Nanyang Technological University

A heavyweight in the study of large molecules:
Professor Pär Nordlund


What are the secrets of a longer life? Scientists have long discovered that positive social conditions could add years to your life.

For structural biologists like Prof Pär Nordlund, a Visiting Professor at NTU's School of Biological Sciences, the secret could lie in the study of macromolecules, or "large molecules", which play a role in everything from genetic inheritance to immune system responses.

Seeking breakthroughs in the field is par for the course for Prof Nordlund, a great structural biologist of our time. He is today regarded as a leading structural genomics researcher in Europe, where he was instrumental in establishing the laboratory of the Structural Genomics Consortium (Stockholm) at Karolinska Institutet, one of Europe's most distinguished medical universities.

Another feather in his cap – receiving the prestigious Göran Gustafsson prize in chemistry from the Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2001.

Prof Nordlund is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry and several other prestigious international awards. He was among two distinguished researchers elected to the Academy's Class for Chemistry in June 2009.

Prof Nordlund is most interested in determining the key proteins in cells that can help us make sense of disease. Because no biomolecule is too small for him, he is working hard to cast light on the subject, paving the way for the development of new drugs. Prof Nordlund is well-known for his numerous efforts to improve protein production technologies.

Given his sterling credentials, Prof Nordlund was invited to set up NTU's latest initiative in structural biology. As Director of NTU's new centre for structural genomics, he helms a team of leading experts drawn from academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The centre's investigators are among a growing number of top talents from across NTU who are making cutting-edge contributions in medicine and healthcare.

Established in January 2009 at Biopolis, one of Asia's premier biomedical R&D hubs, NTU’s structural genomics centre has quickly reached its operational potential and is now home to 20 researchers engaged in the study of infectious diseases and cancer processes.

Prof Nordlund completed his PhD at the Swedish University of Agriculture and his Master of Science at Uppsala University, Sweden. In 2004, he joined Karolinska Institutet in Sweden where he currently heads the Division of Biophysics at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.

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