About the Nordic EMBL Partnership

About us

The Nordic EMBL Partnership is a major strategic player in Europe’s molecular understanding of disease mechanisms, thanks to its complementary research expertise, outstanding research infrastructures and industry collaborations.


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 strengths

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.

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.

Representatives of the steering committee are:


  • Poul Henning Jensen, Director
  • Maria Thykær Jensen, Head of Administration


  • Janna Saarela, Director
  • Anthony Mathelier, Deputy Director
  • Ingrid Kjelsvik, Head of Office
  • Elizabeth Smethurst, Head of Research Strategy, Communication and International Relations


  • Oliver Billker, Director and Speaker
  • Anna Överby Wernstedt, Deputy Director
  • Dominik Fischer, Science Manager
  • Nóra Lehotai, Communications Officer for the Nordic EMBL Partnership, and Project and Communications Coordinator at MIMS


  • Samuli Ripatti, Director
  • Elisabeth Widen, Deputy Director
  • Mari Kaunisto, Communications Coordinator


  • Edith Heard, Director General EMBL
  • Ewan Birney, Deputy Director General EMBL & Director EMBL-EBI
  • Plamena Markova, Joint Head of Government and EU Relations