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Trailblazing Research at Lund: Tackling Neuroblastoma, Immune System Mysteries, and Earth's Magnetic Field

Daniel Bexell, Joan Yuan and Andreas Nilsson. Photo: Lund University

Lund University is once again at the forefront of scientific innovation, with three of its researchers—Daniel Bexell, Joan Yuan, and Andreas Nilsson—being awarded the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant. This recognition propels them into five years of groundbreaking research on childhood cancer neuroblastoma, the intricate workings of B cells in our immune system, and the mysteries of Earth’s magnetic field.

Daniel Bexell, an accomplished figure in translational cancer research, will focus on neuroblastoma, a challenging childhood cancer. His project, named "Decode Relapse," aims to unravel the molecular complexities behind the resistance of neuroblastoma metastases to treatment. The goal is to develop innovative treatment strategies that can specifically target these resistant cancer cells, offering new hope for children afflicted with this severe form of cancer.

Joan Yuan, a luminary in immunology, will explore the uncharted territories of B cell development and its lifelong impact on our immune system. Her research, building on her previous work supported by an ERC Starting Grant, employs sophisticated mouse models to decode how early-life exposure to microbes shapes our immune response into adulthood. This study is poised to provide vital insights into the formation of the adult immune system and its implications for long-term health.

Andreas Nilsson, from the Department of Geology, embarks on a quest to understand the Earth’s weakening magnetic field. With a significant grant, his project aims to study historical analogues to our current magnetic situation. This research will delve into the Earth's core dynamics to shed light on the phenomena causing the magnetic field's diminishing strength and anomalies like the South Atlantic Anomaly, which poses a threat to satellites and potentially, life on Earth.

Concluding Insights:

The ERC Consolidator Grants to these three Lund researchers represent a monumental step in addressing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. From battling a formidable childhood cancer to unraveling the mysteries of the immune system and the planet's magnetic shield, their research holds the potential to significantly advance our understanding and ability to respond to these global challenges.

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