint venture SciLifeLab will become a national research institute for molecular biosciences and bioinformatics, according to an announcement Tuesday by Swedish Minister for Education Jan Björklund.

SciLifeLab, a joint venture involving Karolinska Institutet, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University, will grow to employ about 1,000 scientists and have a turnover of about 1 billion Swedish kronor (114 million euros) within a few years, according to the Swedish government's plan.

In addition to funding from the government, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation will invest 220 million Swedish kronor (25 million euros) on technology laboratories in SciLifeLab. AstraZeneca also plans to invest $5 million to $10 million U.S. (3.8 million to 7.5 million euros) for five years in joint research projects within SciLifeLab.

The medical research will focus on investigating the molecular basis of complex human diseases and will seek to find biomarkers that can help diagnose disease and monitor their progress, according to the Swedish government.

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