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Frontline research strengthened even further

2017-06-08

Funding for around 80 million kronor has been awarded to Malmö University’s Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces in research grants in the past year, of which 55 million has gone into cancer research. 

Biofilms funding

The Knowledge Foundation recently announced funding for a further two research projects, one focusing on the tracking of cancer cells and the other on pharmaceutical formulations.

“It is extremely pleasing to see the findings that are emerging from our research. It will be exciting to follow the projects as they evolve and see the results,” said Thérese Nordström, the research centre’s director.                     

She emphasised the importance of the organisation retaining its young researchers and this is something the recent grant awards will facilitate.

Research collaboration 

Biofilms is very much at the forefront of research at Malmö University, with advanced studies in three main fields: pharmaceutical design, smart materials at biointerfaces, and oral biofilms – communities of microorganisms that attach to surfaces. A great deal of the research is taking place in collaboration with industry and it has upwards of 40 partners.

New generation of researchers 

The Knowledge Foundation recently made funding available for a new generation of researchers working in robust research environments. Thanks to this funding, Celina Wierzbicka and Sabrina Valetti are both conducting research at Biofilms. 

“The aim of my research is to develop better pharmaceuticals, with silicon-based nanoporous particles as a functional excipient,” said Sabrina Valetti.

Cancer research reinforced 

Celina Wierzbicka’s research centres on the use of artificial antibodies to track tumour biomarkers. Several major research projects being conducted are aimed at early detection of cancer and differential diagnosis, enabling more individually adapted therapy.

 Focus on artificial antibodies

 Professor Börje Sellergren is heading one of the European interdisciplinary research projects.

“Our aim is to produce artificial antibodies, which could be described as ‘plastic copies’ of the bioreceptors used by the body to detect and neutralise xenobiotic substances. Antibodies are currently used on a broad front in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our ‘plastic copies’ are stable, cost-effective and simple to produce — advantages that we believe can make them an interesting alternative to antibodies,” he said.

This research is opening up new opportunities with the detection of other molecules and structures. This will lead to greater knowledge of aggressive, metastasising tumour cells.

Exciting synergy effects 

Thérese Nordström is very optimistic about the future of Biofilms.“It has been in existence for just over 10 years. In recent times, we have focused on promoting research within three primary areas. I can now see substantial growth potential, both within and between these areas. 

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Adrian Grist