Hjalmar Brismar, Science for Life Laboratory, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
The Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) is a national infrastructure for large-scale biological and medical research with a focus on genomics, proteomics, bioimaging and bioinformatics. SciLifeLab was created by a coordinated effort from four universities in Stockholm and Uppsala and was inaugurated in 2010. The center combines advanced technical know-how and state-of-the-art equipment with a broad knowledgebase in translational medicine and technology-driven molecular bioscience.
The vision is to make SciLifeLab a competitive center for high-throughput bioscience – focusing on large-scale DNA sequencing, expression analysis, protein profiling, cellular profiling, bioimaging, advanced bioinformatics and systems biology . The SciLifeLab initiative spans four universities and two sites, one in Stockholm and one in Uppsala. It has been made possible by strategic research grants from the Swedish government.
The Stockholm site, including the Karolinska Institutet, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Stockholm University, is built around four technical platforms; genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and bioimaging. The laboratory is located to the Karolinska Institutet Campus. Currently approximately 300 researchers are active in the Stockholm site. During 2013 more space is made available and an additional 350 researchers will move into the center.
The genomics platform is based on high capacity next-generation DNA sequencing and has a throughput equal to several hundreds of complete human genomes per year. The proteomics platform includes facilities for mass spectrometry, antibody-based protein analysis and automated screening with chemical libraries and siRNA technologies.
The genomics and proteomics platforms are complemented by the bioimaging platform with facilities for advanced light microscopy, including STED and other types of super-resolution microscopy. A strategic collaboration has been established between SciLifeLab and the Human Protein Atlas project 2, providing one of the world’s largest collections of antibodies against human proteins (at present against 50 % of the human proteins). SciLifeLab is using these antibodies in a number of large-scale projects, e.g. in mapping the subcellular localization of human proteins.