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NGI gets new director

Tuuli Lappalainen.
Foto: Christian Lönnholm/Camilla Breiler, KTH
Published Feb 04, 2021

KTH Royal Institute of Technology and National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) at SciLifeLab recruits genetics researcher Tuuli Lappalainen from the New York Genome Center as new director for NGI.

"I am excited. The scientific community over there is fantastic - at SciLifeLab and KTH and at the department. There is really top notch science going on in genomics and genetics and fantastic methods and technology developed that are thriving the field forward. There is also a larger scientific community that is exciting" says Tuuli Lappalainen.

When she assumes office on May 15, Tuuli Lappalainen will also become a professor at the KTH School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health.

NGI is a collaboration between KTH, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. The research infrastructure is one of Europe’s foremost within its field and provides researchers the possibility of mapping genetic information in all organisms through DNA sequencing.

"I am thrilled that we have managed to attract Tuuli Lappalainen to Sweden. She is very eminent within her field of genetics and comes with excellence in an area of competence that we are lacking at KTH today" says Joakim Lundeberg, professor in Gene Technology and current director of NGI.

Currently at the New York Genome Center

Tuuli Lappalainen comes from leading a research lab at the New York Genome Center and is also an associate professor at the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University. Her research focuses on genetic variation in human populations. The aim is to discover how genetic differences among people contribute to differences in traits and disease risk and to map the cellular mechanisms that mediate these associations.

Genetic research is a big trend in pharmaceutical industry, both to develop potential drug targets and to gain a fundamental understanding of molecular mechanisms of disease and the correlation between environment and genetics. Tuuli Lappalainen is an experienced researcher with several publications in scientific journals such as Nature and Science. Besides doing research in her own lab, she has collaborated internationally with a vast field of researchers and has had a major role in several large, international research consortia. She will be keeping her connection with the New York Genome Center by continuing as an associate faculty member.

"For me, the combination of being a professor, running a research lab, doing academic research and also running NGI is a way of contributing to the academic world and also providing top notch resources for especially the Swedish genomics community" says Tuuli Lappalainen.

Text: Sabina Fabrizi