9th National Infection Biology/Swedish Microbiology Meeting, November 16-18 2021


National Doctoral Programme in Infections and Antibiotics (NDPIA) and the Swedish Society for Microbiology (SFM) invite you to join the 9th National Infection Biology/Swedish Microbiology Meeting, taking place November 16-18, 2021.

The meeting will be a virtual meeting that aims to provide a broad vision on current state-of-the-art microbiology techniques and research in Sweden. Keynote speakers are Swedish researchers working within the sub-disciplines of bacteriology, virology, parasitology, host response, clinical infection biology, environmental microbiology, zoonotics, and new methods. To involve junior researchers, additional talks will be selected from the submitted poster abstracts. Poster presentations will be organized as digital poster walks that allow participants to present and discuss their work with other participants.

For more information and registration, go to https://ndpia.se/events/9th-national-infection-biology-swedish-microbiology-meeting/

4th Annual CryoNET Symposium, October 18-19th 2021

The 4th Annual CryoNET Symposium will through a panel of distinguished speakers highlight the latest discoveries facilitated by cryo-EM research and new directions that are emerging. The symposium will be fully accessible as an online meeting but we will provide viewing and presentation options in Umeå to the extent that the guidelines at the time allow (more info to follow). Students and postdocs are encouraged to apply to give talks. CryoNET is a network between the Cryo-EM facilities at University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Stockholm University and Umeå University and is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Registration is free but mandatory to get access to the platform. Deadline for registration is September 30th

For more information and registration, go to CryoNET Symposium homepage 

UCMR Infection and Cancer Symposium, 24 August, online

Infections due to certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are strong risk factors for the development of specific cancers. Approximately 20% of cancers worldwide are attributed to infections. Conversely, a subset of pathogens preferentially lyse tumor cells, leading to tumor regression and improved anti-tumor immunity. In addition, the intestinal microbiota influences our response to anti-cancer therapy. The Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) Infection and Cancer Symposium aims to present and discuss these aspects of the complex relation between microbes and cancer. 

International experts will present concepts on principles by which viruses and bacteria subvert the cellular micro-environment to cause cancer. Speakers will address a) mechanisms of malignant transformation by DNA and RNA viruses, b) mechanisms by which chronic and latent bacterial infections contribute to cancer initiation and progression, c) key issues related to pro-carcinogenic viruses/bacteria and immune defense, and d) how these processes can be prevented by prophylactic vaccination. Participants will have an opportunity to present their research during poster and, if selected, oral presentations and to meet other researchers within the field.

To see the speaker program and to register at no cost for the virtual symposium, go to www.ucmrinca2021.se

Registration deadline: 20 August (without poster presentation).

1st Umeå Interdisciplinary Symposium on Hypoxic Biology - 25 May 8:45-16:45, online via Zoom

The concentration of oxygen is one of the most important variables in many physiological and pathological processes. Do you care about oxygen levels in your experiments? Probably you should, and now you can at UHRF.

UHRF (Umeå Hypoxia Research Facility) is a new facility created to support research projects that require controlled oxygen conditions. We are co-financed by the Kempe Foundation and the Umeå Center for Microbial Research (UCMR) and you can find us at the Department of Molecular Biology.              

To introduce UHRF, we have organized an exciting virtual symposium to highlight the fundamental role of hypoxia in microbial ecology and infection, fungal biology, plant science, cancer, neurobiology and virology research. This first interdisciplinary symposium on hypoxic biology in Umeå is a joint initiative of UHRF (https://www.umu.se/en/uhrf) and UCMR (https://www.ucmr.umu.se/).

The invited speakers include: Michael Jetten (Microbial ecology; Radboud University, The Netherlands), Emilio Bueno (Infection biology; University of Umeå, Sweden), Francesco Licausi (Plant biology; University of Oxford, UK), Emily Flashman (Plant biology; University of Oxford, UK)  Jonathan Gilthorpe (Neurobiology; University of Umeå, Sweden), Randall Johnson (Tumor biology; Karolinska institutet, Sweden), Jane McKeating (Virology; University of Oxford, UK), Robert A. Cramer (Fungal biology; Geisel School of Medicine, USA), Constantin Urban (Fungal biology; University of Umeå, Sweden), Björn Schröder (Gut microbiome; University of Umeå, Sweden), Andreas Baumler (Gut microbiome; UCDAVIS, USA).



Register now at:


For questions contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier

Emmanuelle Charpentier Hallbauer Fioretti
UCMR Alumna Emmanuelle Charpentier

Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemisty 2020

Emmanuelle Charpentier, Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna University of California, Berkeley, USA, receive the Nobel Prize in Chemisty for "developing a method of genome editing".

Emmanuelle Charpentier was one of the first recruited group leaders at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden, MIMS, within the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) at Umeå University. During Emmanuelle Charpentier’s studies on Streptococcus pyogenes, she discovered a new molecule, tracrRNA, which together with CRISPR RNA and Cas9 play an important role in activation of the CRISPR-Cas system's defense mechanism in the pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes and other bacteria. She published the finding in 2011 in Nature. In the same year, she initiated a collaboration with Jennifer Doudna. Together, they showed how the bacterial protein Cas9 led by two guide RNAs (crRNA and tracrRNA) can identify targets in invading genes. They also showed how the system can be readily reprogrammed to be applied on any gene - which has proven to be a very versatile gene editing tool. This work was published 2012 in Science.

Read more: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier

Welcome to the UCMR DAY 2020!


UCMR DAY participants 2019 1

Get an update on research within the university's Linnaeus Centre of Excellence in life sciences, The Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)!

All scientists and staff members within UCMR, collaboration partners and researchers with an interest in life sciences are invited to a day of inspiring research presentations and an excellent opportunity for networking and initiation of multidisciplinary collaborations.

More than 180 participants – Scientific Speed dating for young investigators – 55 posters presented in poster walk groups and poster sessions – Midwinter Night Lecture by Thomas Nyström, University of Gothenburg – Invited Speaker Ivan Dikic, Frankfurt, Germany – short talks by  new  group leaders and young investigators

Date: Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Venue: Aula Nordica


UCMR PIs: It is still possible to register and UCMR PI:s can still submit short presentations of their research group!

(The registration is closed now)

UPDATE! - UPDATE (2019-12-06)

Confirmed invited speakers:
Ivan Dikic VIvan Dikic, Professor, Director
Department of Biochemistry II, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Read more about his research on the website of his "Molecular Signaling Group"
Curriculum Vitae of Ivan Dikic


Thomas NystromThomas Nyström, Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Institute of Biomedicine
Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg

Read more about his research on the Nyström lab website "Protein Quality Control  and Cellular Aging"
Short biography of Thomas Nyström

For questions concerning the organisation of the UCMR Day, please contact the organising committee:

Teresa Frisan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Constantin Urban, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Yaowen Wu, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Top picture: The participants at the UCMR DAY 2019, picture by Eva-Maria Diehl
Portrait of Ivan Dikic from: www.biochem2.com,
Portrait of Thomas Nyström https://nystromlab.wixsite.com/tnla

Congratulations! Swedish Research Council Funding to UCMR/MIMS Scientists!

Grant decision[2019-10-25] Congratulations to six UCMR/MIMS PIs, who will receive funding from the Swedish Research Council!

Within the funding areas Medicine and Health, the Vetenskapsrådet granted SEK 71,9 Million to Umeå University. More than 36% of the funding to Umeå will UCMR /MIMS PIs receive for the following projects:

  • Niklas Arnberg, SEK 7.6 million for his project "Viral gastroenteritis: Models, molecules and mechanisms" (funding period 2020-2023)
  • Gemma Atkinson, SEK 3.6 million for her project "Molecular evolution, epidemiology and mechanism of ABCF-mediated antibiotic resistance" (funding period 2020-2022)
  • Jonas Barandun, SEK 6.6 million starting grant for his project "A molecular movie of ribosome biogenesis in Mycobacteria" (funding period 2020-2023)
  • Anders Hofer, SEK 2.4 million for his project "Drug development against human pathogens, which are dependent on nucleotides from the host organism" (pfunding period 2020-2022)
  • Vicky Shingler, SEK 3.6 million for her project "Control and disarming of the Type VI Nano Machine" (funding period 2020-2022)
  • Bernt Eric Uhlin, SEK 3.6 million for his project "Bacterial fitness mechanisms of the versatile pathogenic variants of Escherichia coli and the emerging opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii" (funding period 2020-2022)

In total the Swedish Research council funded 254 projects with in total almost SEK 1.1 billion.

For more information, read the Grant Decision for Medicine and Health 2019 on the website of the Swedish Research Council.

A miniaturized version of the eukaryotic ribosome found in microsporidia

190722 Illustration Mikrosporidium Ribosom Jonas Barandun only structureA research team lead by MIMS/SciLifeLab research group leader Jonas Barandun uses cryo-electron microscopy to provide near atomic details of the smallest known eukaryotic cytoplasmic protein synthesis machine, the microsporidian ribosome.

Jonas Baranun 1000150 years ago, the European silk industry was threatened by an unknown epidemic killing the silkworms. At that time, Louis Pasteur was able to identify the source of infection and made important suggestions for treatment. The silk production in Europe survived. Today, a microsporidian parasite is known as the cause of this epidemic and silk worm diseases still cause more than 100 million USD losses to the Chinese silk industry every year. Microsporidiosis is not restricted to silk worms. The diverse phylum of the microsporidia contains thousands of different species with parasites for essentially every animal. At least 14 of them can infect humans. Particularly challenged by microsporidia are not only aquacultures, sericultures and honey bee populations in which infections can wipe out entire hives, but also immunocompromised patients. Microsporidia are a risk for the environment, agriculture and human health and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently added the parasitic fungi to the list of emerging pathogens of high priority. Even if microsporidia infections are among the most common parasitic diseases in all animals, relatively little is known about their fascinating molecular life which is shaped by an accelerated evolutionary rate and extreme genome compaction.

Together with researchers from The Rockefeller University and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Jonas Barandun, new group leader at The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), publishes the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the microsporidian ribosome which visualizes the effect of extreme genome compaction on an essential molecular machine (Nature Microbiology, 22 July 2019).

Read more: A miniaturized version of the eukaryotic ribosome found in microsporidia

10 years of MIMS celebration

Group picture V9A0599[2019-06-24] It was a big surprise for both Bernt Eric Uhlin, founding director of MIMS, and the audience attending the “10 years of MIMS symposium”, when Emmanuelle Charpentier – one of the first group leaders who started a lab at MIMS -  entered the podium and gave a speech to honor Bernt Eric and MIMS.

"When people ask me what attracted me in Umea, I reply that MIMS could offer me what I was looking for",  said Emmanuelle Charpentier and described the MIMS environment as follows: "an innovative model for a new research institution; freedom of research; an understanding for risky projects and an understanding that more unconventional research projects need time and focus; respect for young students and scientists; a world-class scientific education for the junior scientists; an interactive and relaxed environment where scientific discussions are always a priority; and an enjoyable community of colleagues always ready to challenge novel scientific questions".

She arrived in the morning from Berlin, where she is now the director of her own institute, the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens. Upon her request, she was not listed as a speaker to surprise her mentor Bernt Eric Uhlin, who stepped down as director of MIMS in October 2018. Oliver Billker, the new MIMS director and professor of Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics, chaired the symposium. He recently moved to Umeå from Cambridge, UK, and is currently setting up his research lab for the study of parasites of malaria.

Read more: 10 years of MIMS celebration

Göran Gustafsson Prize 2019 for Yaowen Wu

Yaowen Wu MPN Mattias Pettersson lr[2019-03-04] UCMR congratulates Yaowen Wu, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and principle investigator at UCMR to the Göran Gustafsson Prize in Molecular Biology 2019!
In the other areas of research these young scientists will be honoured: Petter Brändén (mathematics), KTH Stockholm, Anders Johansen (physics), Lund University, Björn Högberg (chemistry), Karolinska Institutet, Kristian Pietras (medicine), Lund University. Each awardee will receive  SEK 5,100 000 as research funding and a SEK 250 000 personal prize.
In its motivation, the Göran Gustafssons Stiftelsen för naturvetenskaplig och medicinsk forskning wrote in the press release publishe today, that Yaowen Wu receives the prize ”för sina innovativa molekylära studier av intracellulär transport och autofagi” (for his innovative molecular studies of intracellular transport and autophagy).

Read more: Göran Gustafsson Prize 2019 for Yaowen Wu