Nordic countries combine to create three centres of excellence in molecular medicine

June 14, 2004

Brussels, 11 Jun 2004

Three new Nordic centres of excellence in the field of molecular medicine are to be established with a combined investment of six million euro, and will explore diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, epilepsy and cancer.

The announcement was made on 9 June by the initiators and investors of the programme - the joint committee of the Nordic medical research councils, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Nordic academy of advanced study. The finances are being made available through the joint committee's 'Nordic centre of excellence programme in molecular medicine'.

The main role of the centres of excellence will be to promote researcher mobility, carry out educational activities, and encourage the exchange of information between Nordic research teams. While the centres will cover different topics and adopt varying approaches, they will share a common goal: to expand the molecular and genetic knowledge of these common diseases.

In a statement, the joint committee said: 'Molecular medicine is a research field where the Nordic countries have a unique advantage, with assets such as extensive and reliable patient and epidemiological registries, biobanks, uniform high level health care systems, as well as a strong tradition in genetic and biomedical research.

'Increased collaboration between the countries represents a joining of forces, contributing to an efficient use of Nordic resources in order to increase the scientific quality and extent of Nordic research, [making] it more visible and attractive,' the statement added.

The three centres are:
- the Nordic centre of excellence in water imbalance related disorders (WIRED) based in Oslo, Norway, comprising four research teams from Norway, Sweden and Denmark;
- the Nordic centre of excellence in neurodegeneration based in Lund, Sweden, made up of 12 teams from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway;
- the Nordic centre of excellence in disease genetics (NoNEDG) based in Helsinki, Finland, consisting of six research teams from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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