Founder of BioLamina: Karl Tryggvason


A lifetime of research

BioLamina is built on a solid scientific foundation and our products are based on research performed by Professor Karl Tryggvason, a world leader in the field of basal lamina (basement membrane) research. He is interested in understanding the roles of the basal lamina in normal biology and development, its role in human diseases how its proteins such as laminins can find applications. Having cloned most of the human laminin chains, his experience, methods, and know-how for production and purification of complex matrix proteins are unparalleled.

This knowledge has been transferred to BioLamina as a direct consequence of requests of scientists around the world to test the various unique human recombinant laminins in their laboratories for answering specific research questions. Due to a large number of requests, it became obvious that it was impossible for a research laboratory to fulfill the human recombinant laminin need of the world’s research community. Therefore, Karl co-founded BioLamina with his son Dr. Kristian Tryggvason in 2008 since he believes these tools are a necessity for biologically relevant cell biology research and applications.

Karl is a native of Iceland, which has formed the basis of his personality. Raised on an island with darkness half of the year and with an average temperature just above freezing both winter and summer makes people stubborn, strong and ready to take on any challenge. Ambitious as he is, he left Iceland already after high school to study medicine. Only a year later he got fascinated about science and started working on his Ph.D. on extracellular proteins.

Medicine was rapidly left behind when solving scientific problems became his passion. However, the doctor in him has always coupled his scientific questions with medical problems. He has, for instance, solved the genetic causes of two kidney diseases, one type of muscular dystrophy and a severe skin blistering disease. His studies on kidney diseases helped him elucidate how the kidney filter functions. Dr. Tryggvason has stayed faithful to the extracellular matrix, but since it affects almost all organs and tissues, he has opened several new fields of research. The reason for this is partly curiosity and serendipity, but also the ability to connect the dots and not discard odd results, but use them as a stepping stone to solving novel problems.

Part of Dr. Tryggvason’s success in science is the ability to see the big picture while at the same time be very detail-oriented. Everything he does, he does well and demands that of others. With his research group of hungry and talented scientists, he has always been at the forefront of using new techniques that have given him an edge to solving novel problems.

Karl Tryggvason

Current appointment
2013- Tanato Professor of Diabetes Research, Duke-NUS, Singapore
2017- Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
1994- Professor at Division of Matrix Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Education
1975 MD, University of Oulu, Finland
1977 Ph.D., Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland

Scientific awards
Icelandic Science Foundation, award
Kaitera Prize, Finland, 1995;
Anders Jahre Prize in Medicine, Oslo, Norway, 1998; Honorary Professor, Beijing Medical University, 1999; Homer -Smith Award, American Society of Nephrology, 2000; Honorary Doctor, University of Iceland, 2001; Louis -Jeantet Prize in Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, 2002;
Nils Alwall Prize, International Society of Blood Purification, 2009.

Entrepreneurship
Co-founder, BioStratum Inc, USA, 1994;
Co-founder, NephroGenex Inc, USA, 2007;
Founder, BioLamina AB, Sweden, 2008;
Co -founder, ScaraTech Medical AB, Sweden, 2011.

In numbers
150+ talk and keynote speaker invitations to international conferences
42+ supervised PhD theses
300+ articles, many of them in top-tier publications like Nature, Science, and Cell
50 000+ citations, one of the most cited scientists at the Karolinska Institute
122 H-index
75+ review articles and book chapters
30+ patents

“The laminins are transforming cell biology. For millions of years, nature has developed laminins for cell adhesion and for providing outside-in signals that support phenotypes and cell survival. By using biologically relevant laminins in cell culture matrices one can create proper cell culture niches for better science and clinical translation.”

Prof. Karl Tryggvason

Founder of BioLamina