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Published: 25 Oct, 2017

Seminar in Washington with five Swedish universities

NEWS Cancer, sustainability and migration are emphasised during the seminar: Research and innovation addressing societal challenges, held at the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. on 26 October. Five Swedish universities will participate, including Umeå University.

The aim of the seminar is to highlight research and education conducted at the Swedish higher education institutions.

An alumni reception and a conference for teachers and researchers in Swedish and Scandinavian studies in North America, is also organised during the week.

“Having the seminar, alumni reception and the conference for teachers and researchers in the same week is fantastic. The events together showcase part of the education and research carried out at our universities. I hope that the day will lead to possibilities for future research cooperation, especially in the three focus areas, but also that project funding with researchers from both countries will be discussed”, says Ingrid Svensson, head of International Office.

Malin Sund, chief physician and professor at the Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, is Umeå University’s representative on the subject of cancer. She will highlight the biobanking initiatives in Sweden and Umeå, for example U-CAN and StratCan, but also the importance of established population-based  biobanks, for example Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, and the sub cohort Västerbotten Intervention Programme and Malmö Kost Cancer.

Malin Sund
Malin Sund
Photographer: Mattias Pettersson

“They make cancer research possible in a pre-diagnostic stage which is unique. I hope the seminar will evoke an interest for cooperation with Swedish researchers within the cancer field and that it can lead to biobanks being used to conduct cancer research that in the end improves the outcome for patients."

Malin works during her clinical hours at the breast and endocrine surgery section at Centre of Surgery, University Hospital. She has a specific interest in early diagnosis of various cancers and pancreatic cancer in particular.

“Umeå with its unique biobanks is an incredible place to conduct this type of research at. Having a small population base and a large geographical area to care for is a challenge but we also have great advantages with our biobanks, registers and close cooperation between preclinical and clinical research, and university and County Council.”

On the subject of sustainability, a panel debate will be held. Umeå University is represented by Peter Sköld, director of Arcum and professor at the Centre for Sami Research.

Other Swedish universities represented during the seminar are Uppsala University, Stockholm University, University of Gothenburg and Lund University.

Sweden Alumni Reception

All five universities have invited alumni and researchers to a joint network reception in Washington D.C. on 25 October. In addition to giving over 100 participants the opportunity to connect, two speakers have been invited, Trita Parsi, alumnus at Uppsala University and Mary Ellsberg, alumna at Umeå University.

House of Sweden
Alumni reception at House of Sweden, Washington D.C.
Photograph by: Swedish Embassy

Mary Ellsberg is the founder and director of Global Women’s Institute at George Washington University. She earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umeå University.

Umeå University also arranged an alumni meeting in New York City on 23 October.

Conference about the world of Selma Lagerlöf

On 26–28 October a conference is arranged for teachers and researchers in Swedish and Scandinavian studies in North America. Peter Lindström, associate professor at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and International contact person for the Faculty of Arts, and Susanne Haugen, associate professor at the Department of Language Studies will attend the conference and present Umeå University’s programme in Scandinavian studies.

The conference is arranged by ASTRA, the Swedish Institute and Sweden’s Embassy in Washington D.C.

For more information, please contact

Ingrid Svensson, Head of International OfficeTelephone: 070 588 10 27

Editor: Sandra Åström