The Center is lead by the Unit Head Anna Norrby-Teglund who has overall responsibility for the Center's administration and scientific development.
The Center is organized around 17 independent research groups, including the Director's group.
The research groups work in an integrated environment sharing office space, laboratory space, facilities and equipment. The groups normally consist of 3-8 members, including both graduate students and post docs.
Almost all groups have clinical scientists affiliated with them. Many group leaders also share supervision of graduate students with clinical scientists.
Establishment of the Center
The first idea of establishing a new translational research center with a focus on immunology and infectious disease research came about in the year 2000.
The inspiration came from the identified need for more and better translational research environments in Sweden, highlighted in two reports from the Swedish Cancer Society and the Swedish Research Council.
Simultaneously, several international evaluations also emphasized the need of promoting translational research as well as creating better platforms for interactions between basic and clinical scientists.
Basic research to clinical trials
In 2001, the creation of a new "Center for Infectious Medicine" at Karolinska Institutet was proposed by Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren and Jan Andersson. It was proposed that research at the Center should have a focus on basic and translational research within infection-immunity, with an intention of being able to bring results of basic research at the Center all the way to clinical trials. Furthermore, research at the Center should have clinical questions of importance as grounds for the formulation of research projects.
A physical plan for a tentative Center was conceived in 2001. Appropriate physical localities were provided by the Karolinska University Hospital at its Huddinge site, close to the clinical Infectious Disease Department. The hospital director at that time, Björn Rosén, was instrumental in this process. The Center for Infectious Medicine, CIM, was completed in 2002 and inaugurated in 2003.
It comprises 750 square metres of renovated and fully equipped laboratory facilities. CIM has since its inauguration been able to attract some of the most talented young Swedish scientists actively engaged in human immunology and infectious disease research.
The Center - a dynamic research environment
The Center has its main research activities in its premises at Karolinska University at its Huddinge site. Over the years, some research groups have had their main activities at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor- and Cell Biology at the KI Solna Campus and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI).
Several group leaders have spent longer or shorter sabbaticals at international universities, and there is a continuous exchange of students and postdocs between the Center and other KI departments and national and international universities. By having groups at different locations and inviting researchers to work at the Center, research across disciplines is favored and the access to research infrastructures is increased.
One of the main intentions of the Center is to provide an environment and platform for the fostering of a new generation of research leaders within the fields of human immunology and infectious diseases. To date, several group leaders have promoted to full professors at KI or been appointed full professors at other national and international universities.
CIM celebrating 10 years
In May 2013, it was 10 years since CIM was inaugurated. The 10-year anniversary was celebrated by an open day at the center and a mini-symposium on the theme “CIM –History and Future”. Profs. Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren and Jan Andersson gave a historical overview and presented future challenges and opportunities for the center and biomedical research in general.
Two international speakers, who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of immunology and infection biology, were invited to give lectures. Prof. Hergen Spits, University of Amsterdam, gave a lecture on the discovery of novel innate immune cells, and prof. Garry Nolan, Stanford University, presented the next generation flow cytometry – mass cytometry. The celebrations were attended by a large number of participants.