Faculty of Medicine

Lund University

The right central infrastructure in order to succeed in research

2017-05-08

In addition to being a researcher and the assistant head of department at the Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö (IKVM), Professor Lena Eliasson also holds another important position – member of the faculty’s Research and Infrastructure Board.

Lena Eliasson Foto: Kennet Ruona
Lena Eliasson. Foto: Kennet Ruona

The term ‘infrastructure’ includes a number of physical and virtual forms of support which are essential to research practice. Animal facilities, libraries, high-tech lab equipment and databases with statistics and research data are a few examples.

These days, issues concerning infrastructure are considered so important that, since 2014, they have their own board, the Research and Infrastructure Board, which prepares issues and provides expertise for the faculty management and board.

ESS and MAX IV
One of the initial tasks of the board was to create structure and overview. The general knowledge of the infrastructures at the faculty has contained gaps and deficiencies, explains Lena Eliasson and continues:

“Apart from the fact that we need order and knowledge to be able to fully utilise these assets, our infrastructure is also becoming increasingly important in our external contacts, for instance, when applying for grants and when presenting Lund University in various contexts.”

The board also monitors and influences the development of national infrastructures, by preparing consultation responses and statements, among other things. Another important role concerns applications for infrastructure funding, both from within and outside the University. A further issue, of high current interest, concerns the utilisation of ESS and MAX IV for which the University has a pronounced strategy that medical research is to be one of many prominent areas.

Information campaign with a fair in the autumn

Lena Eliasson and others see a clear trend in the research community towards more sharing and development of common platforms for expensive and advanced infrastructure.

“In top level research and in leading journals, the requirements for a multifaceted and multidimensional analysis of the issues presented have increased. As a researcher, you therefore need to have access to infrastructures that are both expensive and complicated to handle on your own.”

Do you think the Government sufficiently promotes competitive infrastructures in medical research?

“There will always be important projects for which there is not enough money, but a major issue in the future, which in my opinion needs to be planned for, will be the operation and maintenance of already implemented infrastructure investments. Many infrastructures are expensive to maintain and develop.

At IKVM, the use of infrastructures is extensive and varied. Is there an issue of particular importance to us?

“We conduct extensive clinical research, and our researchers are largely dependent on infrastructure belonging to Region Skåne. We are therefore also discussing with the region how we can improve and optimise the use of infrastructures”, says Lena Eliasson.

One way to make the faculty’s infrastructures more visible has been to invest in information and communication. The compiled information is available on the faculty’s website and, after the summer, infrastructure fairs will be organised at CRC in Malmö and at BMC in Lund. In addition to presentations on infrastructure, the event will provide opportunities for establishing contact and networking with researchers and other experts in the field.

Visit the faculty’s website for more information about our infrastructure

If you would like to speak to someone at the department about infrastructure, please contact:
Lena Eliasson
040-39 11 53
070-522 54 14
lena.eliasson@med.lu.se

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