Unga Akademien 2014

Photo: Markus Marcetic/SUA

About Erik's research

My research focuses on that, with help from genetic information and experimental structures, model properties and dynamics in biological macromolecules such as proteins and cell membranes. My work has resulted in one of the world's most spread programs for biomolecular modelling (Gromacs), which is used for distributed calculations in the Folding@Home project. My research group has made important discoveries concerning how proteins are placed in cell membranes, how ion channels are opened and closed, and how the virus infects cells by fusion with cell membranes. The development of computation methods for biomolecules has as a link between theory and experiment led to breakthroughs in applications, for example within the pharmaceutical industry.

In brief

Born: 1972
Family: Married to Camilla Lindahl, three children: Andrea (12), Markus & Maria (twins, both 8).
Interests: Somewhere between the time I spend on research and with my family, I occasionally find some time for sailing, especially long-distance sailing, and after many years, I am still childishly fond of photography. Wine tasting is a big interest in everyday life, and one advantage of traveling a lot is that sometimes you get the opportunity to visit vineyards all over the world!
Other: I am not just a theoretical researcher, but I have a great interest in engineering and I like to dismantle an engine to repair it. In fact, I have a driver's license as a cinema projectionist since my time at Lunds student film studio, and I can still operate a 35mm Zeiss projector with a Xenon lamp!

I am passionate about Swedish universities becoming better at mobility and recruitment. Sweden has plenty of very good research, but we have a huge problem in that most universities primarily hire their own doctors instead of attracting foreign researchers with new experiences, new ideas, and new research areas. This nepotism repeats itself on many more levels than we think: we mainly appoint managers from loyal servants instead of recruiting someone from outside who wants to change the status quo, and in the end, most Swedish university rectors have a doctorate at their own university and have followed a long administrative path instead of being world-leading researchers.
The Young Academy of Sweden provides a platform to push these ideas and try to shape a more competitive academy based on the needs of research!

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