At Karolinska Institutet (KI) doctoral training is given within the frameworks of Graduate Education Programs issued by the KI Board of Higher Education. One of these is the Postgraduate Programme in Biology of Infections and Global Health Programme (BIGH). Infection biology research and education at KI is conducted at two campuses, and in multiple hospitals in the Stockholm region. BIGH acts as an embracing organization performing strategic research education planning and supporting graduate education within KI, however as such is not bound to a specific department or clinic. The Program is steered by a Management Board consisting of representatives from different nodes of KI and of partner organizations, such as Karolinska University Hospital and the Swedish Institute; Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center located at KI Solna Campus (www.medicalnanoscience.se), ensuring that basic as well as clinical infection biology sciences are represented.
The Program runs basic mandatory courses (e.g. “Cellular and Molecular Infection Biology”; “Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases”), as well as more specialized, teacher initiated, courses like “Infections in the Tropics” and “Global Malaria Eradication”. Further, the Program supports workshops, symposia, seminar series and a yearly Graduate Education Retreat open for all who feel associated with the program. In addition the program funds a student initiated and student driven retreat, allowing graduate students themselves to present progress in their research projects to peers. A highly qualified faculty of teachers, enabling an in-depth graduate education in various fields of infection biology, supports the Program.
In addition to the activities given within the Program, the aim is to have a close interaction with related KI Graduate Education Programs, such as Inflammation/Immunology, Tumor Biology and Oncology, and Allergy, Immunology and Inflammation. Several teachers within the Program are actively engaged in international graduate education efforts, such as the EIMID (European Institute of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases). Apart from KI, this “know-all” Institute includes Imperial College (London), Institute Pasteur (Paris), Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (Berlin), University of Oxford and Novartis GSK (Siena). Another initiative is the International Research Training Group (IRTG 1273). The Program is also involved in joint research education activities, such as between KI and the University of Helsinki, Makerere University and National University of Singapore.
At Stockholm University, the Department of Molecular Biosciences has a strong research profile area of Infection- and Immunobiology. The research projects involve microbial pathogenesis and host response, molecular and chemical biology, sepsis and meningitis, parasites, adaptive and innate immunity, viral infection and alternative treatments of bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Researchers have access to a state of the art imaging equipment, cell analysis and experimental core facilities. At the department, around 55 PhD students cover three different profile areas: Infection and Immunobiology, Integrative Biology and Molecular Cell Biology. Annual workshops, seminar series and student-driven retreats enable graduate students to present progress in their research projects.
The researchers at Stockholm University strive to address fundamental biological problems. The overall aim is to identify and characterize, at the molecular level, components and processes that participate in host-microbe and host-parasite interactions, as well as cellular interactions within the host and interactions between microbes, and to investigate how these processes influence the organism as a whole.