Lund University has been granted a supplement of approximately SEK 180 million for research in the fields of medicine and health in the coming years. This came to light when the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR) recently presented a new funding decision.
Some 40 researchers will share the SEK 180 million awarded to fo the university in the funding decision, which covers four categories: research projects, establishment grants, the employment of researchers in a clinical environment, and grants for the development of methods for the substitution, restriction and refinement of animal testing (3R).
A total of nearly SEK 1 billion was distributed in the above categories. The largest share of these funds was allocated to Karolinska Institutet, followed by the universities in Lund and Gothenburg.
“It’s gratifying to see that my colleagues at Lund University’s Faculty of Medicine really asserting themselves on the national stage. Considering our size, we are very competitive,” says Erik Renström,, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
Additional funding may be awarded to medical research at Lund University later in November and in December, when VR will announce decisions on a number of other categories.
One of the researchers who has been granted money in the current VR decision is Anders Rasmussen,, an associate senior lecturer with a focus on associative learning. A total of SEK 6 million in funding will go to his project “The Neurophysiology behind Expectations, Feedback and Surprises – towards a Brain-Based Learning Model”.
What is your background, and how does it relate to your current research?
“It’s been a long road. Before I got into brain research, I studied psychology. In my research, I link psychological learning models with neurophysiological changes in the cerebellum during simple forms of motor learning. The goal is to acquire a detailed understanding of what happens in the brain when we learn a new motor skill.”
“My research and that of others indicates that we learn a particularly great deal when our expectations are incorrect. But what does an expectation look like in the brain? By studying the cerebellum at the cellular level, I try to answer this question.”
What might be the benefits of new knowledge in this field?
“One of the fundamental goals in neuroscience is to find out exactly what happens in the brain when we learn a new behaviour – and this research may result in new insights. I’m primarily driven by curiosity about how the cerebellum works and how motor learning can be linked to neurophysiological changes in the cerebellum.”
“But I also have a research project where I study the same type of learning in children with ADHD. In the long term, I hope that my research can lead to a better understanding of ADHD. New knowledge may also be valuable in the area of strokes, for example, as those affected must often undergo long-term rehabilitation and relearn a great deal.”
What does the funding mean for you?
“It’s crucial! Now I’ll be able to spend more time on research, and I can even hire a PhD student. It will also make it possible to obtain new equipment that incorporates the latest technology.
VR has previously awarded Anders Rasmussen funding for his postdoc, which he conducted at Erasmus University Rotterdam.