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Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University inaugurated on Friday


At the end of the week, the new Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University will be officially inaugurated.

The Wallenberg Centres for Molecular Medicine (WCMM) are important elements in a national effort to reposition Sweden as a leading life science nation. The initiative was taken by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and is a joint venture with the Universities and University Hospitals of Gothenburg, Lund, Umeå and Linköping. SciLifeLab in Stockholm and Uppsala serves as a research partner and core facility for the four centres.

During the forthcoming years the centre aims to recruit up to 16 group leaders positioned within for example cancer, infection biology and metabolic disorders, working in strong internationally recognized research environments.

The first three Fellows

WCMM at Umeå University began 2017 with its first three Wallenberg Molecular Medicine Fellows in place; Francesca Aguilo, Daniel Öhlund and Lars-Anders Carlson. The first one to start October 2016 was Aguilo from Mount Sinai, New York, USA at the Department of Medical Biosciences, closely followed in November by Carlson from UC Berkeley, USA at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics. Aguilo’s research focuses on how the development of breast cancer is governed by epigenetics and RNA modifications. Carlson investigates plus-stranded RNA virus replication complexes by cryo-electron microscopy and in vitro reconstitution. The third Wallenberg Molecular Medicine Fellow is Daniel Öhlund from Cold Spring Harbor, USA who started January 2017 at the Department of Radiation Sciences. Öhlund’s research focuses on tumor-stromal interactions in pancreatic cancer, e.g. by using a three-dimensional organoid platform. His position is shared between research/education at UmU and specialist training in Oncology at the Västerbotten County Council.


The inauguration will begin at 9 am on Friday, at Betula next to the Medical Library, University Hospital of Umeå. Opening speakers include Hans Adolfsson, vice-chancellor Umeå University, Carl Kempe, the Kempe Foundations and Anders Bergh, the Cancer Research Foundation in Northern Sweden. The new Wallenberg Molecular Medicine Fellows will speak on the subjects: RNA modifications: a new frontier of cancer research, In vitro reconstitution of selective HIV-1 RNA packaging by membrane-bound Gag assemblies and Targeting tumor-stromal interactions in pancreatic cancer.

Source:, Umeå University

Francesca Aguilo, Photo: Mattias Pettersson