prof. Mikael Kubista, PhD
I have been interested in life sciences for as long as I can remember. I studied chemistry at University of Göteborg, Sweden, and obtained B.Sc. in chemistry in 1984. I then worked at Astra Hässle (today part of AstraZeneca), studying the K+/H+-ATPase inhibitor omeprazole, which became the then most sold pharmaceutical drug under the trade names of Losec (Prilosec in US) and Nexium, and is used to treat ulcer. I returned to academia joining Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg and received in 1986 Technology Licentiate in Chemistry and in 1988 PhD in physical chemistry on studies of nucleic acid interactions with polarized light spectroscopy. I did my first postdoc at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, on transcriptional foot-printing, and my second postdoc at Yale University, New Haven, USA where I studied chromatin and epigenetic modulation of nucleosomes. Returning to Gothenburg in 1991 I started my own research group studying DNA-ligand interactions and elucidated some critical details about the RecA catalyzed strand exchange process, which led to the establishment of the current model of DNA strand exchange in homologous recombination. We also discovered a novel mechanism of transcriptional activation of oncogenes, which led to the development of a new class of anticancer drugs that target specific quadruplex DNA structures. We developed methods for multidimensional data analysis based on which MultiD Analyses AB was founded, and we invented the light-up probes for nucleic acid detection in homogeneous solution, which led to the foundation of LightUp Technologies AB as Europe´s first company focusing on quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) based diagnostics. In 2001 I set up the TATAA Biocenter as center of excellence in qPCR and gene expression analysis with locations in Gothenburg, Sweden, Prague, Czech Republic, and Saarbrücken, Germany. TATAA Biocenter is the largest provider of qPCR training globally, and Europe´s largest provider of qPCR services. It was the first laboratory in Europe to obtain flexible ISO 17025 certification and was presented the Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership as Best-in-Class Services for Analyzing Genetic Material in 2013. I also coauthored the MIQE guidelines for RT-qPCR analysis, which receives an average of 25 citations per week, and I am member of the CEN/ISO group drafting guidelines for the pre-analytical process in molecular diagnostics.