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UPPSALA UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE

2019

JUBILEE

50 years of pharmaceutical development PORTRAIT

Kristina Edstrรถm is charged for the future Digital means searchable

A helping hand Artificial intelligence in support of humanity

HERITAGE


“My time at Uppsala University has affected me on many levels. The unique combination of a thirst for knowledge, an intellectual climate and intense social interaction that Uppsala offers really provides the very best conditions for deep, lifelong friendships.”

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Sofia Wadensjö Karén, Managing Director of Utbildningsradion, has a degree in literary studies and Swedish from Uppsala University. She received the Alumnus of the Year award at a ceremony in the Humanities Theatre in March 2019.


2019 Contents

34

Progress 6 8 10 12 13 14

Hello, Håkan Engqvist: How do you succeed in innovation? Family tree for 400 species of birds They know how to achieve environmental targets Large-scale spinach experiment Get up and go back to sleep Hello, Paulina Nowicka: How can child obesity be prevented?

The portrait

16 Kristina Edström: Chemist with the batteries of the future in sight

Language

20 Not all multilingual children are alike

Pharmaceuticals

22 50 years of pharmaceutical development 28 Alzheimer’s treatment shows unique results

Artificial Intelligence 30 In support of humanity

Heritage

34 Digitisation under way at Carolina Rediviva

University life

40 Play up with the Royal Academic Orchestra 42 Keeping the goal in sight – students and elite athletes 44 He blogs about research ethics

And finally

22

47 The image: Study beneath the stars

13 U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

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Expanding globally and locally AT UPPSALA UNIVERSITY, we often talk about the demands that are quite rightly made on us and what we can do to promote the UN’s Sustain­ able Development Goals for achieving social, economic and environmen­ tal sustainability by 2030. Our overarching objective as a university is to contribute to a better world. Uppsala University has achieved excellence in fields such as battery re­ search, energy solutions, solar cells, smart materials, antibiotic resistance, peace and conflict research, geology, meteorology and language educa­ tion. All of these varied research specialities are required to create a more sustainable world. In this issue of Uppsala University Magazine, you can learn more about a major EU initiative to develop the batteries of tomorrow. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS a fundamental aspect of all of our re­

search and education and we make every effort to practice what we preach. For example, the University ensures that all the foundations and manage­ ment organisations over which we wield influence make ethically and en­ vironmentally responsible investments. We conduct increasing numbers of meetings remotely, although this technology needs to be further improved. It will then be easier for us to avoid those journeys that are not absolutely necessary. Our knowledge expands as we meet other people. Locally, Uppsala Uni­ versity enjoys a close collaboration with the Swedish University of Agri­ cultural Sciences, while internationally we collaborate with global partners on sustainability issues, for example through the South Africa–Sweden University Forum (SASUF). The knowledge we develop is important in strengthening the movement for a sustainable future. Uppsala was named global winner of the 2018 One Planet City Challenge by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). Our location in a city with ambitious climate goals makes our lives that much easier; we work in a positive environment in which new research findings are welcomed, both here at home and globally.

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg

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PHOTO:JOSEFIN SVENSSON

Intro

Of machines and humans These days we hear a great deal of talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Specially trained computer systems are already operating in our vehicles and supporting our doctors in making diagnoses. In this issue of Uppsala University Magazine, we will be looking at these rapid developments in greater detail (page 27). One of the researchers we have interviewed is Thomas Schön, Professor of Control Engineering. He explains that, while machine learning can provide enormous support for us humans, there is no need to worry that computers will be taking over anytime soon. Although they are outstanding at recognising patterns, they are hardly intelligent in the usual sense of the word. Another type of machine making an appearance in this issue are the scanners in the digitisation studio at the University Library’s Carolina Rediviva building (page 34). These are used extensively to preserve important documents and images for posterity; for example, medieval manuscripts, hand-drawn maps dating from the 17th century onwards, theses, music scores and much more. So far, in the region of 600,000 images have been stored on the Alvin platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heri­ tage. One important point is that these are available to everyone. We also take the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Uppsala University. The goalposts have been moved a number of times since then. However, researchers at Uppsala Biomedical Centre continue to meet the future with optimism. Learn more about their recollections and visions for the future on page 22.  – Annica Hulth, editor


Curious about Uppsala University? Would you like to know more about current research, education, innovations and university life? Here are a few ways of staying up to date.

Uppsala University Magazine

Uppsala University’s newsletter

(one issue a year) Read about research and innovations, culture and traditions, researchers’ everyday lives and what drives them, and how we disseminate new know­ ledge in the community. The articles reflect the whole spectrum of research fields and subject knowledge at Uppsala University. uu.se/magazine

(seven issues a year) This newsletter, which is distributed by email, contains a selection of the latest on the research front and information about courses and student participation, new discoveries and innovations, collaborative projects, lectures and cultural events at Uppsala University. uu.se/newsletter

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Uppsala University Magazine is about research, innovations, people and university life at the oldest higher education institution in the Nordic region. The magazine is published once a

year, in Swedish and English. Order it free of charge or download it as a PDF file from www.uu.se/magazine Address: Communications Division Uppsala University, Box 256, SE–751 05 Uppsala, Sweden Editor: Annica Hulth annica.hulth@uadm.uu.se

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

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English language editor: Timothy Chamberlain Editorial staff: Magnus Alsne, Anders Berndt, Anneli Björkman, Linda Koffmar, Anna Malmberg Responsible for content: Anneli Waara Art Director: Agnes Dunder, Content Innovation

English translation: Semantix Cover photo: Istockphoto Printing: Tabergs Media Group

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“Believing is a must” HÅKAN ENGQVIST, Professor of Applied Materials Science and recipient of this year’s Hjärnäpple, Uppsala University’s prize for successful knowledge transfer.

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You’ve been involved in starting several com­ panies and have more than 50 patents. Have you been working on innovations for long?” “Yes, I have – ten years. After getting my PhD I worked in industry for eight years. Then I joined UU Innovation and was a co-founder of Ångström Materials Academy (ÅMA). I started a research group, and when my professor retired I applied for his job. “I’m a fairly strong believer in integrating the knowledge triangle – that’s how I work. ‘My’ knowledge triangle comprises research, education and innovation, but may also contain various forms of collaboration.” Your projects are about ceramic materials used in the human body. OssDsign is used to repair skull fractures. What else is under way? “Emplicure was initially a collaborative research project. We work to safeguard against drug misuse by packaging powerful painkillers in ceramic materials. Psilox is working on toothpaste and gel to treat hypersensitive gums. “We’re also involved in some interesting projects on the research side. For instance, we’ve developed an exremely tough glass ceramic for artificial teeth, and are researching a glue that can be used to mend fractures.” You’re involved in starting companies, but you don’t get into their operations. Instead, you’re a board member. Is staying out of the business side difficult? “No, it works fine. You have to see your own role. Professional issues from a company perspective come up quite quickly, and I’m not good at organisational matters, while there are others who are great at them. This is what I do. The research is what keeps me busy.” What’s your top tip for succeeding in inno­ vations and collaboration? “In every project and all research, believing in your projects is a must. If you don’t believe, you don’t get others to join you and then it’ll never work. On the other hand, if you think you’re onto something good, just crack on with it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a thoroughly solid idea for basic research or whether you think you can meet a particular need. But just being fired with enthusiasm isn’t enough: you have to be strategic and select what to concentrate on.” – Annica Hulth

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Progress Hello there


Virus filter tested

The IceCube neutrino telescope is located at the South Pole.

Pharmaceuticals. Virus filter­ ing is one of the most challenging and most important steps in the manufacture of biological drugs. Albert Mihranyan’s research team at the Department of Engineering Sciences has developed a cost-effective mille-feuille filter paper, which separates all types of microorganisms from water or pro­ tein solutions. With the support of the European consortium EIT Health, the paper filter is now being tested under indus­ trial conditions and with biological drugs under development. The therapsid was around 4.5 metres long, 2.6 metres tall and weighed around 9 tonnes.

Origins of cosmic radiation Riddle from 1912 finally answered. Physics. An international

research team with scientists from Uppsala University, among others, has found a probable source for the high-energy cosmic radiation that reaches the Earth. The discovery was made using the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole together with

observations from some 20 different telescopes around the world. Researchers have tried to answer the question of where the cosmic radiation is formed since it was discovered in 1912. “For the first time, we have now discovered a source of high-energy neutrinos,

a likely cosmic radiation accelerator,” says Olga Bot­ ner, Professor of Physics at Uppsala University. NEUTRINOS ARE uncharged

elementary particles that pass through space. Using the IceCube telescope, one of these has been identified and traced back to a likely source – a so-called blazar, a giant elliptical galaxy about four billion light-years from the Earth.

ILLUSTRATION: KAROLINA SUCHAN- OKULSKA

PHOTO: ICECUBE /NSF

Progress

Early heavyweight Biology. Mammal-like reptiles called therapsids lived 200 million years ago together with predecessors to dinosaurs, crocodiles and frogs. Together with Polish colleagues, researchers at Uppsala University have now found fossils from a previously unknown species of therapsid in the Polish village of Lisowice.

Stronger teeth.Researchers at the Ångström Laboratory have developed a new material to repair

teeth – glass ceramics that are three times stronger than those in use today. This paves the way for better and less expensive dental care, giving the patients stronger teeth and enabling them to avoid visiting their dentist as often. The material can be used for repairs, broken teeth, bridges and crowns. The discovery has already attracted attention and the researchers are now hoping to get the material out on the market.

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Progress

ALCIPPEIDAE

TIMALIIDAE LEIOTHRICHIDAE

PARADOXORNITHIDAE

ZOSTEROPIDAE

SYLVIIDAE

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Family tree for 400 species Laughingthrushes, Old World babblers, white-eyes and Sylviidae ended up on different branches of the bird tree of life as early as 18–20 million years ago. These are the findings of a research team from Sweden, China, Denmark, Switzerland and the United States. In their studies, the researchers analysed DNA from more than 400 species of birds. Many of them had never been analysed before using genetic methods, and this is the most extensive study done to date of this large group of birds. The researchers identified seven main branches, or families, that were estimated to have begun their development 18–20 million years ago. One of these families was not previously named and was given the name Alcippeidae. It comprises a single genus (Alcippe), which are small grey-brown birds that live in the forests of southern Asia. The large family of Sylviidae was divided into two families that represent development lines that diverged 19.5 million years ago. The bird families laughingthrushes, Old World babblers, white-eyes, Sylviidae and a few more are generally called by a common name,

ILLUSTRATION: TORBJÖRN GOZZI, PHOTO: PER ALSTRÖM

PELLORNEIDAE

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

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‘babblers’ in English. Altogether, there are more than 450 species, which mainly live in southern Asia, though many in Africa as well. These birds mainly occur in forests, where most prefer dense undergrowth. Some live in bushland in dryer areas and in wetlands rich in vegetation. As a result, they are often difficult to discover. “There is a huge variation in size, body shape and plumage among these birds. Some are very bland in colour while others have bright colours in striking patterns. Many of the species are known for their beautiful songs, and among several of these, males and females sing duets,” says Professor Per Alström, who works at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. In the project, the researchers gathered DNA samples, both fresh samples from live birds and old samples from museum specimens. Using genetic analysis, they were able to reconstruct the family tree for all of the bird species. It is a comprehensive study that has involved many people and required a lot of time and computing power. The results are an excellent foundation for continued studies, Alström observes. “Reconstructing a family tree of an entire large group of birds is necessary if you want to see how various characteristics have developed in the birds, for example. Is a red head or beak shape unique to a certain group, with a common origin, or has it arisen many times during evolution? Such a family tree paves the way for a lot of exciting follow-up studies.” – Annica Hulth

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Progress

How to achieve environmental targets IN COOPERATION with the

consulting firm Ramboll, re­searchers at the climate change leadership node have prepa­ red local carbon budgets for ten municipalities and five counties. The initiative is being carried out in the scope of the Zennström Professorship in Climate Change Leadership. “The municipalities and county administrative boards have received help in speci­ fying in concrete detail what the Paris Agreement means for them at the local level,” ex­plains Martin Wetterstedt, Project Manager at the De­ partment of Earth Sciences. “We work based on the Paris Agreement and calculate how much room they have if they want to achieve the goal of limiting climate change to 2 degrees,” explains Research Assistant Aaron Tuckey. Every participating or­ ganisation receives a report 10

that shows how much carbon dioxide they emit and how much they need to reduce their emissions to achieve the goal of limiting climate change to well below 2 degrees. “We give them suggestions on an emissions curve and an emissions reduction rate, but we don’t go into detail on what steps they should take,” says Wetterstedt. THE METHOD IS based on re­ search led by Kevin Anderson, Professor at the University of Manchester and former holder of the Zennström Visiting Professorship in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University. “This is an applied approach to using research. It’s fairly concrete and easy for a muni­ cipality, for example, to take in. Action on climate change has otherwise been difficult to formulate an approach to.

Here, we stripped it down and simplified it a bit to enable it to be put into practice,” says Wetterstedt. The budgets propose a roughly 15 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per year, which means cutting the emissions in half in around four years. “This is a pretty short time from a municipal perspective, but it’s not impossible,” says Wetterstedt. Both in terms of emissions and actions, municipalities and regions differ in their circum­ stances and points of depart­ ure. The reports were therefore

formulated in cooperation with workshop participants who agreed on the framework. In terms of concrete meas­ ures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it is up to the muni­ cipalities and regions to take appropriate steps. “To handle this high pace, local cooperation is necessary with all actors, with the mu­ nicipality taking a leadership role,” says Tuckey. ANNA KARLSSON is the Cli­ mate and Energy Coordinator for the County Administrative Board of Uppsala, one of the counties participating in the

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Martin Wetterstedt and Aaron Tuckey have prepared carbon budgets for ten municipalities and five counties. The budgets propose a roughly 15 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per year.


Hello there Progress Kevin Anderson, former professor of Climate Change Leadership, explains what the Paris Agreement means on a local level.

“Our challenge is to learn how to live differently” KERI FACER, new Visiting Professor in Climate Change Leadership.

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PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL (KERI FACER)

The Paris Agreement project. “I work on updat­ ing the county’s climate and energy strategy and think it’s very interesting to include the aspect of our carbon dioxide emissions in this work.” She believes that the process has primarily contributed to in­ creasing awareness of the var­ ious conditions that exist and how to handle them in practice. “We need to think about how we relate to this in the carbon budgets. Maybe we need to set higher standards in procu­ rements, for example, in order to bring about a transition in indus­try over the long term.” – Josefin Svensson 

In December 2015, the coun­ tries of the world reached a new climate agreement that is binding for all countries and will begin to apply no later than 2020. The global temperature increase is to be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius with the aim of it stopping at 1.5 degrees. The agreement became effective in November 2016. The core of the Paris Agreement is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide support to those affected by climate change. Source: Regeringen.se, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

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Keri Facer, climate researcher from the University of Bristol. You are Uppsala University’s third visiting Zennström Professor of Climate Change Leadership. What is your main area of research? “I work on rethinking the relationship between formal educational institutions and wider society and am particu­ larly concerned with the sorts of knowledge that may be needed to address contemporary envir­ onmental, economic, social and technological changes.” How have you worked with climate change-related issues? “For me, climate change is an educational, social and cultural issue as much as a technical and scientific matter. Our challenge now is to learn how to live differ­ ently, to live in and with climate change, to mitigate its worst ef­ fects, to experiment with the cre­ ation of new possibilities. For the last five years I have been working with an international network to develop the field of Anticipation Studies, which focuses specific­ ally on how ideas of the future influence action in the present. Central to the problem of climate change is that we are very poor as individuals and societies at thinking intelligently about the fu­ ture. Understanding this process better, in particular in relation to climate change, is the area that I have been working with.” What inspired you to come to Uppsala University? “I have been aware of Cemus (the Centre for Environment and

The Zennström visiting professorship The visiting professorship runs for ten years, with a new professor being invited every year or every second year. It is funded by a donation to Uppsala University from entrepreneur Niklas Zennström. Keri Facer is the third professor to hold the post, after Doreen Stabinsky and Kevin Anderson.

Development Studies) and its truly innovative model of teaching and learning, and student lead­ ership, for several years now. I’ve also been aware, of course, of the important work that Cemus and Uppsala University are doing in relation to climate change leader­ ship. Altogether, it seemed to me that it would be an exciting space to come for two years.” What do you want to accomplish during your two years at Uppsala University? “I want to work with colleagues across the University and in civil society to reflect upon the role of the university in relation to climate change. I want to create some spaces for us to collectively experiment with the ways in which research and teaching might be creatively and productively re­ configured to address this issue.”

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Progress

Large-scale spinach experiment

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Biology. The protein Rubisco is an important plant enzyme that takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Marvin Seibert’s research team uses spinach to study the protein on a molecular level. At the new Testa Center in Uppsala, they can conduct large-scale exper­ iments. The Testa Center is a facility, partly financed by Vinnova, at

GE Healthcare in Uppsala that can be used by both companies and researchers. Marvin Seibert and his research team at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology came there because they had received beam time for neutron scatter­ ing experiments in the US and Germany. In order to obtain enough crystallised protein, experiments were required on a much larger scale than was possible in their own lab. “The machines we use here are simply much larger versions of what we have in our lab. For our process, it worked pretty well to scale up by roughly a factor of 40, thanks to help from GE Healthcare’s engi­ neers at the Testa Center.”

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PHOTO: STEFAN TELL

Progress

Get up and go back sleep Do you have a hard time getting to bed in the evening? Try a little harder. And above all, try smarter. In the book Sömn, Sömn, Sömn [Sleep, Sleep, Sleep], CHRISTIAN BENEDICT, a sleep researcher at Uppsala University, offers his best suggestions for a perfect night’s sleep. DO YOU LIE awake far into the wee hours of

the morning only to ultimately awake to your alarm clock feeling anything but well rested? You’re not alone. Today, the average Euro­ pean sleeps one hour less per night than just a few decades ago. In Uppsala County, one out of three teenagers says that they suffer from regular sleeping problems, an alarming fact considering the extensive risks a lack of sleep entails. “Our results show that just one sleepless night can damage the brain, that shift work causes diminished performance capacity that can take several years to repair, and that a lack of sleep can change the intestinal flora. We also know that a lack of sleep affects our weight and our mental wellbeing and increases the risk of everything from colds to cancer,” reports Benedict. So what should we do when the witch­ ing hour is upon us and the numbers on the clock are staring us in the eye? Well, what we absolutely must not do is to get stressed,

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5 and whatever you do, don’t start counting sheep. The smartest thing to do is actually to simply get up again. “Doing various sleeping tricks can actu­ ally have the opposite effect as they lead us to focus on the need to relax, which in itself creates something to worry about. The brain can also begin associating the bedroom with a place where it’s hard to sleep. It’s prefer­ able to sit in a dimly lit room and read a book until sleepiness sets in so you can go back to bed,” says Benedict. Spending our nights in the reading chair is no long-term solution, however, and in the book Sleep, Sleep, Sleep, he has gathered his smartest suggestions for better sleep and facts about how it contributes to a happier and healthier life. – Magnus Alsne

Tips for a good night’s sleep 1. Get daylight, eat and be active during the day. And do the opposite in the hours before bedtime. 2. Spend 15 minutes every day reflecting . Then you’ll mull things over less in bed when trying to sleep. 3. Establish an effective evening routine. It teaches the brain that this is what you do before going to sleep. 4. Write a list of what you are going to do the next day. A clear plan makes it easier to relax. 5. Leave your mobile phone outside the bedroom – And definitely do not read work emails in the evening.

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Progress Hello there

“Communication is the key”

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PAULINA NOWICKA is the first holder of the Professorship in Communication of Dietetics at Uppsala University. She conducts research on how to find treatments for children with obesity that actually work.

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

What is your subject about? “This professorship – communication of dietetics – is about how we communicate dietary treatments and advice to different target groups. In my area of expertise, childhood obesity, we wrestle with the fact that patients often discontinue treatment early.” This is often due to a failure in commu­ nication, combined with unreasonable expectations, she says. “When patients come in, they often want a structured treatment that lays out in detail what they should eat. The only problem is that it’s almost impossible to live the rest of your life based on such a regimen.” Your research has dealt primarily with treatments for children with obesity. What contributes to effective treatment? “It’s important to practise a guilt-free way of communication and be responsive to the challenges that the families face. It’s also about giving personalised advice based on the patient’s situation, with small incremental changes rather than an overly strict dietary programme so that the patient grows into the challenge.” She has been involved in designing treat­ ments for children of different ages and in recent years worked at Karolinska Institutet. Her dream is to improve health communication and develop the field of research in communication of dietetics. “Some others internationally are doing research on this, but there are very few of us. We have a lot of work ahead of us in reducing the stigmatising of the patient group, as well as strengthening the dietician profession and helping those who work on childhood obesity to get through to patients.” She believes that many are stuck in an old mindset that focuses on what the best dietary composition looks like rather than on how we can make sustainable changes to our lifestyle. “Imagine if we could create a treatment that people want to stick with and feel psyched about and empowered by. That’s something I would really like to achieve.”  – Josefin Svensson


Progress PHOTO: UNSPLASH

Men often. store fat in their. abdomen,. but why?.

Genetic risk for narcolepsy

Where does the fat go?

The answer is in the genome. Biology. It is well known that women and men tend to store fat in different parts of the body. Women more easily store fat on their hips and legs, while men store fat in their abdomen to a greater

extent. An Uppsala University study of the distribution of fat in nearly 360,000 people shows that genetic factors control the storage of fat. Millions of positions in the genome were tested for links

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Medicine. The occurrence of narcolepsy increased sharply in Sweden after mass vaccination against swine flu in 2009–2010. The researchers in the Swedegene project are studying genetic mechanisms behind severe pharmaceut­ ical side-effects. They have discovered that several genes contribute to a risk of developing narcolepsy after vaccination with Pandemrix. A clear link was found between Pandemrix narcolepsy and variants in the GDNF-AS1 gene. These results can increase understanding of the underlying causes of the disease of narcolepsy.

to the amount of fat in the arms, legs or torso. The re­ search team found nearly one hundred genes that influence the distribution of fatty tissue to the different parts of the body, with clear differences between men and women. The results may be of use in developing new treatments to reduce the risk of cardiovas­ cular diseases.

Personal ads through the ages.A dissertation from Uppsala University

has studied thousands of personal ads from 1890–1980. Besides showing how different men’s and women’s ideals may look, the dissertation provides a picture of the modernisation of Sweden in the 20th century. “We move from a society where the household and group is the foundation of daily life to emphasising our individuality. Instead of talking about how we will support ourselves, we talk about what we are interested in. Parenthood, which was previously baggage, now becomes a natural part of the way of life in a relationship,” says Josefin Englund, PhD graduate at the Department of History at Uppsala University.

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“The debate largely concerns demands for tougher sentences and rehabilitation for the victims of crime. This indicates that social work has an important role to play, both in working with perpetrators and in providing support to crime victims.” Stefan Sjöström, the first holder of the Professorship in Social Work at Uppsala University at the newly established Centre for Social Work (CESAR).

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The portrait

The vehicles of the future are fossilfree and run on batteries – but there are many challenges left to solve. KRISTINA EDSTRÖM, Professor at the Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, is playing a key role now that the European Commission is invest­ ing big in battery development.

Charged for the text ANNICA HULTH photo MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

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future U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

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K

The portrait

KRISTINA EDSTRÖM HAS conducted re­

search on batteries since the 1990s and leads the Nordic region’s largest research team in the battery field. In 2019, she has the task of preparing for a large-scale EU project – in which companies and re­ searchers will cooperate on developing the batteries of the future. The idea is that the European Commis­ sion will finance half of the cost and the member countries will bear the other half. A smart model, according to Edström. “This way, we can have projects running, with a long-term management structure and a planned office in Uppsala, and then the different countries contribute money so that their researchers can be involved. It will build on excellence and there are coun­ tries that are not there yet, but that have begun building up battery research. If we can support them, we will have improved the entire field.”

THE REASON WHY the European Commis­ sion is backing initiatives in batteries right now is that they want to boost the auto industry and new future innovations. If it becomes possible to manufacture not only buses, but also their batteries, this will re­ duce the dependence on suppliers in Asia. The vision is to build huge battery factor­ ies in Europe. “The Commission is working with the en­ tire value chain for batteries: minerals and mining companies, material companies, pro­ ducers, consumers and those who recycle batteries. It’s a whole circle and demands a sustainability perspective,” says Edström. What can come from this? “Europe can make a more coordinated ef­ fort that is more long term and so can make these networks stronger. I believe that it can be very good for an entire generation

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of young researchers in Europe who get into this.” When she started out as a battery re­ searcher herself in the 1990s, her driving force was the creative aspect of inventing materials and designing them for special properties. “What’s fun about battery research is that the connection is so close between how you design your material and the effect on a bat­ tery. You can build your own battery and then test it. ‘Wow, it improved by 20 per cent!’ Most often it doesn’t, but when you succeed, it’s great fun.” Her first project after earning her PhD was a cooperation with Eriksson on lith­ ium-ion batteries for mobile phones. The batteries were the actual key component when smart phones made their large-scale breakthrough. THERE IS GREAT interest today in the au­ tomotive industry where another kind of battery is needed, though based on similar principles. Within her own field of re­search, cooperation with the automotive industry has increased markedly in the past seven or eight years. “Now, the costs for batteries have gone down a great deal, but if you can increase the range, if you can charge the batteries faster without ruining them, you have a major advantage. And work is also need­ ed on things that aren’t chemistry, such as attitudes to these technologies. The aver­ age Swede drives 25 kilometres a day, but wants a car that can drive up to the moun­ tains once a year.” Since last summer, she has driven a plugin hybrid herself and has noticed that it is not always easy to find an available parking space with a charging station. These spaces are often taken by others who do not have an electric car. A battery may seem like a basic design – with a plus side, a minus side and an elec­ trolyte in between. But the fact is that it is a system where a lot can happen. If you change something in one end, something happens in the other. This is why research­

”The average Swede drives 25 kilometres a day, but wants a car that can drive up to the mountains once a year.”

ers need to go below the surface and study the battery’s chemistry. For example, how can you increase the energy output, while keeping the battery charged for a long time? And how can you guarantee safety in a bat­ tery that is charged very fast? For buses and lorries, there is also the problem that thousands of batteries are con­ nected together in a battery package – and it is important to discover if one of them breaks down. “In a large lorry, if one of 1000 cells fails it can cause quite a bit of trouble. Intelligent control systems are therefore necessary so that the broken cell can be disconnected, which the driver might barely notice. Al­ though they definitely notice if it is not dis­ connected...” Over the years, Edström has done a lot of battery research, but now she also has a


i In recent years,. Kristina Edström’s area . of research has taken off . more and more, compared . with when she. started out in the 1990s..

Kristina Edström Title:

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory

Positions held:

Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor on Research Infrastructure. Member of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). Previously Chair of the re­search programme STandUp for Energy and a member of the Board of the MAX IV Laboratory.

In your leisure time:

I’m a culture vulture and like theatre, books, music and exhibitions. I’m very interested in art. And you can’t beat playing with the grandchildren.

Last book read:

I’m a bit slow and am actually reading Minnen [Memories] by Torgny Lindgren. I should have read it a long time ago.

Hidden talent:

different role as well, as a mentor and su­ pervisor for young researchers. When she was awarded the KTH Great Prize in 2018, her mentorship was highlighted. “That was what I liked best in the entire citation. I’m like an umbrella with different groupings of researchers, who all seek and receive their own research grants. It’s fun to see doctoral students take the leap, to think­ ing that I’m hopelessly old-fashioned and have not kept up with the area at all. They make faster progress in their own area than I can. It’s so cool!” In recent years, her area of research has taken off more and more. There is a great difference compared with when she started out in battery research in the 1990s. “I’ve gone from being extremely unin­ teresting to being in the middle of a hype that began seven or eight years ago and that

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I thought would have peaked by now, but instead it has increased,” says Edström.

I’m good at knitting. I make a lot of mittens because you see quick results.

IT’S NOTICEABLE THAT she has both feet

Makes me angry:

on the ground and a great deal of self-per­ spective, which may be needed to steer a giant EU project with many research teams involved and a lot of prestige. “The Commission has stated clearly that ‘we like the Scandinavian style of leader­ ship’. That’s a support for me.” She wants to balance the competitive at­ titude that always exists in academia with cooperation. “We are of course competitive people and it’s an elitist activity to be at a university, but we need to find a balance in this. It’s impor­ tant to have the courage to lift up others. For an organisation, it’s important that different people are recognised for what they do.”

People who steal my electric car spaces. Disrespect, people have to follow some common rules of play. I hate domination strategies, though no doubt I use them myself without think­ ing about it. But if I can avoid it, that’s good.

Makes me happy:

A lot of things. When things go well for my doctoral students and colleagues – that’s fun! And when things go well for my children of course. I enjoy feel­ ing happy for somebody else.

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Language

Not all multilingual children are alike Multilingualism among children is becoming more common, but we need to know more about how it affects language development. What language should be spoken at home? And why are so many multilingual children examined for language disorders? text ANNICA HULTH illustration GEEKTOWN UTE BOHNACKER, Profes­ sor of Linguistics, and her research team are part of the EU network COST Action ISO804, in a project involving linguists, speech therapists and child psychologists. They have prepared test materials to measure and compare chil­ dren’s proficiency in different languages – such as vocab­ ulary, pronunciation and the ability to tell a story.

20

“There are no good lan­ guage tests in Sweden for this age group that are adapted to multilingualism,” says Bohnacker. “We need mate­ rials that actually work and aren’t a direct translation from English or developed for adults.” Here at the Department of Linguistics and Philology, a project is under way in which more than 200 bilingual chil­

dren aged 4–7 have been test­ ed in Swedish and Arabic or Turkish. It is a cross-sectional study involving preschool children in eastern central Sweden. The project is being con­ ducted by doctoral students Linnéa Öberg and Rima Haddad. They are using a ser­ ies of images that the children can talk about, for example, to test their proficiency in both of the languages. “We also ask the parents in a questionnaire about what language exposure the chil­ dren receive, how much each language is spoken daily, in school, what books they read and if they receive mother

tongue instruction. What lan­ guage do the children speak with siblings, with adults. There are many aspects and with this information, we can better interpret the children’s results,” says Öberg. Haddad, who tests the chil­ dren’s knowledge of Arabic, has worked hard to include all of the different Arabic dialects. “The word test has been developed by Lebanese re­ searchers, but here in Sweden there is a broad Arabic-speak­ ing population that comes from various countries, so we have adapted it so that the children recognise the words.”


Smart!

With a series of images that the children can talk about, their proficiency is tested in Swedish, Arabic and Turkish.

Arabic. But what we have noticed is that their Swedish is not negatively impacted so it doesn’t affect their proficiency in Swedish,” says Haddad. ANOTHER OBJECTIVE of the

Another part of the study is about children of the same age with the language combina­ tion Swedish–Turkish. Doc­ toral student Buket Öztekin has also combined language tests and questionnaires. “I’ve looked at links be­ tween language use at home, exposure to the language and vocabulary. For example, I saw that if the parents only spoke the mother tongue with the children, the children had a larger vocabulary than if they sometimes spoke Swed­ ish and sometimes Turkish.” In the study of Swedish–Ar­ abic children as well, it has become clear that it is impor­ tant to speak one’s mother

“The ‘multilingual child’ doesn’t actually mean anything since there are so many different variations” tongue with the children and not just the new language. “Our preliminary data show that if the parents speak mostly Arabic at home, the children’s understanding and production of language will improve. Their results in Arabic are better than those whose parents don’t speak

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research is to find out why such a large percentage of the multilingual children are examined for language disor­ ders. Internationally, multi­ lingual children as a group are overrepresented in special needs schools and in diagno­ ses of language disorders. So besides the large-scale studies of many children, more in-depth studies are be­ ing made of some of the chil­ dren, who will be monitored for several years. “Some characteristics of multilingualism or sec­ ond-language learning seem somewhat similar to what is said to be a marker for language disorders. We want to make it easier to diagnose language disorders so that children are not incorrectly diagnosed,” says Bohnacker.

There are ways to equalise conditions for monolingual and multilingual children. For example, the researchers use a test in which the children are supposed to imitate ‘nonsense words’ that are read out by a space alien or a parrot. If chil­ dren have difficulty with this, it may be a sign of language disorders. “Compared with other lan­ guage tests, multilingual chil­ dren are not disadvantaged to the same extent,” says Öberg. Some time ago the team was reinforced by Visiting Pro­ fessor Natalia Gagarina. She conducts research on multilin­ gualism in Berlin, and believes there are great similarities with the situation in Stockholm and other major cities in Europe that have taken in many refu­ gees in recent years. “It’s not so much a matter of their proficiency in different languages, but more about integrating them into the edu­ cation system. Without ade­ quate language skills, children can’t understand instructions in PE or maths and might quit school.” EARLIER RESEARCH on multi­

lingualism in Sweden focused on proficiency in Swedish and not in the mother tongue. Moreover, all multilingual children were lumped together into a single group, and were not sorted based on socio­ economic status and language combinations. It makes a big difference whether the child speaks German, Arabic or Turkish alongside Swedish, Bohnacker observes. “The ‘multilingual child’ doesn’t actually mean anything since there are so many different variations. They can have different kinds of support at home and they may need more or less exposure to Swedish. We are trying to look at different groups and see similarities and differences.” 21


Pharmaceuticals


50

text MAGNUS ALSNE photo MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

The playing field has been redrawn many times over since Sweden’s only FACULTY OF PHARMACY was established at Uppsala University, but neither political squalls nor industrial giants in exile prevent the researchers at Uppsala Biomedical Centre from facing the future with optimism.

years of success U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

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Pharmaceutical timeline Faculty of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical world

The Pharmaceutical Institute is integrated into Uppsala University as the Faculty of Pharmacy.

1968

1969

TODAY, PHARMACIA has long since aban­ doned Uppsala. Fragments of the compa­ ny’s biotech activities indeed remain, but are now under the direction of GE Health­ care. The exclusive rights of the stateowned Apoteksbolaget to conduct retail sales of pharmaceuticals ended in 2009 when the market was reopened to private actors, and do we possibly sense a return to the playing field of the early 1960s? On the contrary, according to Hacksell.

Adjunct professors are established, employed in industry and working at the University, forming a bridge between academia and industry.

1970

Sweden introduces the pharmacy monopoly; the state-owned Apoteksbolaget AB is formed.

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In parallel, Pharmacia’s Managing Dir­ ector Gösta Virding was cultivating great plans for the company’s future. At Uppsa­ la’s southern approaches, new offices were shooting up and the proximity to the Faculty of Pharmacy soon became a vital success factor in the company’s journey from a regional affair to an international conglomerate. “In 1973, the adjunct professors were es­ tablished, employed and paid by industry, but teaching and supervising research at the University. They became a bridge between academia and industry, and it’s easy to see a connection to the dynamic development that the Swedish pharmaceuticals industry was on the verge of at the beginning of the 1970s and that culminated over the next two decades,” reasons Richard Bergström, who graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Uppsala in 1998 and was President of the European Federation of Pharmaceut­ ical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) for many years.

1971

1972

The National Board of Health and Welfare’s pharmaceutical department (the Swedish Medical Products Agency since 1990) moves its activities to Uppsala next door to the Biomedical Centre.

1973

1974

1975

All of the faculty’s departments are in place in Uppsala’s Biomedical Centre.

1976 ILLUSTRATION: GEEKTOWN

We

have without a doubt come far in our 50 years at Uppsala University, and today, our faculty is internationally renowned, but we also know that every time the in­ dustrial landscape changes shape, we are faced with new circumstances.” Margareta Hammarlund-Udenaes, Dean of Uppsala’s and Sweden’s only Faculty of Pharmacy, has every reason to be pleased with the equally intensive and successful jubilee year of 2018. Along the way, the organisation solidified its increasingly central pos­ ition in Swedish phar­ Margareta maceutical development, Hammarlundand the height of the cele­ Udenaes. brations, the future sym­ posium Pharmaceutical therapies – opportunities and challenges attracted both Swedish and European experts to Uppsala. “When the pharmaceutical giants left Sweden, they made room for the wave of smaller biotech companies now sitting in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, some of the

new companies lack adequate pharmaceut­ ical expertise, and if our country is to re­ main a competitive base for pharmaceutical development, we have to meet at the same table and act with coordinated efforts,” says Hammarlund-Udenaes. The pharmaceutical arena has undeni­ ably been fundamentally redrawn since the day in July 1968 when the Pharmaceutical Institute in Stockholm moved north to be integrated into Uppsala University. Håkan Rydin, who was appointed the first dean, and his three fellow professors were given a temporary home in the Wallenberg Labo­ ratory while awaiting the completion of Uppsala Biomedical Centre. The faculty’s initial focus was on education and among one of the early batch­ es of students was Uli Hacksell, later a portal figure in international pharmacy. “When we began our studies, techni­ Uli Hacksell. cal development was still in its infancy and the winds from the political left had also reached the pharmaceutical world, which among other things resulted in the state mo­ nopoly on pharmacy operations. So today’s students often have a hard time understand­ ing when I try to describe the educational environment we had,” explains Hacksell, who earned his Master of Science in Phar­ macy in 1976.

PORTRAITS: UPP SALA UNIVERSITY, MEDIVIR (HACKSELL)

Pharmaceuticals


Sara Mangsbo is researching antibody pharmaceuticals and divides her time between academia and industry.

“Pharmacy today is characterised by major technical gains that have contribut­ ed to the almost explosive development of pharmaceuticals and therapies. Fantastic progress is being made in natural remedies, antibodies and gene therapies, creating con­ ditions for curing more and more diseases, and managing chronic conditions to enable patients to live normal lives.” In medical terms, all is well then, but globally successful pharmaceutical indus­ tries also play an economic role. In Sweden, Astra launches Losec, which in time becomes the world’s most sold pharmaceut­ical.

1977

1988

Big Pharma has been a pillar of both job creation and exports. Smaller individual companies do not have the capacity to take over this role, which places further respon­ sibility on the currently nearly 300 employ­ ees of the Faculty of Pharmacy. “Swedish pharmaceutical development is in a critical phase. If we want to experi­ ence 50 more years of success, we have to combine our strengths and move forward united. Here, our faculty plays a key role as The European Medicines Agency is established for the evaluation of human medicines.

The faculty takes an active part in the formation of the ULLA consortium, the purpose of which is to strengthen European research and doctoral education in the pharmaceutical field.

1989

1990

The faculty reorganises and 11 departments become three.

The faculty awards Arvid Carlsson, pharmacologist and subsequently Nobel Prize winner, an honorary doctorate.

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2019

“Progress is being made in natural remedies, antibodies and gene therapies, creating conditions for curing more and more diseases” a coordinating force, and we have recently taken a leading position in a number of im­ portant collaborative initiatives,” explains Hammarlund-Udenaes. The European Infrastructure for Transla­ tional Medicine (EATRIS) is among them. Uppsala University is the Swedish

Pharmacia is bought up by the company Upjohn and becomes Pharmacia & Upjohn.

1992

1993

1994

1995

The Wallenberg Foundation and Astra grant SEK 30 million to the faculty’s doctoral programmes in Galenic pharmacy.

1999

2000

Uppsala University’s Faculties of Pharmacy and Medicine are joined in the Disciplinary Domain of Medi­cine and Pharmacy.

25


node and Mats Larhed, National Director and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, de­ scribes the wide interest in the possibilities now opening up. “EATRIS is like a network where you can quickly access the right expertise, and the response among Swedish universities and pharmaceutical companies is very positive. Small-scale industry is eager to access the knowledge and resources of aca­ Mars Larhed. demia, and research­ ers see added value in contributing their ex­ pertise. Extensive European collaboration has already begun and there are early signs of considerable synergies.” IN SWEDEN, the Swedish Drug Delivery

Forum was launched as the first national initiative on pharmaceutical supply and distribution. With an academic hub at the Uppsala Biomedical Centre, academia and industry have gained a meeting place that among other things comprises a research programme focusing on science and effec­ tive industrial research utilisation. “We conduct the work through three dif­ ferent platforms where interaction and for­ um-wide activities guarantee insight and influence for all parties. Vinnova’s financial support enables us to build for the long term and contribute to new pharmaceuticals, bet­ ter treatments and stronger conditions for the Swedish Life Science sector over time,”

“Right now it is easy to feel enthusiastic in our field, and Uppsala increasingly clearly stands out as the right city to be in.” says Göran Alderborn, Professor of Phar­ maceutical Technology. Despite several high-profile engage­ ments, the faculty needs to further increase its visibility. One of the challenges is that pure pharmaceutical research often tends to fall in between chemistry, medicine and health in the major calls for propos­ als. An investment in doctoral education programmes is also high on the wish list. “If Swedish pharmacy is to continue to translate ideas into pharmaceuticals, the industry must have access to a competent workforce, but the fact is that the number of dissertations at our faculty has not in­ creased in 30 years,” Hammarlund-Ude­ naes explains. “Several companies are aware of the situation and co-finance doc­ toral positions in pharmacometry, among other subjects, but this is far from enough. We are therefore now devoting consider­ able energy to our outreach agenda, though at the same time we have to maintain our focus on continuing to conduct high-quality research.”

Anders Hallberg, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, is named Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University.

Thomas Lönngren, graduate in pharmacy from Uppsala in 1976, is appointed as the head of the European Medicines Agency.

SEVERAL OF THE faculty’s researchers are active on the front lines of pharmacy, but positions are constantly shifting and the tug-of-war for new talent is becoming harder. One rapidly advancing science is immu­ notherapy, where the body’s immune sys­ tem is used and reinforced against cancer cells. Uppsala University’s Thomas Töt­ terman and Angelica Loskog established leading research environments early on, a platform that today is continuing to devel­ op under the leadership of Sara Mangsbo, Associate Professor and Associate Senior Lecturer in antibody pharmaceuticals. “I arrived from industry in 2016 when a grant gave me scope to resume my research. Our team does well at the faculty, and has also been granted project support at SciLifeLab’s pharmaceutical plat­ form, which gives our young research team added muscle.” Today, she divides Göran Alderborn. her time between aca­ demia, industry and the network she has founded to strengthen the ties between lab and clinical practice. “Given the right conditions, I am convinced that within 15 years, we will have better immuno-oncological diagnostic tools and more biological pharmaceuticals, such as oncolytic virus therapies, new can­ cer vaccines and establishment of multi­ functional antibodies. Right now it is easy to feel enthusiastic in our field, and Uppsa­ la increasingly clearly stands out as the right city to be in.”

PORTRAITS: UPP SALA UNIVERSITY

Pharmaceuticals

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first gene therapy for the US market.

Cont.

26

2001

2006

2007

2008

Apoteket AB’s exclusive rights to conduct retail sales of certain medicines are repealed.

2009

2017

2018

2019

Faculty of Pharmacy celebrates 50 years at Uppsala University.

ILLUSTRATION: GEEKTOWN

Faculty of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical world


Getting the dose right with maths Mathematical models have made Uppsala University researchers in pharmacometrics attractive partners for businesses and health­care organisations worldwide

IN THE EARLY 2000S, Mats Karlsson became the world’s first professor in pharmaco­ metrics, a relatively new niche in the field of pharmacology. Focusing on developing and implementing mathematical models to streamline clinical trials and optimise dosages, pharmacometrics provides results that are of great interest to both industry and health­ care. The research environ­ ment at Uppsala University currently employs over 40 staff and collaborates with companies and research teams all over the world. “We are working in what is undoubtedly an expanding field with an enormous de­ mand for new knowledge and

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expertise, not least from the international pharmaceutical industry. Our group accepts doctoral and postdoctoral stu­ dents from around the world,” explains Lena Friberg, one of three professors specialising in pharmacometrics at the Faculty of Pharmacy. In principle, the laboratory at Uppsala Biomedical Centre acts as a hub for Sweden’s collected pharmacometric research. The centre analyses enormous amounts of data, circulating the results between teams, and ensures that new methods are effectively dis­ seminated through its highly developed healthcare network and, above all, pharmaceutical companies. “Industry stakeholders are among our most important financiers; both in the form of financial contributions that we can use at our own discretion and also funding for doctoral and postdoctoral positions for

targeted studies. We also take on consultancy assignments where we feel we can help de­ velop the field. We have also achieved considerable success in obtaining European grants,” says Friberg. Friberg is currently leading a research project funded by a grant from the Swed­ ish Cancer Society, to study individually adapted cancer therapies aided by mathemati­ cal models. “Our basic models are generally applicable to a range of therapeutic fields and our team is currently following a number of different parallel tracks. My own focus is split between oncology and bac­ terial infections. Developing good strategies for antibiotic dosing is of course one way to halt the development of resistant bacteria; however, it also facilitates more efficient clinical trials, which increases the financial incentives for the industry to develop new an­ tibiotics,” says Friberg. Smart! – Magnus Alsne 

New methods allow treatment to be individually adapted, for example for infectious diseases and cancer.

27


Pharmaceuticals

He raises new hope LARS LANNFELT, Professor of Geriatrics, is doing research on a drug that could curb Alzheimer’s disease. text MAGNUS ALSNE photo JOHAN WAHLGREN In the summer of 2018 there were reports in the media from a conference in Chicago about Alzheimer’s disease. The focus of journalists’ attention was a new study of how the progression of the disease is affected by the BAN2401 antibody, a Swedish product developed by Lars Lannfelt, Professor of Geriatrics at the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. “We have tested the antibody in various doses on 856 patients on three continents with better results than we even dared to hope for. After only six months we observed positive results, and after 18 months 81 per cent of the group receiving the highest dosage was assessed as amyloid negative and thus free of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Lannfelt. The idea for the antibody originated back in the 1990s, when the team identified a

28

change in the genetic mater­ ial of a Swedish family that had been severely afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease. The hereditary change, which was named the Arctic mutation, indicated that the cause seemed to be a soluble, early form of amyloid beta molecules, known as protofibrils, which give rise to plaque in the brain. “With this new knowledge, we chose to focus on these protofibrils, which we believed were the form of amyloid beta that causes the most damage. In 2005, we identified an antibody with the desired properties. Today I am extremely pleased with what we have achieved, for the sake of the patients and my many colleagues over the years and for Swedish research,” says Lannfelt. In 2003 Lannfelt and former research colleague Pär Gellerfors founded the BioArctic biotechnology company as a platform for pharmaceutical development. A significant part of the modifications of the antibody were carried out there, and when the results of

the current study were made public, the shares soared on the stock market. Suddenly Lannfelt and Gellerfors saw their faces on Swedish business magazines accompanied by headlines such as “Swedish Alzheimer researchers became billionaires in two days”. “I do not see any problem with researchers benefiting from their innovations, but I find it annoying that the Swedish press has chosen to focus on the money rather than the medical innovation and its importance for patients. I have never been motivated by economic interests, and I will retain my shareholding to remain a guiding force in BioArctic’s continued development and to help maintain the right course.” Today BioArctic is preparing for the Phase III study every pharmaceutical product must undergo before it reaches the market. At its side BioArctic has Eisai, Japan’s pharmaceutical giant, which is assisting with funding and implementation. The goal is to go ahead as early as 2019, but despite BioArctic’s successes, Lannfelt does not want to speculate on when an approved treatment can be available for health care.

“I have learned that it is far too easy to be optimistic about timing, but with the results we demonstrate in combination with minimal side effects, I believe we will be able to offer the first approved pharmaceut­ical for Alzheimer’s disease. This would mean enormous socio-economic savings, and above all great hope for all the patients and relatives that we can help enjoy a better old age.”


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In support hum 30


Artificial Intelligence

ILLUSTRATION: GEEKTOWN

of anity

Artificial intelligence is on the way in many areas. Specially trained computer systems are used in cars, for example, and as support for doctors making a diagnosis. These machines are especially good at pattern recognition – but we don’t yet have to worry about them becoming smarter than us.

T text ANNICA HULTH

T HOMAS SCHÖN, Professor of Systems and Control, conducts research on ma­ chine learning, a field in rapid develop­ ment in recent years. Today, computers or machines can automatically learn to handle a situation without a person having programmed the computer for this specific task. “This has an enormous number of areas of use. In the auto industry, there is a lot already in production, such as adaptive

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Artificial intelligence cruise control and recognising pedestrians in the dark. There is a lot already being used today and the future looks bright.” There are many possibilities, but we hardly need to worry about computers tak­ ing over in the immediate future, according to Schön. “When we look at a car that autonomous­ ly handles a situation, it may seem smart in some sense, but if we break it down and look at the components, there is nothing I would exactly call intelligent in it. In terms of engineering it’s very elegant to build these systems, but it is not any kind of in­ telligence in the sense that we humans use the word,” says Schön. HOWEVER, THE COMPUTER systems can serve as a support for us humans, since they are so good at handling large amounts of data and recognising patterns. Recently, Schön has been working on medical applications, for example in co­ operation with a hospital in Brazil that has many patients in areas that are geograph­ ically difficult to access. The researchers developed mathematical models, algo­ rithms, to interpret ECG results. “We have preliminary evaluations that look promising, where our algorithm pro­ vides a prediction of six of the most com­ mon problems that is on a par with the doctors we compared with.” To train it, the algorithm got to see 2.3 million ECG measurements together with information from doctors about how they can be interpreted. Then the computer built up a model in which it can be fed an ECG and provide an assessment. “I am convinced that this technology will help out in healthcare, but it will in no way replace doctors, not in the next 200 years. But if we can support doctors and remove certain cognitive elements, where machines have proven to work well, I think it’s excel­ lent. By using this technology, we can free up time for other tasks.” ANOTHER EXAMPLE of when machine

learning can save lives is a collaboration with a Swedish company (Elekta) that builds radiotherapy equipment for cancer treatment. They will initially build 15 ma­ chines around the world, of which one is here in Uppsala, where the doctor can use MRI to look at the tumour while it is being irradiated. “Just being able to look at the tumour paves the way for even greater precision. 32

“This technology will in no way replace doctors, not in the next 200 years” What we are doing here is automating a part, a kind of self-driving radiation treat­ ment, where the computer works out the radiation dose and changes direction based on what it sees in the MRI. The hope is that we will be able to focus more on the tumour and kill significantly less of the healthy tis­ sue surrounding it.” In this case, the algorithm needs to be able to locate the tumour and follow it. For example, we move when we breathe, even if we try to lie still. The algorithm can com­ pensate for this so that the radiation can fol­ low our breathing and maintain full focus on the tumour.

“This is very new for us, we have just got started. It feels very exciting and very rewarding to try to use my knowledge to fight cancer.” SCHÖN’S RESEARCH focus is mathemati­

cal models, or algorithms, for systems that can handle uncertainty. “We humans handle uncertainty to vary­ ing degrees when making all of our deci­ sions. It’s the same in an advanced technical system. The measurements it gets are un­ certain. If one can work with that uncer­ tainty mathematically, a better decision or higher performance can be achieved.” In cars, increasing numbers of systems are being developed that help drivers in var­


Thomas Schön research focus is mathematical models, or algorithms, for systems that can handle uncertainty.

A new picture of the brain

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Researchers are now developing deep learning methods to improve the treatment of brain disorders.

ious ways, such as adaptive cruise control or systems that warn of pedestrians when it is dark out. The technology advances fur­ ther year by year, with more and more func­ tions, until we might reach the self-driving car. People’s acceptance of this is growing bit by bit, according to Schön. “These systems are already very reliable today. Nobody would even consider buying a car without an ABS system, which has been on the market for nearly 40 years now. But when they were being introduced, there was a similar discussion as today – ‘how will this work?’ The insurance companies’ statistics show how many lives this has saved, and how many accidents have been prevented.”

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The research project is led by Robin Strand from the Division of Visual Information and Interaction at Uppsala University. His role in the cooperation with neuroradiologists at Uppsala University Hospital is to develop interactive digital tools for support in image analysis of brain disorders. The focus is on glioblastoma, brain tumours and intracranial aneurysms, bulges in cerebral arterial branches. “To keep aneurysms from rupturing and leading to bleeding and strokes, patients are treated by filling out the aneurysm with platinum wires. After that one wants to monitor and check if blood is still flowing in the aneurysm,” says Strand. The methods are based on a variant of machine learning called deep learning. Readings taken from image data from clinical cases are used to build an artificial neural network. Several different layers are added to the network’s structure, with each layer corresponding to a certain resolution of the images. With the human brain as a template, small calculation units or nodes are then linked up, which vaguely resembles the structure of neurons in the brain. “What we want is for the network to distinguish between remnants of an aneurysm or tumour and what is in the background. Given enough

image data to practise on, we have a system that can make good guesses.” However, the computer’s ability to make these distinctions is inadequate; the shapes of remnants of aneurysms and tumours may be irregular and difficult to distinguish. Other problems may be noise and other distortions of image data, explains Strand. This is why the crucial success factor is that the user is involved and controls the process. “A neuroradiologist has to go in and draw a line – ‘this was right and this was wrong’ – and do a refined analysis. It is the interaction in the image processing that allows the treatment answers to be as accurate and certain as possible.” According to Strand, the challenge is producing a system that does the calculations as accurately and fast as possible; the user’s time is valuable. The results from the research project are positive to date. “We have seen that when we look at tumour remnants with the deep learning tools, we can do the quantification signifi­ cantly faster and with less image data than with conventional analysis.” The methods are best evaluated on different kinds of image data. But there is still a long way to go before the method becomes an ethically approved tool, according to Strand. However, the hope is to be able to broaden the applications for artificial neural networks. – Anneli Björkman

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Heritage

Magnus Hjalmarsson, photographer at the University Library.

bit 34

Bi


t

[Digitisation under way]

by Carolina Rediviva has long been a treasure chamber for researchers and others interested in history. It holds one of Sweden’s largest collections of older materials – images, texts and maps from the Middle Ages onwards. Now, a great deal of it is available digitally.

PHOTO: STEWEN QUIGLEY

text ANNICA HULTH photo MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

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W WHEN WE VISIT the University Library, re­ novation work is under way on the grand building, which opened in 1841 and be­ gan construction 200 years ago, in 1819. Over the years, an impressive collection has been built up in the reading rooms and storage rooms. Now, a great deal is acces­ sible on the computer from home. “Most of the digitisation takes place on demand, through orders from various types of users around the world or as a part of various kinds of projects where research­ ers want to work with digitised materials. When somebody orders digital copies, we publish them at the same time in the digital platform Alvin, where they become acces­ sible to all,” says Carina Bromark, who is the digitisation coordinator at the library.

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In addition to orders and research projects, the library digitises on its own initiative. For example, a collection of medieval manuscripts – close to 800 hand­ written works on around 1,000 pages. An­ other digitisation project is hand-drawn maps from the 17th to the 20th century, many of them from the Uppsala area and very detailed. Old dissertations will also be made available. “There are around 12,000 Uppsala Uni­ versity dissertations from the period 1602– 1855 and so far we have digitised around 5,000 of them. They are published in Diva, Uppsala University’s database for digital publication, along with all the new disser­ tations. Imagine if we succeeded in mak­ ing all dissertations from the 17th century onwards available in Diva,” says Bromark enthusiastically. She shows us down to the digitisation

studio in the library’s cellar. Here, there are several different scanners, suited to differ­ ent purposes. In one room, there are two scanners that can handle a normal resolu­ tion of up to 600 ppi. The scanner in the next room handles larger sizes. Here, everything from books to drawings, maps and posters are scanned. Image technician Roger Magnusson shows how books are scanned spread by spread and are then corrected and trimmed in the computer. It is possible to handle 300– 500 pages a day, but it is often hard to deter­ mine how much time the process will take. “Two manuscripts may look alike on the outside but take different amounts of time to digitise. That’s what makes it fun and tricky, the fact that the quality varies so much. Then there’s the software that can play up and affect the time it takes,” says photographer Magnus Hjalmarsson.


Heritage

i Well-known manuscripts Carina Bromark, digitisation coordinator, with Mats Höglund, who is preparing 17th century maps on parchment for digitisation.

TO BE ABLE to scan more modern books

efficiently, the library also has a book scanner where the book lies in a cradle. A vacuum suction mechanism under the cradle holds the book still while a robot arm browses through the pages. “If you have a good book and have set it up correctly, you can do 2,000 pages an hour. You have to check that it turns out right, because it sometimes turns two pages at a time. This scanner is kind to the right type of books from the 1850s and onwards. Then all goes well, but it’s harder with older materials,” says Magnusson. Furthest along the corridor is a photo studio with two cameras on stands that photograph the most fragile objects – sim­ ply everything that does not fit in a regular scanner. Magnusson shows a Bible written on palm leaves that glitter of gold.

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

2019

Uppsala University Library currently has more than 600,000 images in Alvin, the platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage. The library’s best-known manuscript is prob­ ably the Silver Bible (Codex argenteus). Other holdings at Carolina Rediviva include the Vadstena Diary (Diarium Vadstenense), Carta marina, music manuscripts written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the first edition of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

“It’s being photographed here since we wanted to keep a better eye on the material and get better depth of focus.” An Icelandic law book from the end of the 17th century lies under the second cam­ era. Having a studio at the library is a delib­ erate choice to be able to keep the valuable material in the building. “Another reason is that we who work here can deal with the material and if we get in 47 volumes of something, we can estimate how much time it will take,” says Hjalmarsson.

Roger Magnusson with a Bible written on palm leaves that glitter of gold.

For the past few years, various profes­ sional groups at the library have been work­ ing together on digitisation. One of those involved is Kia Hedell, who is a music li­ brarian. There is considerable demand for music, not just from researchers but also from mu­ sicians and music publishers. It happens 37


Heritage

that musicians want the original scores to be able to play straight from them, she says. Here at the library, there is a rich collec­ tion of music scores including original print­ ings from the 18th century. Hedell shows a score of Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on paper of very good quality. “It’s made of linen rags. Paper from the 18th century is often of higher quality than cellulose paper from the second half of the 19th century,” says Hedell. The score comes from Leufsta mill and belonged to the mill owner Charles De Geer. When he came to the mill in 1739, he had a collection of music with many Dutch 38

printings. The beautiful book-bindings are also scanned in in Alvin. AT THE MAPS AND Pictures Unit, archivist Mats Höglund prepares especially sensi­ tive documents for digitisation. Right now, he is working on 17th century maps on parchment from the University Archive. They have been stored tightly rolled for several hundred years and are difficult to unroll. “To be able to digitise them, we first have to flatten them out,” says Höglund. This is done by a conservator. The first step is to moisten the map in a box – a hu­

The historian Mikael Alm uses source material from Carolina Rediviva both in his research on the Gustavian Collection and in teaching.

midity chamber where the temperature and moisture are carefully controlled. It is im­ portant to check first that the colours with­ stand moisture. The map is left in the humidity chamber for a few hours. Then it is placed in a press for a week and after that it can be stored flat. “It’s better for it to be stored this way, in an acid-free paper wrapper.” The library has long worked with digiti­ sation. In 2015, the library’s management group decided to review the digitisation chain, Bromark explains. “We wanted to improve efficiency, get better communication between units and different professional groups. We are now working together, have clarified guidelines and know better who does what and how.” Is it necessary for libraries to put so much effort into digitisation?

“It’s important if we are to remain rele­ vant. The digitisation not only means that

PHOTO: MAGNUS HJALMARSSON

An Icelandic law book from the late 17th century, which is one of the more fragile pieces.


we scan it in, we also ensure that the mater­ ial is searchable online by cataloguing it in Alvin. This is an important aspect. Our intention is to make all material searchable and free for anyone to spread and down­ load, regardless of how digitisation has been initiated.” SOME OF THE BIGGEST winners from di­

gitisation are researchers. Historian Mika­ el Alm uses source material from Caroli­ na Rediviva in several ways. Both in his research, on the Gustavian Collection, for example, and in his teaching. “We use source material for both method exercises and applied knowledge. For ex­ ample, historical source material is used in the A course tests, as well as in the form of essay projects at the C level.” Alm runs an essay project on Sweden’s first fashion magazine in close cooperation with the university library.

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2019

“Digitisation has revolutionised humanities research. Today, I can conduct research that I couldn’t even have dreamed of ten years ago.” “Digitisation has revolutionised human­ ities research. It’s not just a matter of great­ er accessibility to sources in Sweden and abroad. Today, I can conduct research that I couldn’t even have dreamed of ten years ago.” Using digitised collections, he can obtain an overview of large collections of material that he previously would have literally had to leaf through on site in the archive, which he did not have time for and therefore did not do.

“With the push of a button, I can use var­ ious search tools to retrieve large amounts of data from extensive and widely varying documentation.” DEVELOPMENT IS RAPID , but the digital revolution not only creates opportunities, it also brings challenges for historical rese­ arch, according to Alm, especially in terms of methods. “How do you do a systematic search in a database? Which source series are digitised, which ones aren’t and what consequences does this have? Is a source digitised because it is central to research, or does it become central to research because it’s digitised? These critical questions must be incorpor­ ated in the researcher’s craft and in our teaching.” In the meantime, digitisation continues of shelf after shelf of valuable cultural her­ itage materials.

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University life

Play up! For almost 400 years, the Royal Academic Orchestra has been Uppsala University’s faithful servant for ceremonial occasions. Today, they enjoy interpreting classics and con­ temporary music equally. Uppsala University’s Magazine was present at a rehearsal. text HENRIK MÖLLER photo MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT ONE HOUR BEFORE the evening rehearsal, the Grand Auditorium in the Univer­ sity Main Building is silent and empty but for the chilly draught and violinist Emelie Gustafson, orchestra member since 2011. “I was studying linguistics when I applied. At the audi­ tion, I played a sonata by Mo­ zart and then had to sight read a piece, which meant playing directly from a score I hadn’t seen. It went so-so, but ap­ parently it was good enough. Everyone interested should apply to the orchestra. We’re really nice,” she promises. Gustafson often plays sec­ ond violin in the orchestra. For a few years, she was principal. “There can be 100 of us in the orchestra and 20 in the violin section so many of us need to help take responsibil­ ity for the different groups of instruments.” The Royal Academic Or­ chestra is an amateur orchestra that maintains high standards. “Our conductor Stefan Karpe has done a fantastic job. Many of the people in the wind section are professionals

40

or attend the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, but still want to be involved because we have a challenging reper­ toire. Most of the others are students from every faculty in Uppsala. Everyone plays on a volunteer basis.” The orchestra members gradually arrive and tune their instruments for the evening’s rehearsal of music for the doc­ toral conferment ceremony. Two somewhat older gentle­ men stand behind the double basses, blowing warmth into their hands, otherwise the aver­age age is young. DIRECTOR MUSICES STEFAN

Karpe arrives with a pretty fair bundle of notes. Among his predecessors are many wellknown names, such as Hugo Alfvén and Lars-Erik Larsson. Just like them, he seeks to take care of and honour the musical heritage. Among other things, by frequently visiting Carolina Rediviva and ordering old musical scores. “There, I found a march written in 1818 by Johann Christian Friedrich Haeffner who was the director musices

at the time. It’s music written specifically for conferment ceremonies. This is absolutely unique for Uppsala Univer­ sity.” The conferment music played during the entrance and exit of the guests also provides a solemn backdrop when the doctoral graduates go forward to receive their diplomas. Sometimes there are a good many doctorates to award. If the music ends before the cer­ emony’s Latin phrases fall si­

“The conductor becomes a kind of medium for different peoples’ feelings” lent from the lectern, the piece begins afresh. When the cer­ emony is over, the orchestra stops playing even if the piece is not at an end. Sometimes just as abruptly as in a game of musical chairs.


Violinist Emelie Gustafson has been an orchestra member since 2011.

The entrance march by Haeffner fills the Grand Auditorium when the Royal Academic Orchestra rehearses under Stefan Karpe’s direction.

Alongside this traditional base, Stefan Karpe has also introduced newer music. For example, this time the programme includes Anders Hillborg’s “Oh these eyes”, a setting of a text by Gunnar Ekelöf, sung by Hannah Hol­ gersson. UNDER KARPE’S direction, the Royal Academic Orchestra has become more democratic. A programme council with selected musicians from the

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

2019

orchestra decides on the rep­ ertoire. All instruments have principals who are responsible for everyone being on board. Karpe’s role models as a conductor include Esa-Pekka Salonen and Simon Rattle, for their ability to get the best from musicians and their un­ assuming style. “The conductor becomes a kind of medium for different peoples’ feelings, expressed simultaneously in the or­ chestra. The challenge is to communicate and convey these different feelings in a way that enables the orchestra to feel both secure and free. That’s what drives me,” ex­ plains Karpe, who now has to begin the rehearsal. The entrance march by Haeffner fills the Grand Audi­ torium. The strings pluck rhythmically. The double basses weigh in and the music takes on the intended character. Easy to march to. Karpe conducts with one hand and sways in time, rising and falling on his toes. Suddenly he spreads the fingers of both hands. The musicians fall silent and look up question­ ingly. “Everybody, please listen to the bassoon...” 41


Goal text LISA THORSÉN photo MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Johanna Heldin

is in the ninth semester of the medicine programme and trains and competes in curling at the elite level. “It’s nice to have more than one thing to focus on.”

42

in sight


University life

Is it possible to pursue elite sports and study at the same time? We asked Uppsala students LINA SJÖBERG, double mini-trampoline world champion, and JOHANNA HELDIN, gold medallist at the European Curling Championships. The answer is yes, even if it demands a good deal of planning and personal drive. LINA SJÖBERG is in the eighth semester of the law programme and is the world cham­ pion in double mini-trampoline (DMT). She is also the first, and to date only, wom­ an in the world to have done a triple vault onto the DMT, in the first part of the jump sequence. “There’s an outdated idea that girls are too weak to manage a triple vault. ‘Why shouldn’t we manage it?’ I thought and began practising. It’s an incredibly good feeling to realise how much you can do.” Combining studies with 15 hours of training a week, plus competition days, is also a challenge. “The teachers are understanding and the study counsellors really try to help. But I have to be very active myself to perhaps change seminar times or get supplementary assignments when I’m away competing.” At times, it can be tough financially. You don’t make money from DMT. So Lina was happy to become one of the first sports scholarship recipients at Uppsala Univer­ sity in 2016. “It was definitely a welcome contribution to my travel and competition expenses.” Through sports, Lina knows that she has developed her ability to work in a goal-ori­ ented way. But although the pace is high both in training and in her studies, she feels that she relaxes from the one when she works with the other.

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

2019

“I never get stuck in anything around the likely. Sport has given her experiences that clock. When I go to train, I leave my studies she clearly sees she can put to use outside behind and vice versa. The variation feels the rink – tactics, how group dynamics good mentally.” work, practice in mental and physical en­ She looks forward to at least another five durance, focus and precision. years of active competition and she thinks a “The fact that there is always potential lot about how to reconcile this with a future for development is very satisfying, both in professional life. a profession and in sports. I will carry on “It feels important to find an employer curling as long as it’s fun!” who understands competition and values my characteristics, such as being focused and very goal-oriented. It’s not only my grades that show Lina what I’m capable of.”

Sjöberg

JOHANNA HELDIN is

is in the eighth semester of the law programme and is the world champion in double mini-trampoline (DMT). She was one of the first sports scholarship recipients at Uppsala University in 2016.

in the ninth semester of the medicine pro­ gramme and trains and competes in curling at the elite level. In autumn 2018, she was part of the team that won the gold med­ al in the European Champi­ onship. Over the years, it has be­ come easier to pursue both studies and elite sports, ac­ cording to Johanna. “Two improvements that the programme committee for the medicine programme has implemented are that it’s now possible to study one year’s courses over two years and that elite sports are a valid reason to request a clinical placement close to Uppsala. It means a great deal to me since the hardest thing is getting everything to work in terms of time.” Johanna feels that she has received a lot of support from her study counsellor and that virtually all of the teachers are flex­ ible and interested in finding solutions. She trains about ten hours in a regular week, and more in a competition week, so it requires planning and a lot of personal initiative to pursue both studies and sports. “At the same time, it’s nice to have more than one thing to focus on. One serves as a break from the other.” Like Lina, Johanna was one of the first sports scholarship recipients in 2016. “Of course, a commitment to elite sports makes it hard to find time for a student job, so it was really welcome.” In terms of professional life, Johanna believes that she will choose the research track. Recently, sports medicine and allergy medicine have begun to look particularly

i What support does the University provide? Eva Söderman is head of the Student Health Service and responsible for coordination for student sports issues. “We encourage all students to exercise and pursue sports and would like to highlight the students who combine studies and elite sports as good role models. Besides a scholarship programme, we have study counsellors and contact persons both centrally and at the departments who can provide guidance and answer questions about, for example, study planning. We also provide information online and arrange meetings for the elite student athletes on various topics.”

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University life

He blogs on research ethics The philosopher PÄR SEGERDAHL has been the editor of the Ethics Blog for seven years. He describes blogging as a way to supplement public debate with a more thoughtful tone that invites the readers to try out new ideas.

and is about research at the Centre for Re­ search Ethics and Bioethics at Uppsala Uni­ versity. Working on the Ethics Blog is part of Seg­ erdahl’s position as a researcher at the Centre and having blogged for seven years, he has developed ideas about why it is important for researchers to blog. “As a researcher, it’s easy to act as an ex­ pert informing less knowledgeable readers. But as a researcher, it’s also important to re­ late to what one does not know. As a philoso­ pher, I try to identify preconceived notions about, say, biobanks or stem cell research and to propose less conventional ways of thinking. I use the blog as an opportunity to test a new idea, and invite the reader to try out the idea too.” SEGERDAHL BELIEVES THAT researchers

who have the courage to show that research also involves wondering and questioning can complement public debate in a crucial and important manner. “Public debate largely consists of opinion 44

makers who, often referring to experts, take a position superior to the reader. The thought­ ful researcher instead invites the reader to try out different thoughts on important social issues. Thoughtfulness recognises our own uncertainty, works with it and thinks with it. This thoughtfulness becomes a common form of address that unites us when we talk about important issues, because the answers to such questions are rarely given, even if we would like to pretend they are.” SEGERDAHL COMPARES WRITING blog

posts with writing aphorisms. “I want the blog posts to be short, thought­

ful reflections on various bioethical topics. They should contain as much text as is ne­ cessary to develop an idea.” Besides the researcher being able to con­ tribute to public debate by showing a more thoughtful attitude, blogging can also help the researcher obtain new questions for research. Segerdahl explains that several thoughts he blogged about have subsequent­ ly become philosophical research articles. “In the blog, I can set out from the fact that I am not absolutely certain. I don’t try to paint a façade of certainty that hides what I don’t know. On the contrary, I often write about matters that strike me as more difficult and less clear than people usually assume. It can be stressful to find the time needed to write this way. But as I say, it can lead to new ideas for research.”  – Anders Berndt

PHOTO: JOSEPINE FERNOW

THE ETHICS BLOG began seven years ago


7

Some research blogs at UU Follow Uppsala University online. 1

The Ethics Blog

Pär Segerdahl is the editor of the blog, which discusses research ethics, the bloggers’ own research and topics from both academic debate and the media. ethicsblog.crb.uu.se

University, KTH and TH Köln, where several researchers blog about e-health, digital work environment and userfriendly design. htogroup.org

Computing Education Research Group. asacajander.se

5

Matt Lacey’s blog

Learn more about the electrochemistry of lithium batteries. Matt Lacey is a researcher at the Ångström Advanced Battery Centre at Uppsala University. He graduated from the University of Southampton and moved to Uppsala in 2012. lacey.se/blog

6

The Rune Blog

This blog is dedicated to spreading information about all things runic and is run by Henrik Williams, Professor of Scandinavian Languages at Uppsala University and Director of Uppsala Runic Forum. runforum.nordiska. uu.se/blog

7

Ulf Danielsson

He is a professor of theoretical physics at Uppsala University, but in addition to his research, he has also written books, lectured and debated. In this blog he shares his knowledge and curiosity about the universe we live in. ulfdanielsson.com/ blogg

Other blogs at Uppsala University

400-bloggen (both in Swedish and in English): 400-blogg.ub.uu.se Game blog: game.speldesign.uu.se The Vice-Chancellor’s Blog: vicechancellorsblog. uu.se

3

Responders

The goal of the EU project RESPOND is to study reactions to the large refugee flows to Europe in 2015. responders.crs.uu.se

4

Åsa Cajanders blog 2

Health, Technology & Organisation

A research group spanning Uppsala University, Reykjavik

She is professor of humancomputer interaction at Uppsala University, the research leader of the Health Technology and Organisations (HTO) research group and a member of Uppsala

U P P S A L A U N I V E R S I T Y M AG A Z I N E

2019

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And finally

50 scholarships

... are being awarded to Erasmus students who choose to take the train instead of flying to their European host universities. At Uppsala University, international contacts are necessary and travel is a part of daily life for many. “Naturally we would like even more students to participate in exchanges to get international experience, but we need innovative thinking to avoid increasing the environmental impact too much,” says Sara Hurtig, Project Manager at the Student Affairs Division.

PHOTO: ALVIN

PHOTO: MAT TON

The grants of SEK. 2,000 cover most. of the cost of a. five-day railcard. .

Author of unique family tree revealed Languages. The picture “Rurik’s genealogical tree,” which is famous in Russia and shows the first Russian grand dukes and tsars, has been shown to have been produced in Sweden around 1715. Over the years, “Rurik’s genealogical tree” has attracted attention above all in Russia. The genealogical tree is stored at the Uppsala University library, Carolina Rediviva, and now researchers Ingrid Maier and Olena Jansson at the Department of Modern Languages have succeeded in showing who wrote the text on the picture and when it was made. In connection with the war in 1700–1721 against enemies including the Russia of the time, all Russians in Sweden were interned. One of the prisoners was the highly educated Aleksei Mankiev and it is highly likely he who wrote the text on the picture around 1715.

Vikings on tour. A Viking exhibition with 1,300-year-old objects from the period before the Viking Age is now touring the United States. The objects are usually stored at Gustavianum in Uppsala, but are now being exhibited to a broader audience at three museums in Boston, Seattle and Minneapolis. The exhibition “The Vikings Begin – Treasures from Uppsala University” was produced by Gustavianum in cooperation with archaeologists at the University. The aim is to tell the story of the emergence of the Viking Age based on advanced research. 46


The image And finally

PHOTO: MIKAEL WALLERSTEDT

Study beneath the stars The new reading room at Ekonomikum is open to all Uppsala University students from five in the morning until two at night. The former University Printing Office in the basement has been transformed into what is probably the University’s cosiest space. With a starry sky on the ceil­ ing, dark walls, warm colours and seating at various levels

You will find the room at Kyrkogårdsgatan 10

with adapted lighting, the conditions for peaceful study and concentration are optimal. A gas fireplace in the middle of the room catches the eye and adds to the atmosphere.


It is the largest project Uppsala University and Akademiska Hus have ever undertaken together.

Akademiska Hus is investing SEK 1.2 billion in the project. Occupancy of the wing and the new main building is planned for autumn 2020 and spring 2022, respectively. The goal is to make a creative and interdisciplinary environment for research and education and an international meeting place.

30,000

The two new buildings will add 30,000 square metres.

IMAGE: TEMA ARKITEKER

Ångström is growing!

Ångström Laboratory was built more than 20 years ago to bring together the University’s physics, chemistry and engineering departments. The existing lab currently totals 72,000 square metres and is used by around 5,000 researchers and students every day. A new main building is now being built to the north, to which the Department of Information Technology will move from Polacksbacken, and a new wing to the south with classrooms and offices.

Profile for Uppsala universitet

Uppsala University Magazine 2019  

Uppsala University Magazine is about research, innovations, people and university life at the oldest higher education institution in the Nor...

Uppsala University Magazine 2019  

Uppsala University Magazine is about research, innovations, people and university life at the oldest higher education institution in the Nor...