International support for Swedish stem cell research

Scientists at Swedish universities will be receiving international support for their research on stem cells. Seven research projects will be sharing SEK 36 million over three years.

The commitment is a collaborative effort involving the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the U.S., the Research Fund of the Swedish Diabetes Association, and the Swedish Research Council. The funding is part of a stem cell program that was instituted in 2002.

As with the previous round of applications, the projects that are being granted funding are primarily in endocrinology (diabetes) and neurology.

"It is gratifying that Sweden is able to help expand our knowledge in stem cell research and in the long term find therapeutic applications of basic research," says Hkan Billig, Secretary General of the Scientific Council for Medicine.

  • Dr. Jonas Frisn and Dr. Stefan Jovinge from Karolinska Institute will investigate whether adult stem cells can develop into specific cells in need of replacement by using a new technology reminiscent of carbon-dating used in archaeology, thus allowing them to measure how often cells naturally turn over in the adult human pancreas, heart and brain. It will give them an idea whether it is realistic to develop pharmaceuticals that stimulate cell production from stem cells in diseases such as diabetes.
  • Dr. Sten Eirik Jacobsen and Dr. Claus Nerlov from Lund University are investigating the three growth factors in the blood system of mice that promote and regulate the expansion of blood-forming stem cells. Their aim is to focus on understanding the mechanisms by which these growth factors work, and how they contribute to rampant, uncontrolled cell growth a hallmark of cancer. By studying these blood stem cells, much can be learned about stem cells in other organs, including the pancreas.
  • Dr. Olle Lindvall and Dr. Zaal Kokaia from Lund University are trying to de

Contact: Hkan Billig
Swedish Research Council

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