Karolinska Institutet has received a grant of SEK100 million (€10.5 million) from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to fund a regenerative medicine research centre, the Wallenberg Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WIRM). The money gives the Karolinska an opportunity to carry out new and pioneering research, with a special focus on the regenerative potential of bone marrow stem cells.
“The establishment of WIRM represents a unique opportunity to bring Karolinska Institutet’s internationally leading basic research and clinical research together at a completely new centre. It will make it possible to address research issues we currently lack the resources to tackle,” said Urban Lendahl, the centre’s Scientific Director.
Growing knowledge of stem cells and the advance of regenerative medicine has opened up completely new avenues for the treatment of a number of diseases. Research at WIRM will cover a range therapies, but will focus in particular on the blood system and the continued development of bone marrow transplantation.
“It’s tremendously pleasing and flattering that the bicentenary of Karolinska Institutet is being marked with this generous research grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The grant opens up fantastic opportunities for us to pursue pioneering research at the very highest international level in these extremely important areas,” Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, the President of the Karolinska.
The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, one of the largest funders of research in Sweden, was established on 19 December 1917, when the Wallenbergs endowed it with SEK 20 million (€2 million). Knut and Alice Wallenberg continued to build up the Foundation through a series of donations over three decades, gradually transferring the greater part of their assets to the Foundation. The principal purpose of the Foundation is to promote scientific research, teaching and education of benefit to Sweden.