Johan Elf has received a VR grant of 24 million SEK over 6 years to build a research environment focusing on the physical principles for genome search by means of large scale dynamic phenotyping of strain libraries. The environment also comprises the Tenje group at the Department of Engineering Sciences, who works on microfluidic solutions for cell analysis, the Kamerlin group at the Department of Cell and Molecular biology who performs MD simulations of protein-DNA interactions and the Johansson and Deindl groups at the Department of Cell and Molecular biology that are both investigating single molecule interactions and kinetics using fluorescent microscopy.
The interdisciplinary environment will build bridges between biology, engineering and physics with many potential applications throughout the life sciences. Appealing as it may sound, collaborative efforts between engineers and scientists are rare in Sweden and much is to be gained by closing the loop between technology development and fundamental research.
If successful, the technology that we are developing will make it possible to connect dynamic phenotypes to the underlying genotype for thousands of different cell strains simultaneously. This will have important applications in many areas of science including drug discovery, biotech product optimization and basic genetic research.