Johan Boughardt Fagman, Lisa Buvall, Helena Carén, Anders R. Clausen, Anna Martner, and Louise Olofsson. These are the six young researchers who have been selected as the first recipients of Sahlgrenska Academy’s returning postdoc grants (Återvändarbidrag), worth half a million Swedish kronor each.
Returning postdoc grants are part of the faculty’s strategic investment in young researchers. Grants are paid to the recipient’s institution and are intended to serve as an initial contribution to help young researchers establish themselves at Sahlgrenska Academy.
Johan Bourghardt Fagman defended his thesis at the Institute of Medicine in 2010. After continuing his work as part of supervisor Åsa Tivesten’s group for a time, Bourghardt Fagman transferred to the University of California in the United States to undertake his international postdoc with the help of a grant from the Swedish Research Council. Bourghardt Fagman will continue as a postdoc at the Department of Surgery during the spring of 2014, where he will study cancer formation in the pancreas. The research methodology and experimental models he learned about while in the US are considered to have major clinical relevance, are innovative and are high quality.
Lisa Buvall defended her thesis at the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research in 2006, after which she worked as a postdoc with nephrologist Börje Haraldsson’s group. To learn more about cell signaling in the kidney’s filtration barrier, Buvall then chose to continue as a postdoc with a group at Miami University, a leader in cell signaling in glomerular cells. She later transferred together with her American research team to Harvard Medical School in Boston. Buvall established her own line of research during her time in the US through her discovery that the regulation of Rho GTPase family of proteins is of major importance in keeping the kidney’s filter intact. She will now return to Sahlgrenska Academy where she will provide support for Börje Haraldsson’s and Jenny Nyström’s research groups.
Helena Carén came back to the Sahlgrenska Academy just over a year ago, after a post-doc at UCL in London, and is now building up her own research group at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center. Helena Carén is working on epigenetic regulation. Epigenetic processes control cells which genes are expressed and at a faulty regulation, cancer can occur.
Anders Clausen defended his thesis on genetics in Lund, and currently holds a postdoc position in North Carolina in the United States, at an NIH institute that is a world leader in DNA replication—the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. While there, Clausen has become an expert in next-generation sequencing and is also currently working on an entirely new method that likely can be used to map a specific strand of ribonucleotides, allowing individual nucleotides to be discerned. It should be possible to apply this method to the entire genome of many different organisms and cell types.
Anna Martner defended her thesis on immunology and microbiology in 2009. After spending time as a postdoc with Kristoffer Hellstrand’s group, Martner received a grant from the Swedish Research Council to enable her to move to Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, USA. Presently Martner holds a position as a researcher at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, where she heads a small team of researchers and receives funding from the Swedish Society for Medical Research. Martner is working on a translational project concerning myeloid leukemia and conducts her research in close cooperation with hematologists, who provide unique patient samples, among other things.
Louise Olofsson recently returned to Gothenburg after spending five years as a postdoc at the University of California in San Francisco. There her focus was primarily nerve cells in the hypothalamus, and she studied how these detect and receive different hormones that play a role in energy balance. Now at the Wallenberg Laboratory, Olofsson is combining new knowledge and experience from her postdoc studies with what she learned during her postgraduate studies and, in doing so, is defining her own line of research. As part of one project, Olofsson will investigate the central regulation of fatty tissue and determine the effects of diet on this regulation.