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The Michael Sars Centre

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The Michael Sars Centre was established in 1997 as an independent research centre, and on January 1, 2023, it was incorporated into the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bergen. As one of the first partners of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in 2003, the Michael Sars Centre serves as a national strategical asset for Norwegian marine life sciences. We aim to establish, strengthen, and leverage local, national, and international networks through specific activities, including collaborative research, joint training, and scientific exchange.

The Michael Sars Centre studies the unique molecular and cellular biology of marine organisms within the broad field of Marine Life Sciences ranging from molecular, cellular, and developmental biology to neuroscience, genomics, systems biology, and evolution. Our scientists deploy diverse and cutting-edge techniques and approaches including custom-made animal cultures, electron and light microscopy, quantitative image analysis, genome editing, and genomics, including from single cells.

Major model species include the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, the tunicates Oikopleura and Ciona and the annelid worms Malacoceros fuliginosus and Dimorphilus gyrociliatus. As of Fall 2022, three of the Michael Sars Centre animal facilities are listed in the EMBRC Norway catalog, including the Nematostella, Oikopleura, and ctenophore facilities.