Published: 04-05-2012 00:00 | Updated: 18-02-2014 14:19

New Summer Research School in nanomedicine

This summer, the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet will be launching a summer research school in nanomedicine together with Peking University and Japan's RIKEN Brain Science Institute and Keio University.

Research students will be studying, amongst other topics, how conductive plastics, or polymers, can be used to understand and control neural communication, and how nanoparticles can be used for the pinpoint delivery of chemical substances in the body. All this can be studied visually in nanomedicine, which makes different microbiological events visible and measureable.

"This course is a natural consequence of our intensive participation in strong, international research networks, each with its own take on nanomedicine," says Professor Agneta Richter-Dahlfors, head of the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Centre at Karolinska Institutet.

The universities will take turns hosting the summer research school. This year, from Aug 30-July 23, the course is held at Keio University, but all the participants and lecturers will come from all four universities. Each year, as the role of host rotates, focus will be turned to a new medical field; this year, it is neuroscience.

"We believe that this partnership will promote nanomedical research at Karolinska Institutet," says Professor Richter-Dahlfors. "This young subject field is based on a new interdisciplinary approach. Doctoral students will learn to analyse their research from other angles than those theyre used to, and the interdisciplinary group will bring new perspectives on the problems."

The course has a somewhat unconventional design. After a week of back-to-back lectures, the Swedish and Chinese students will remain in Tokyo to spend three weeks working alongside a personal host doctoral student from Keio University.

"We hope that in giving our students just the right amount of exposure to new research environments and cultures, we'll inspire more of them to consider taking their postdoc education at universities in Japan and China," continues Professor Richter-Dahlfors, who is also scientific coordinator for Karolinska Institutet's collaboration with Japan. And Karolinska Institutet will similarly benefit when we take on the role of host next year."