Sten Linnarsson, researcher at SciLifeLab and professor of molecular systems biology at Karolinska Institutet, is studying the development of the human brain. Now, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is awarding him this year’s Torsten Söderberg Academy Professorial Chair in Medicine for his work on establishing a detailed map of the human brain. The grant consists of SEK ten million over a five-year period.
Much of the human brain is still a mystery – we don’t know exactly how the brain works, how it causes our behaviors and how it evolves from the fertilized egg. Sten Linnarsson’s (SciLifeLab/Karolinska Institutet) group has previously studied the brain development of mice.
“We are now looking at the human brain development instead, which is much harder. With the help of new methods, we are able to take a cell and measure its genetic activity. We then try to understand how the cells change and mature”, says Sten Linnarsson in a press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Receiving the award will have great impact on future ventures, according to Sten Linnarsson.
“This is the best type of grant, as it gives us a great amount of freedom to set the direction for our own research. One of the things that we want to do in the future is to use microscopy to study a small excision, a piece of tissue, from the brain and monitor how the cells mature, move and interact over a certain period of time. In order to do that, we need special equipment that we do not have today”, he says in the press release.