Nordic EMBL partnership for Molecular Medicine

FIMM is characterized first and foremost by its partnership with the flagship of European biosciences research, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine is a unique network of excellent national research centers with complementary research expertise. The centers combine the longstanding tradition of basic and translational molecular medicine in the Nordic countries, with the research infrastructure, core principles and governance and operational models of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The EMBL is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences, and is one of the world’s leading research institutions.


The Nordic EMBL Partnership was initiated as a collaboration (2008-2012) between the EMBL and FIMM at the University of Helsinki (Finland), MIMS at Umeå University (Sweden) and NCMM at the University of Oslo (Norway). The initiation involved the establishment of national partnership nodes in the three countries. The impact and success of the Nordic EMBL Partnership was formally recognized in 2013 with the signing of a renewed partnership agreement for an extended period of 10 years (2013-2023). 

The Nordic EMBL Partnership expanded in 2013 when the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE) at Aarhus University in Denmark became the Danish node. The Partnership now consists of four Nordic research centres, with around 63 Group and Team Leaders and 600 researchers and staff. 

A strong partnership with complementary strenghts

The Nordic EMBL Partnership strives to retain and attract the very best international research talent, through providing an excellent research environment for young, talented researchers with the aim that they will continue their scientific careers in one of the Nordic countries. The Partnership holds annual scientific meetings open to researchers at all nodes, and through this, provides networking and collaborative research opportunities.

By extending the EMBL’s recognized research strengths in areas such as cell biology and biophysics, developmental biology, genome biology and bioinformatics and structural biology; the individual nodes of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine contribute the following complementary strengths:

  • DANDRITE: Molecular and translational neuroscience
  • FIMM: Human genomics, systems and precision medicine
  • MIMS: Microbial pathogenicity and molecular infection medicine
  • NCMM: Molecular mechanisms of disease

All nodes are nationally funded and further supported by the EMBL, through access to scientific infrastructure, services and training. 

Each Nordic partner has adopted the EMBL model for international recruitment, staff turnover and scientific reviews. The coordination between the Nordic nodes and EMBL is overseen by a steering committee, constituted by representatives from each node.

Stats and facts

As of 2018, the Nordic EMBL Partnership consisted of 63 group and team leaders, of which 27 group leaders have been recruited according to the EMBL model. 

  • In total, over 600 researchers and staff are now employed across the Partnership. 
  • Research groups within the Partnership broadly focus on molecular medicine research, which spans fields that include amongst others, cancer, molecular infection medicine, translational neuroscience, genomics, precision medicine, bioinformatics, systems medicine, structural biology, and drug discovery. 
  • Staff and researchers at the Partnership consist of over 60 different nationalities from all over the world.
  • In 2018, the Nordic EMBL Partnership had funding of around 50million Euros across the four sites, raised through core and extramural funding.