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Pieces of wood and bark

New European network on sustainable use of tree bark for wooden construction

Wooden construction is important for many European countries. Stockholm University will coordinate an ERA-NET ForestValue project that brings together partners from six European countries to develop and demonstrate sustainable technologies for the utilization of bark residues from the forest industry.


Large infrastructure grant to EMC at Stockholm university

The Electron Microscopy Center (EMC) at Stockholm University has been granted 15 MSEK by The Swedish Research Council for upgrade of the scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and soft matter sample preparation facilities.

David Drew verksam forskare vid institutionen för biokemi och biofysik har tilldelats Göran Gustafssonspris 2020 i kemi. Foto: Niklas Björling

Arrhenius plaque award 2020 to Professor David Drew

David Drew, Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Chemistry Section, has been awarded the Arrhenius plaque award for 2020. The award has been given out annually since 1960 by the Swedish Chemical Society in memory of Svante Arrhenius.

ERC logo

Stockholm University receives four ERC Advanced Grants

Four researchers at Stockholm University are awarded prestigious ERC Advanced Grants. Their areas of research are within theatre studies, neurochemistry and physics. One of them is Professor Christian Broberger at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Chemistry Section.

jordglob i händer

A new centre strengthens sustainable chemistry research

A new centre will highlight and develop research and education on sustainable chemistry at Stockholm University. The centre will also have affiliations with research outside the Chemistry Section and actors external to the university.

skott i hand

From AI to green chemistry: how Stockholm University is tackling the climate crisis

Researchers at Stockholm University are working on a wide range of challenges related to the climate crisis and creating a more sustainable future. The Local spoke to three of its experts about their work – and their hopes and concerns for the future.

In this project the researchers want to understand every detail of processes that are absolutely essential for all life.
Photo: Dan Sjöstrand

Cell powerhouses offer potential for new drugs

In this project the researchers want to understand every detail of processes that are absolutely essential for all life. An added bonus may be the development of new drugs for tuberculosis and other diseases.

Gunnar von Heijne

“Being on the Nobel Committee is probably one of the best things you can do as a Swedish researcher”

Gunnar von Heijne is one of Sweden’s most cited researchers in the field of biochemistry and is known for his research on membrane proteins. He has also been a member and chairman of the Nobel Committee for chemistry. But it all started with an enthusiastic chemistry teacher in high school.


Small wood fibers can support the next generation of sustainable insulation

Researchers from Stockholm University and their partners have shown that at higher humidity, water seeps inside the spaces of tiny nano-sized wooden fiber lattices – swelling the insulation material and stopping heat from moving through it. Known as super-insulating nanofibrillar foams, such wood-based products could replace petroleum-based ones, providing a huge step forward in sustainability for construction materials and packaging. The higher efficiency could also allow retrofitting the insulation in existing buildings without losing interior space or altering the façade.

"The most rewarding thing is to educate doctoral students – to see them grow as young researchers" 

Jozef Kowalewski started studying chemistry at the University of Warsaw in 1965. Three years later, he came to Sweden as a political refugee. Today he is professor emeritus at the department of materials and environmental chemistry. Jozef’s advice for prospective students is to be curious and eager to work in the lab.  

Astrid Gräslund

"Research at its best is to come up with something new – a connection no one knows about"

Astrid Gräslund is not only a legendary researcher in biophysics. She was also the first woman to be elected as a board member of the Nobel Foundation.

Lajban, Lars-Johan Norrby

Prof Lajban My main job as an academic teacher is to inspire students for higher studies

The need for new, young researchers will steadily increase! Therefore, study chemistry at the highest level. These are the words of Professor Emeritus Lars-Johan Norrby. After 45 years as a teacher and researcher, he tells us about exciting discoveries, why the teacher role has been the most important one, and how he was given the nickname Lajban.


Prof Bitte, I’m driven by a curiosity about nature and how it all works

She started her career as in pharmacy, learning how to manually produce pills, mix ointments and make Christmas mustard. Later, after studying genetics with the help of fruit flies, she chose to combine research in genetics and biochemistry. Meet Britt-Marie Sjöberg, the first professor of molecular biology at Stockholm University.

Mammalian complex I

Molecular structure of mammalian mitochondrial complex I reveals substrate reduction principles

The respiratory complex I is a gigantic redox-driven proton pump that initiates cellular respiration in mitochondria — the powerplants of our cells. Moreover, dysfunction of complex I has been linked to half of all human mitochondrial disorders, but the molecular mechanism remains one of the most puzzling unsolved questions of bioenergetics. Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics together scientists at The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, at the University of Cambridge, UK, have resolved the first molecular structure of the mammalian mitochondrial complex I from mouse heart with substrate-like inhibitor molecules bound in the active site. Their findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.


Stockholm Material Hub creating the future of dentistry

The Stockholm Material Hub, a Stockholm Trio collaboration, is working in collaboration with dentists and clinicians to create the next generation of materials for dental implants. The requirements for how an artificial tooth looks, functions and can be manufactured are exceedingly complex, but it seems likely that their zirconia-based materials will be the choice of the future. Read more about the collaboration headed by Professor James Shen from the Department of Material - and Environmental Chemistry.

Bild på möss

Wallenberg grant for research on aggression

How is aggression controlled in the brain and what methods can we use to influence it? These are some of the questions that Christian Broberger, professor of neurochemistry, hopes to get answers to during a five-year project that now receives SEK 20.4 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Christian Broberger, professor of neurochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Photo: Mika Neitz Pettersson

Unexpected differences between rats and mice gives new insight into the male parental brain

By making use of an unexpected species difference between rats and mice, scientists have identified a system in the brain that controls how males behave when they become fathers. A central component in this system is the hormone, prolactin, which has previously been shown to prepare the female for motherhood. The researchers were also able to control how much interest the males took in their offspring by experimental manipulations. These findings were published in the scientific journal Cell.

There are large amounts of branches and tops on the felling sites, which could be used for many useful things, including for clothing textile fabrics. Photo: Mostphotos/Kennerth Kullman.

Roots and branches will become clothes for healthcare professionals

Residues from Swedish forestry will replace cotton in the production of clothing textile fabrics for attire worn by healthcare providers, and thus reduce the climate load. This is the goal with a research project underway at Stockholm University in collaboration with Region Stockholm.

Återvinningen av laddningsbara hydridbatterier kan bli enklare med en ny metod, enligt en ny studie. Laddningsbara batterier finns av olika sorter, stora som små, och metoden är användbar för alla typer av NiMH-batterier. Foto: Paninastock/Mostphotos

New NiMH batteries perform better when made from recycled old NiMH batteries

A new method for recycling old batteries can provide better performing and cheaper rechargeable hydride batteries (NiMH) as shown in a new study by researchers at Stockholm University.

En lösning av formate tillhör de material som testats i projektet.

New solutions for cutting CO2 emissions

In order for Sweden to reach the climate target of becoming fossil-free by 2045, new, innovative solutions are required. A new project with researchers from Stockholm University will develop green catalytic methods to convert carbon dioxide into new, sustainable materials.

Schematic figure of the SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host cell. And how this could be blocked by an antibody binding the spike protein.

In silico studies towards highly specific antibodies for the novel coronavirus

A Brazilian research group together with professor Aatto Laksonen from the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University and Petru Poni Institute in Iasi have confirmed how the spike protein receptor binding domain of the new coronavirus enters the human cell. Based on these molecular insights the researchers have been able to propose more efficient binder candidates. This discovery has the potential to improve the development of a new vaccine and/or an antiviral drug. These recent findings are published in the scientific journal Virus Research.

Mats Nilsson. Photo: Eva Dalin

Mobile phone can contribute to simple virus testing

Professor Mats Nilsson at Stockholm University is leading one of the projects focusing on covid-19, which now receives funding from SciLifeLab and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The project is about developing a quick and easy test for viruses, where the mobile phone can become an important tool.

Kristallina strukturer

New crystalline calcium phosphate may lead to innovative biomedical applications

Researchers at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry have discoverad a novel crystalline member of the calcium orthophosphate mineral family. This is an important class of biominerals for humans as it is an essential constituent of bone and tooth enamel. The discovery may result in new biomedical applications and improve the understanding of the biomineralization processes. The discovery was published in Nature Communications.

Forskare vid institutionen för material- och miljökemi står bakom projektet Stockholm Material Hub.

Research funding for Stockholm Material Hub

We congratulate James Shen, Aji Mathew and Mirva Eriksson who received research funding from the Stockholm region for regional development. They are awarded funding for the Stockholm Material Hub project.

Martin Högbom

Biochemist at Stockholm University new member of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Professor Martin Högbom, at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has become one of six new members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. "I was surprised and, of course, very happy when I got the message. KVA is a key player in strengthening the role of science in society, which is more important than ever," says Martin Högbom.


Professor Ulrich Häussermann awarded the Röntgen-Ångström Cluster Grant 2020

The Swedish Research Council has awarded Professor Ulrich Häussermann, at the Department of Environmental and Materials Chemistry, with a grant for the project “In-situ studies of hydrogenation reactions at high pressures - a step towards new superconducting hydride materials?”. This grants is given within the X-ray-Ångström Cluster 2020.

David Drew verksam forskare vid institutionen för biokemi och biofysik har tilldelats Göran Gustafssonspris 2020 i kemi. Foto: Niklas Björling

Göran Gustafsson Prize 2020 in chemistry awarded to David Drew

The Chemistry Section congratulates David Drew, from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, for receiving the prestigious Göran Gustafsson Prize 2020 in chemistry. We also congratulate Hiranya Peiris who has been awarded the same prize in physics.

Professor Robin Rogers.
Photo: Alec Tremaine Photography

Prominent US chemists guest professors at Stockholm University

Paul Anastas and Robin D. Rogers are world-renowned for their work on developing eco-friendly chemicals. In 2019 and 2020, they hold guest professorships at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry. The two tenures highlight the university’s leading position in the field of green chemistry.

David Drew. Photo: Magnus Bergström/Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Scientists discover how malaria parasites import sugar

Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has established how sugar is taken up by the malaria parasite, a discovery with the potential to improve the development of antimalarial drugs. The research is published in the scientific journal Nature.

The molecular structure of the photosynthetic complex I protein, which is located in the thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria. The protein consists of various coupled modules, which capture electrons from the other photosynthetic proteins, pump protons across a biological membrane, and concentrate carbon dioxide. Picture: Patricia Saura.

Protein machine by which cyanobacteria concentrate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere revealed

For the first time, researchers from Stockholm University together with collaborators from Germany and Japan have solved the atomic structure of the photosynthetic complex I – the protein responsible for the carbon concentration process in the atmosphere. It is a step towards understanding how photosynthesis, the driving force behind all aerobic life on Earth, works at cellular level. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.


Mitochondrial ultrastructure facilitates ATP production in mitochondria by kinetic coupling

A new study by scientists from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics indicates how the mitochondrial ultrastructure enables efficient energy conversion. The study is published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

Xiaodong Zou, Foto: Yi Luo/Stockholms universitet

Funding of almost SEK 50 million granted to chemistry professor

The Swedish Research Council has selected the applications to be granted funding within the distinguished professor programme. One of the grants goes to Chemistry at Stockholm University.

Respiratory supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis

Finding out more about the cell’s energy factories

New opportunities for the development of drugs against tuberculosis and an increased understanding of how the cell’s energy factory works. These topics are highlighted when Martin Högbom and his research team at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics take a closer look at the energy factories in the bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis.

Martin Högbom

Ground-breaking research projects receive massive grants

We congratulate two professors at the Chemistry Section, who both received large grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for their exciting and ground-breaking research: Professor Anja-Verena Mudring and Professor Martin Högbom.

 Photo: Niklas Björling

Designing on a nanoscale for a more sustainable society

Using a 3D printer and forest waste to create new sustainable materials is one of Aji Matthew's special areas. Aji, a professor at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, has been researching nanocellulose for many years. The result is different nanomaterials with tailored properties and a clear sustainability profile.


Gunnar von Heijne

Gunnar von Heijne to receive 2020 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award

Gunnar von Heijne, Professor of theoretical chemistry at Stockholm University and Director of the SciLifeLab National Cryo-EM Facility, has been named the recipient of the The Biophysical Society’s 2020 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award.



Building Xbrane Biopharma

On the Nature Bioengineering Community webpage Xbrane's co-founder Jan-Wilem de Gier tells how in 2007 Xbrane was conceived at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and how it matured into a biosimilar developer.

Micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction

First new protein structure solved using micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction

In collaboration with scientists at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, the Högbom laboratory at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has solved a new protein structure using a method called micro-crystal 3D electron diffraction, MicroED.


SciLifeLab, Stockholm University and AstraZeneca use cryo-EM to advance biomedicine

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics/SciLifeLab Fellow Alexey Amunts and his team in collaboration with AstraZeneca unravel the molecular details of the extracellular region of the receptor tyrosine kinase RET involved in cell signalling.

New microscope finally in place

New microscope finally in place

After almost five years and major renovations in the Arrhenius Laboratory, the University’s new electron microscope is finally in place.


Versatile solvents offer hope for greener chemistry

Recycling of electronic scrap, lubricants for electric vehicles and perhaps eventually more energy-efficient light sources. Ionic liquids are versatile solvents with a number of promising applications. For Professor Anja Mudring and other chemists, ionic liquids present an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable society.