“We are very pleased to welcome Olli Kallioniemi as SciLifeLab’s new Director.” said Göran Sandberg, chair of the SciLifeLab board. “Olli Kallioniemi has demonstrated leadership, scientific excellence and vision, both as a researcher and as an advocate of bringing the benefits of molecular medicine to patients.”
Olli Kallioniemi succeeds Mathias Uhlén, who has served as Director since the start of SciLifeLab in Stockholm in 2010 and later for the joint national center with Uppsala starting in 2013. The co-Director of the national center, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, will remain in this position.
“The fast establishment of SciLifeLab as a national infrastructure for molecular bioscience with about 1 000 researchers has shown the power of strategic collaborations between Swedish universities. I am truly delighted that Olli Kallioniemi will lead the center into the next phase” Mathias Uhlén said.
Olli Kallioniemi became the first Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki in 2007 and has overseen the rapid growth of the institute to a nationally and internationally leading and well-known organization, and the Finnish part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. After receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Tampere, Finland, he continued his career at UC San Francisco and was appointed faculty at the National Human Genome Research Institute, at the NIH, USA. Subsequently, he founded and developed the Medical Biotechnology group at the University of Turku, together with the VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland. His research spans cancer biology and genomics, molecular pathology and translational research, high-throughput technology development and data analysis. He is also a strong propagator for P4 medicine: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory health care.
“It is an exciting opportunity to start as Director for SciLifeLab. I look forward to working with the entire staff and stakeholders of the center to develop new opportunities for science and novel enabling technologies. An excellent base has already been established and will be built on to take SciLifeLab to the absolute global front-line in several fields of life science. There are also many new opportunities for collaborations, both locally in Sweden and internationally”.
Olli Kallioniemi will join SciLifeLab as a professor at Karolinska Institutet and continue as a part-time Research Director at FIMM. In addition, FIMM and SciLifeLab intend to start a close collaboration in infrastructure services as well as in joint research programs to enable new possibilities for both institutes, the participating Universities and the two countries.