New money strengthens the Swedish bioinformatics infrastructure

Published: 2014-10-29


The bioinformatics platform at SciLifeLab is expanding widely during 2015, not only in the Stockholm-Uppsala region but also to other universities. Thanks to extensive new funding a total of 12 new bioinformaticians will be recruited and a mentor program for PhD students will be launched.

Swedish life sciences are expanding and generating data is becoming increasingly cheaper and faster while the need for handling and analyzing it is increasing. To meet this need of bioinformatics effort, the national bioinformatics infrastructure at SciLifeLab is now expanding with a total of 12 new bioinformatician positions to be opened before Christmas.

“We are determined to provide world-class bioinformatics support to the Swedish research community, and we expect to continue to grow and improve over the coming years. Bioinformatics is a natural part of the ecosystem of a center like SciLifeLab, often providing a crucial link between the generation of the data and the scientific insight.” says Björn Nystedt at the bioinformatics platform at SciLifeLab.

Eight of the upcoming positions are financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, KAW, and can be placed at universities outside Stockholm and Uppsala.

“We already provide a truly national infrastructure in bioinformatics support, and these new recruitments will manifest this even further. We will build a greater momentum for bioinformatics support, which also will allow for increased interactions with the other support infrastructures at SciLifeLab.” says Thomas Svensson at the bioinformatics platform.

Another four appointments will be financed by the SciLifeLab national budget and will be recruited in collaboration with Chalmers and will be placed in Stockholm or in Gothenburg.

“To be able to make these recruitments is extremely encouraging. We will now be able to open a track specifically aimed at integrative analyses of complex data sets, where we will be part of the selected projects for an even longer period of time.” says Thomas Svensson.

In connection to the physical expansion, the bioinformatics platform will also launch a mentor program next year where the participants will get a senior bioinformatician as a personal advisor for up to two years of their PhD studies. The aim is to give PhD students the technical feedback and advice they need to develop and stay competitive in their fields. All PhD students enrolled at a Swedish university are welcome to apply to the program.

“We believe that getting regular feedback and advice from an experienced bioinformatician over an extensive period of time is an excellent way to learn how to make use of large-scale biological and medical data. As a bonus, students of the program will get a very valuable network of scientists and bioinformatics staff across Sweden.” says Björn Nystedt.

The advisory program is a joint effort by SciLifeLab and Bioinformatics Infrastructure for Life Sciences, BILS, and falls within their current funding for bioinformatics support by the Swedish Research Council, KAW, SciLifeLab and others.