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Research at cutting edge at Sahlgrenska Academy

Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy spans a broad field: everything from basic studies of the structure of molecules and the function of cells, via experimental studies of disease principles to research at population level. Research into care also takes place here, which includes looking at various methods for measuring the subjective perception of disease and how care can be streamlined.

Much of the research carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy is clinical in nature and carried out in close cooperation with Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the Swedish Dental Service, Region Västra Götaland and trade and industry. The Sahlgrenska Academy is working to integrate basic research into more patient-oriented research and to create translational centres in which clinical issues and biomedical expertise meet and create new ways of studying the mechanisms behind disease, which may lead to new treatments.

University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC)

The Centre for Person-Centred Care is a unique initiative in the field of clinical patient-oriented research. Researchers from all across the Sahlgrenska Academy and from many other faculties at University of Gothenburg gather within this centre with the collective aim of alleviating, increasing patient satisfaction and streamlining care.

The basic concept is that patients themselves are the ones who know best what living with a disease is like, and that the staff must learn to listen and understand in order to improve the treatment of long-term illnesses. Research is taking place at GPCC in the fields of signs and symptoms, organisation of healthcare and nursing, learning and informatics, and clinical research methods.

GPCC is part of the government's strategic initiative involving particularly prominent research environments. The research centre integrates research, training and utilisation, and works in cooperation with Region Västra Götaland and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, among others.

Website: www.gpcc.gu.se

Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (CMR)

CMR carries out research into cardiovascular disease related to metabolism. A number of individual groups work in cooperation at the centre in order to investigate the causes of metabolic syndrome, which is a generic term for all the risk factors which may lead to cardiovascular disease. Its vision is to use greater understanding to help cure and alleviate some of the most serious common illnesses of our time, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, rheumatism and cancer. CMR works in close cooperation with Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Website: www.cmr.gu.se

EpiLife

EpiLife is an epidemiological research centre looking at the interaction between mental and physical health over the entire life cycle. This research is very much characterised by interdisciplinary considerations, involving a number of prominent researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy and other faculties at University of Gothenburg.

The Sahlgrenska Academy's unique population studies, the databases of which include information on a wide range of people of different ages, form the basis for EpiLife. Several of the population studies have been ongoing for up to 50 years, and study participants are often followed up several times during the studies in order to provide a view of development over time.

EpiLife research is organised into four fields: psychosocial factors and cardiovascular disease, mental health, age and ageing, obesity over the life cycle, and cognitive function.

Website: www.epilife.sahlgrenska.gu.se

BIOMATCELL

This VINN Excellence Center of Biomaterials and Cell Therapy at the Sahlgrenska Academy carries out research which will lead to the implants of the future. By combining biomaterial and cell therapy, intelligent new materials are being developed with biological components which can stimulate the body's own ability to regenerate tissue. Research at BIOMATCELL extends from atomic level to the patient, with the aim of creating implants which can be customised to suit each individual and which improve the chances of following up what happens to the implant once it is inserted in the patient. BIOMATCELL is a strategic initiative by state research finance agency Vinnova in cooperation with the University, the industry and healthcare and nursing.

Website: www.biomatcell.org.gu.se/

Sahlgrenska Cancer Center

Sahlgrenska Cancer Center gathers together broad, interdisciplinary research expertise in the field of cancer. This research extends from basic studies of mechanisms and the treatment of cancer using animal and computer models to cancer genetics, tumour biology and applied patient-based research. Its work has clear translational characteristics, with the aim of developing new treatment strategies for a number of different forms of cancer, and of identifying new biomarkers for diagnostics, prognostics and treatment selection. The groups at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center carry out research into fields such as tumour pathology, molecular medicine, urology, surgery, virology and oncology.

The Sahlgrenska Cancer Center constitutes the hub for the strategic Cancer research field at University of Gothenburg, which together with Lund University was awarded funding in 2010 from the government's strategic initiatives on the basis of the programme "Biomarkers in Cancer Medicine Improving Health Care, Education and Innovation (BioCARE)".

Website: under construction

Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre

Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at the Sahlgrenska Academy gathers together prominent clinical researchers in the fields of neuropsychiatry, development neurology and eating disorders. Its aim is to double within five years its research activity in the fields of autism, ADHD and anorexia nervosa, and to make a lasting contribution to the development of knowledge, not least as regards support and treatment for the many children, young people and adults and their relatives who are currently battling a society which, in part, lacks understanding.

Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre is managed by Christopher Gillberg, Professor in child and youth psychiatry at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Website: www.gnc.gu.se

Research into mitochondria and metabolism

Mitochondria are responsible for energy production in cells. Sugar and fat are consumed in the mitochondria in order to create energy, which can then be stored in the cells in the form of the molecule ATP. The mitochondria are complex as they are controlled in part by their own genetic setup which can mutate and then cause serious but rare diseases in humans. Brown fat cells are one type of cell containing an unusually high number of mitochondria. In these cells, the mitochondria do not form ATP in the first instance, but heat instead. At the Sahlgrenska Academy, there is a prepared network of both clinical and biomedical researchers who are studying in various ways mitochondrial DNA, metabolism and their link to disease and obesity. In 2011, this research at the Sahlgrenska Academy was also judged to be at the cutting edge of developments by an international panel of researchers.

Research into oral biochemistry

The team of researchers working in the field of oral biochemistry studies various molecular signal systems between and inside cells. These kinds of signals determine what kind of cell is produced when a stem cell matures, and hence has an important part to play in the early development of skin cells, bone cells and tooth enamel, among other things. The signal systems are chain reactions in which a number of different proteins together control the behaviour of the cells. If the signal chain is disrupted, this can lead to defects such as cleft lip, jaw or palate or the formation of certain tumours. Research into oral biochemistry at the Sahlgrenska Academy is of world class, according to an international assessment presented in 2011.

Research into vaccines, immunity and mucous membrane biology

At the Sahlgrenska Academy, a number of prominent teams of researchers from a variety of disciplines are working on producing new ways of treating diseases which affect our mucous membranes. One objective is to design new vaccines which do not need to be administered by injection but can be administered in the form of a drink, ointment or nasal spray. Some of this research is fundamental and clarifies how mucus is formed, how bacteria invade cells and how local immune systems work. The research is also looking at how to produce new substances to reinforce the immune system, known as adjuvants, in order to permit effective vaccination via the mucous membranes. The diseases being studied are not only infectious diseases which affect the mucous membranes such as cholera, ETEC, chlamydia and Helicobacter pylori, but also chronic inflammatory disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which affect the gastrointestinal tract, and type 1 diabetes, MS and rheumatoid arthritis, all of which are autoimmune diseases.

Nobel Prize winner Arvid Carlsson

Professor Emeritus Arvid Carlsson Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine 2000

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