Three Umeå University researchers selected as Wallenberg Academy Fellows

Jonathan Klaminder, Christian Hedberg and Sjoerd Wanrooij have been selected as Wallenberg Academy Fellows at Umeå University. They are awarded grants between SEK 5 and 9 million each spread over five years from the largest single private investment in supporting young researchers in Sweden.

Wallenberg Academy Fellows is a career programme initiated by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation last year. The programme provides the top young researchers, both from Sweden and abroad, with long-term funding, thus enabling them to concentrate on their research.

"I warmly congratulate these three distinguished researchers who have become Wallenberg Academy Fellows at Umeå University," says Lena Gustafsson, vice-chancellor of Umeå University. "Thanks to this long-term investment they can concentrate on their research and thus perform the work as required to tackle the truly challenging issues."

In total, this year 33 new researchers have been selected as Wallenberg Academy Fellows. After the first period, they will have the opportunity to seek support for an additional five years of funding.

"These three appointed researchers have a significant international breadth. Jonathan Klaminder currently works at Umeå University, and demonstrates that our university is a research environment where young scientists can achieve success. Christian Hedberg is returning to Sweden from the Max Planck Institutes, the leading research organization in Germany. Sjoerd Wanrooij is originally from the Netherlands and now works at the Washington University Medical School in the U.S.. The conditions are, in other words, strong for a stimulating exchange of new and exciting ideas, says Marianne Sommarin, deputy vice-chancellor for research.

Wallenberg Academy Fellows at Umeå University

Christian Hedberg: More effective drugs against severe infections

When microorganisms infect the body, a molecular war arises between our cells and the intruders. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Christian Hedberg will closely study two such molecular battlefields, with the goal of developing drugs that can help the body win the fight.

Christian Hedberg is today a principal investigator at Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Hedberg will work at 

Jonatan Klaminder: Drug residues and acidification of watercourses affect the behavior of fish

Growing consumption of medicines combined with increasing populations means that residue of pharmaceuticals in sewage water constitutes a new, expanding group of pollutants in watercourses all over the world. At the same time these watercourses are becoming increasingly acid as a result of mounting concentrations of carbon dioxide, more and more intensive forestry and industrial emissions.

Jonatan Klaminder is today a post-doctoral research fellow at the department of ecology and environmental sciences at Umeå University and active within the Environmental and Biogeochemistry Initiative. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow he will establish a research facility to enable study of how the behavior of fish is affected by the chemical composition of water and also what impact such changes in behavior could have on the ecosystem.

Sjoerd Wanrooij: The power plant of the cell can explain aging

A small part of all human genes are localized in the mitochondria, the power plants of the cell. Scientists know less about how this mitochondrial DNA works, but damage to it has been linked to aging and disease. Sjoerd Wanrooij will chart this blank spot on the map of biological knowledge.

Sjoerd Wanrooij is today a research assistant at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri (USA).  As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Wanrooij will move to Umeå University, to the well-equipped laboratories of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, to pursue his research goals.


Umeå University


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