Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology
These fundamental research areas are concerned with the basic building blocks of the body, the cells, investigating their structure and function, both normally and pathologically. Research involves the study of genes and their expression, as well as proteins and other organic substances, and how these co-operate in the living cell.
Articles and features
The beauty of the smallest things
A lot of medical research revolves around molecules and how they function. These tiny components of our bodies can be very important for our health. Meet three researchers who each present their favourite molecule.
Everything you want to know about your cells
Hundereds of international researchers will cooperate to map millions of cells in all tissues of thebody. The aim is to create a 3D map of all cell types in the body and decide whichcharacteristics make each cell type unique. Researchers from KI are part of this project.
The proteins that fix (almost) everything
Proteins can make any inventor green with envy. It is proteins that make the body work. But when these same super-substances make mistakes, we may get sick with things like cancer or Alzheimer's disease. The job of researchers is to sort out the proteins when they malfunction.
Live and Let Die – spotlight on cell death
One million cells in your body die every second. That means in one day, approximately 1.2 kg of cells die. But it's nothing to worry about. Quite the opposite; it would be a real problem if the cells in your body did not die.
Network medicine opens new ways of understanding
The causes of complex diseases can be identified by representing them in the form of mathematically produced networks. This method was used to find bacteria that drive atopic dermatitis, for example.
Selenium: A vital toxin for humans
A rare trace element from the bedrock turned out to be a prerequisite for human life. Since the discovery of selenium 200 years ago, researchers have tried to understand more.
KI Professor Elias Arnér is investigating how the selenium protein thioredoxin reductas is connected to cancer development.
AI takes structural biology to the next level
Machine learning can be used to gain insights into molecular events that change the shape of proteins after they are made, regulating their ability to interact with each other. AI may allow us to accurately simulate highly complex biological scenarios and use this information for therapeutic intervention.
High hopes for small bubbles
Exosomes are tiny bubbles that act as an advanced communication pathway between cells. However, they can also be used for treatment and are used in a variety of different areas.
Óskar Fernández-Capetillo: A researcher who wants to have fun
Happy people work better, according to Óskar Fernández-Capetillo, who argues that research should be enjoyable. In addition, he hopes to help patients with both cancer and ALS.
News about cell, molecular and structural biology
Some of our professors in this area
His findings shed light on MS
Gonçalo Castelo-Branco investigates the cells that produce myelin, the vital insulation that ensheathes our nerve cells. He has made unexpected findings that might help to explain what causes MS and eventually give rise to novel treatments.
Transporting drugs using endogenous vesicles
Transporting drugs to the right place and into the right cells is a major challenge. Samir EL Andaloussi researches how tiny vesicles called exosomes, which naturally transport material between cells, can be used for this purpose.
The art of folding DNA
DNA origami involves ways in which DNA can be used to build nanoscale constructions. Björn Högberg has improved this technique and uses it for both basic research and the development of clinical applications.
Changing our view of persistent pain
Living with chronic pain is challenging – not least because of the limited number of good treatments. Camilla Svensson is researching the mechanisms behind persistent pain in rheumatic diseases and how it can be tackled in new, more effective ways.
The role of cholesterol in cardiovascular disease
Uwe Tietge researches the function of cholesterol in the body. His aim is to map basic mechanisms of metabolism’s molecular regulation and to identify novel targets for innovative cardio-vascular disease treatments.
The genetic mechanisms of ageing
Maria Eriksson has discovered the gene that causes premature ageing in children. She is now researching the general genetic causes of ageing and has shown, amongst other things, that our stem cells gather more mutations during our lives than previously known.
Disruptions in the cell’s Frizzled receptors
Gunnar Schulte’s ambition is to understand the cellular dialogue taking place on the cell surface. More specifically, he is interested in how so-called Class Frizzled receptors work and in new treatments of diseases such as cancer and fibrosis.
Mechanisms for life and death are related
Bertrand Joseph is a Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine. His research is about life and death decisions at the cellular level.
New ways of treating retinal diseases
Anders Kvanta researches cell and gene therapies for diseases of the retina that currently lack effective treatments. His discovery that the pathologic formation of new blood vessels in the retina is attributable to the growth factor VEGF has saved the eyesight of millions of people.
Studying the function and utility of exosomes
Exosomes are tiny particles secreted by cells. They are involved in important processes in the body and may have useful clinical applications, including improved cancer treatments. Susanne Gabrielsson is one of the veterans of this young field of research.
Fertilisation at the molecular level
How are children made at molecular level? That is a question Luca Jovine is trying to answer. In the long term, knowledge about the mechanisms of fertilisation can lead both to new contraceptives and to new hope for the childless.
Molecular pathologist focusing on cancer and pedagogy
Katalin Dobra researches cancer of the lungs, especially the part played by the protein Syndecan 1. Education is an important aspect of her professorship and she is in charge of the pathology module of the new medical programme.
Studying the relationship between exercise and health
While exercise is good for us, we still do not fully understand why. Jorge Ruas is researching the nature of this connection at a molecular and genetic level in the hope of contributing to the development of better therapies.
Single cell analysis a new technique
Single cell analysis enables scientists to do what was once thought impossible: study gene activity in an individual cell. Sten Linnarsson uses the technique to identify cell types in the brain and to understand the systems that regulate our cells.
Mapping the three dimensional structure of proteins
Adnane Achour examines and visualises proteins that are important in infection diseases and cancer and the immunological responses to them.
He addresses the debate about vitamin pills
Martin Bergö’s research on CAAX proteins has proved relevant to diseases, such as cancer, rheumatism, heart disease and accelerated ageing. His biggest discovery so far is that vitamins can worsen the prognosis for cancer patients.
Biomarkers can guide doctors in treatment decisions
Janne Lehtiö uses mass spectrometry to study proteomes and their function to understand how proteins change.