Computational Biology in Nordics
We provide here a brief walkthrough to past and current directions of computational biology field across Nordic countries. In addition, we highlight some important organisations. Are there milestones or researchers that you think we should mention? Let us know, and we will consider updating the page with new or revised information.
Computational Biology in Sweden
Sweden has long been a significant contributor of world-class research with a relatively large portion of the country’s economy assigned to research and development (R&D) and continues to remain at the forefront of many scientific fields. In the field of computational biology, the landscape has until quite recently (late 2000s) been scattered, which is understandable considering the short history of the field. Nonetheless, important work has been done early on in Sweden.
Noteworthy contributions to bioinformatics research include the thorough work of Gunnar von Heijne, which resulted in books and softwares that have been pivotal for the golden standard sequence analysis algorithms of today. Another significant contribution to the genomic field was by Siv Andersson, who contributed to the release of the first-ever genome sequence of a gram-negative bacteria (Rickettsia prowazekii) in 1997.
Computational Biology in Denmark
Bioinformatics has a long tradition in Denmark, both at the academic level and in its world-leading biotechnology industry. It got its start in the early 90's with pioneers such as Anders Krogh and Søren Brunak at the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis.
Danish bioinformatics is particularly strong in fields such as genomics, immunological bioinformatics, microbiomics, and translational bioinformatics. Computational biology field in Denmark is developed through interactions between academia and industry. Academic research often quickly finds its way to industry in a variety of ways, whether it is through joint projects or as a new spinoff company. Conversely, industry foundations such as the Novo Nordisk Foundation fund groundbreaking fundamental research at universities, and there is a long-standing culture of collaborative positions, such as industrial PhD programmes, student assistant jobs, and more.