The turf and the world around us
The proposed center collects a large number of senior researchers and PhD students at the Albanova university campus. Most of these were geographically localized to the “small upper houses “ at the time of the inauguration of Albanova in 2001. In the fall of 2006 two other research constellations co-localized in this area, namely the one in computational biology in “house 16” and NORDITA in “house 13”. Together, these constellations collect more than 100 researchers and PhD students in biological modelling at Albanova, an unprecedented concentration of expertise in the area in Sweden. These actors supplement each other, all the way "from molecule to man", with molecular atomistic modeling covering the lower part, from amino acids up to proteins, and with the mathematical biology and Nordita biology groups taking on the upper part through biostatistics, bioinformatics, computational neuroscience and systems biology. Through the implementation of the multiscale/mutliphysics concept, with full account of dynamical interactions, the centre will cover a broad range of biological phenomena using modelling that transcends scales in both length and time. In this the centre complements excellently the Stockholm Bioinformatics Center and the activities within statistical biology. The sheer man-power and strength of the center formation will ensure a considerable future resource allocation both nationally and internationally.
The formation of the center will reinforce and significantly increase the external contact area towards industry, research councils and foundations. This will be triggered through the increase of scope, volume and synergy of the scientific activities that will result from the center, but also through the formation of an external, well-connected, center board. The strategic contacts of individual researchers with bodies also outside Europe, for instance in USA and China, will clearly be strengthened by the visibility of the center. The centre will capitalize on the geographic localization of leading research groups at Albanova and on collaboration with groups from Frescati which strengthen research in key modelling areas. The are many examples of what a co-localization of this kind brings about in terms of academic accomplishment and economic return. The Albanova university center itself serves as one such example which has generated added value in terms of extra transdisciplinary research and resource allocation. The CCB center will not only promote Albanova, but also ventures in common with other main actors in Stockholm area , like AstraZeneca, KI and the Stockholm Brain Institute .
The Center will serve as a hub for industrial contacts and support. Many of the principal investigators of the Center have had industrial PhD students on different specific projects (in particular from Biovitrum AB and AstraZeneca). These contacts have also served the purpose that many students after examination have received company employment. It would be of large strategic value to formalize and collectively plan both of these two types of actions. In this way we can streamline, and might foresee company support for, our PhD education as well as Center research in areas like drug design, drug solubility and proteomics.
Structuring efforts in software and theoretical models
Related to the industrial mission, the Center will serve to promote a considerable software structuring effort. The production of integrated, sustained, Life Science softwares will be of great strategic value, with a strong impact on the connection with the pharmaceutical industries in the Stockholm area and elsewhere. The center proposal will thus establish Albanova in the forefront in softwares for Life Science modelling with large market value for commercial exploitation. Likewise, one must press for models as theoretical instruments and their role as platforms for development of new technologies, for instance in the nano-bio area.
MSC and PhD Training
An aim of the Center is to foster of a new breed of researchers in the area Life Science modeling for academic and industrial careers. The introduction by the Center of a graduate research school and an international "Bologna" MSC program, will promote KTHs ability to compete for attracting students. The international connections and PhD student recruitments by center members are already strong and will evidently be further strengthened by the formation of the Center. A course block at Albanova with five 5-point courses has in fact already been launched as a first step in this direction.