International conference highlights tuberculosis in the Baltic Sea region


Two days in June, researchers and medical professionals from all the Baltic Sea countries gather in Visby at the conference Tuberculosis in the Baltic region • Moving into a new era: An international effort to stop the accelerating spread of the tubercle bacteria in the area.

Ulrika Simonsson, Uppsala universitet, och Christoph Lange, Research Center Borstel
Ulrika Simonsson, Uppsala University, and Christoph Lange, Research Center Borstel

Tuberculosis is once more on the rise and is today, according to the UN, one of the ten greatest threats to humanity. Increasing antimicrobial resistance and ongoing migration are tearing down previous geographical barriers, and 19-20 June, international expertise will gather on Gotland to discuss existing methods and future strategies to handle the threat that has rapidly become a reality throughout the entire Baltic Sea region.

Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics
Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics

“The accelerating spread of the tubercle bacteria, partly a result of the war in Ukraine, puts us in a position where we must mobilise all available expertise to strengthen both prevention and treatment. The fact that we are now gathering representatives of all the Baltic Sea countries - Russia excepted - for talks gives us a unique opportunity to accumulate and spread knowledge, hopefully far beyond our own region,” says Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics at Uppsala University.

At the conference, a selection of leading researchers and medical professionals will give current reports from science and healthcare. Also present in Visby is Andreas Diacon, Professor and Scientific leader at TASK - the international research institute with a focus on clinical trials that is currently preparing a node in Europe - and Askar Yedilbayev, TB Unit Lead at WHO Region Europe and a potential link between the meeting on Gotland and WHO's recommendations for interventions against tuberculosis. The list of participants also includes a delegation from Research Center Borstel.

“In our ongoing collaboration with Professor Ulrika Simonsson's team within the framework of UNITE4TB - an IMI initiative to develop new tools against tuberculosis - we have identified sizeable common ground. Not least the strong commitment to research education that characterizes both Uppsala University and Research Center Borstel, which we choose to give a prominent position at this summer's meeting,” says Christoph Lange, Professor of Infectious diseases and Co-organiser of the conference's scientific program.

On the opening day, six selected junior researchers will present their ongoing projects with generous opportunities to build new networks at the conference dinner at Hotel Strand. The ambition is to identify a sustainable and common direction forward, and the interest in participating is significant. Already in late May, the conference was fully booked with an extensive waiting list.

The conference takes place in the heart of the Baltic Sea region
Visby is located at the center of the Baltic Sea region

“It is fantastic that Uppsala University can contribute at the highest international level to this urgent challenge. And the fact that so many participants prioritise going to Visby - which has an important symbolic value but is a bit off the main road - confirms the subject’s relevance and that we deliver a strong program. If this conference turns out the way we hope, it might very well be the beginning of a new tradition,” states Albin Tranberg, Research assistant at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.


  • Tuberculosis in the Baltic region • Moving into a new era is arranged by Uppsala University in collaboration with Research Center Borstel, Germany.
  • The conference takes place 19–20 June 2023 in Visby, Gotland



Ulrika Simonsson, Professor
Uppsala University

SilhuettAlbin Tranberg, Research Assistant
Uppsala University

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt, Research Center Borstel

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Last modified: 2024-04-04