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Advancing the development of life-saving drugs for cardiovascular diseases

Umeå University


Umeå University will apply advanced in vivo and ex vivo imaging modalities to the various animal models developed in WP2 (Target validation – in vitro and in vivo models).

Umeå University has over 36,000 students and 4000 employees including 365 full professors at four faculties. Based on several different evaluations of science and education, Umeå University is ranked as the fifth university in Sweden. In the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings Umeå University was ranked between 201 and 225 out of all global universities. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) started a joint venture in 2007 called the Nordic EMBL partnership for Molecular Medicine where Umeå University is the Swedish partner. The Olivecrona research group has been active at the Medical Faculty for more than four decades and has provided world-leading science in the field of blood lipid metabolism. The group consists of 6-8 researchers and focuses on triglyceride transport and the rate-limiting enzyme lipoprotein lipase in relation to metabolic disease. Possibilities to boast the function of the enzyme are presently investigated for development of new drugs.

The group has started breading of established murine models that closely mimic human disease, e.g. the ApoE3L:CETP model. Umeå University has recently opened a state of the art animal facility with core technologies that allow performance of cutting edge research with both basic and translational scientific value. The Olivecrona group is located in the building for translational research close to the University hospital and with good connections to several groups in clinical science, e.g. those experienced in state of the art imaging techniques on humans, ensuring translatability. Our group has been driving fund raising and acquisition of infrastructure which has been received in national competition from the Swedish Medical Research Council (PET/CT and cryo-probe MRI) to a collaborating consortium. In 2011 our group acquiring a high-frequency ultrasound equipment for small animal imaging. Together, these modalities make up the core of our national imaging small animal centre. In collaboration with other groups (Linköping University), novel methods to study oxidation products in tissue sections are under development (EPR) and methods to characterize atherosclerotic plaques (CARS).