Higher risk of dementia in Swedish top-division football players
Men who played football (soccer) in the Swedish top division until the mid 1900s had a higher risk of dementia than men from the general population, a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in The Lancet Public Health reports.
New technology maps where and how cells read their genome
A new study published in Nature reports that a technology known as spatial omics can be used to map simultaneously how genes are switched on and off and how they are expressed in different areas of tissues and organs. This improved technology, developed by researchers at Yale University and Karolinska Institutet, could shed light on the development of tissues, as well as on certain diseases and how to treat them.
Common cold gives children immunity against COVID-19
During the pandemic, it became clear that children who contracted COVID-19 became less ill than adults. One hypothesis has been that common colds would give children immunity protecting against a severe form of the disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet are now able to show that OC43, one of the coronaviruses that cause common colds, boosts the immune response to COVID-19. The study, which is published in PNAS, could give rise to more tailored vaccine programmes for children and adults.
Antibodies in the airways provide durable protection against SARS-CoV-2
High levels of mucosal IgA antibodies in the airways protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least eight months. A new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Danderyd Hospital raises further hope for the feasibility of future nasal vaccine platforms.
New findings on how to avert excessive weight loss from COVID-19
Losing too much weight when infected with COVID-19 has been linked to worse outcomes. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered that SARS-CoV-2 infection fuels blood vessel formation in fat tissues, thus revving up the body’s thermogenic metabolism. Blocking this process by using an existing drug curbed weight loss in mice and hamsters that were infected with the virus.
Researchers may have found a new biomarker for acute COVID-19
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that patients with acute COVID-19 infection have increased levels of the cytokine IL-26 in their blood. Moreover, high IL-26 levels correlate with an exaggerated inflammatory response that signifies severe cases of the disease. The findings, which are presented in Frontiers in Immunology, indicate that IL-26 is a potential biomarker for severe COVID-19.
New Omicron subvariant largely evades neutralizing antibodies
A study at Karolinska Institutet shows that the coronavirus variant BA.2.75.2, an Omicron sublineage, largely evades neutralizing antibodies in the blood and is resistant to several monoclonal antibody antiviral treatments. The findings, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggest a risk of increased SARS-CoV-2 infections this winter, unless the new updated bivalent vaccines help to boost immunity in the population.
Immune cell gives possible explanation for sex differences in pancreatic cancer
Immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer has limited effect and differs between men and women. KI researchers have now found a possible explanation for this sex difference. The study, published in Cancer Research, reveals the presence of an immune cell in women with pancreatic cancer that obstructs the body’s immune response. The results can pave the way for a more sex-specific treatment.
New treatment can improve cardiac pump function in patients with heart failure
A clinical study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that the hunger hormone ghrelin can increase the heart’s pump capacity in patients with heart failure. The results have been published in the European Heart Journal.
Regional ECT, lithium, and clozapine use linked to lower suicide rates in male adolescents
A new study from Karolinska Institutet suggests that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), lithium, and clozapine may reduce suicide rates in adolescent men with severe mental illness, consistent with previous findings in adults. The study, published in Nature Communications, compared treatment and suicide rates across different regions in Sweden.
Grants, Prizes and Donations
Millions to KI researchers for kidney research
Eighteen kidney researchers at Karolinska Institutet have been allocated grants totaling 3.2 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Kidney Foundation, an announcement made in connection with World Kidney Day on March 9.
KI role model for equality in EU – now awarded for its long-term work
Karolinska Institutet has been awarded a new EU prize for its long-term commitment to gender equality in higher education. The prize of 100,000 euro is the result of nearly 40 years of sustained activity to advance equal opportunities. The efforts have paid off and now KI is recognized as a role model for equality, a “Gender Equality Champion.”
Funding for global study on HPV-burden among girls and women
Several KI researchers are part of an international project that has been awarded nearly $15 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with $1 million co-funding from the Swedish government. The project involves a multi-country study to better understand the burden of Human papillomavirus (HPV) among girls and women in low and lower middle-income countries.
Rickard Sandberg awarded the Torsten Söderberg Academy Professorship in Medicine
KI Professor Rickard Sandberg has been awarded the Torsten Söderberg Academy Professorship in Medicine by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a donation of 10 million Swedish kronor for a five-year period. Rickard Sandberg has developed methods that make it possible to deeply penetrate the human genome by studying genes in individual cells.
Jenny Mjösberg awarded the 2023 Göran Gustafsson Prize
Jenny Mjösberg, Professor of Tissue Immunology at Karolinska Institutet, is one of five researchers to be awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize this year. The prize is intended for young researchers in medicine, molecular biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics and is awarded by the Göran Gustafsson Foundations in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Major VR grant for facilitating clinical precision medicine studies
A team of researchers at Karolinska Institutet, SciLifeLab and Karolinska University Hospital will receive a total of 14.7 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Research Council (VR). The four-year grant is part of the council’s push to increase accessibility to research infrastructure and will involve making available new technologies for clinical studies in precision medicine.
Molly Stevens awarded the Novo Nordisk Prize
Professor Molly Stevens at Karolinska Institutet and Imperial College London has been awarded the 2023 Novo Nordisk Prize for her pioneering work in innovative bioengineering approaches. One of her goals is to democratise access to healthcare using nanotechnologies.
How false vaccine rumours take hold
Rumours spread faster than ever nowadays thanks to social media, and it is easy to get carried away. Some people are also inherently more vulnerable to conspiracy theories. However, sceptics’ concerns should be addressed, not dismissed, say researchers who are studying people’s willingness to take different kinds of vaccines.
Air pollution linked to higher risk of long COVID in young adults
Young adults who lived in highly polluted areas were more likely to suffer from long COVID compared to those living in areas with low levels of pollution, according to a new study by KI researchers published in the Lancet Regional Health – Europe and highlighted in The Conversation.
Kourtney Kardashian’s ‘vaginal health gummies’: here’s what the evidence shows
Even if KI researcher Ina Schuppe Koistinen fully agree with Kourtney Kardashian that vaginal health is an important but not sufficiently talked about part of women’s wellbeing, the two have a strikingly different view on how to tackle the problem.
Beta blockers may reduce the risk of violence
A KI study found that beta blockers, a commonly used heart medication, is linked to lower rates of violence. When people were taking beta blockers they had a 13 percent lower risk of being charged with a violent crime by the police and an 8 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for mental health problems.
Genetics a major factor in the little-known eating disorder Afrid
A twin study from Karolinska Institutet places Arfid among the most heritable of mental disorders. Read researcher Lisa Dinkler’article about the findings in The Conversation.
More articles from KI researchers published in The Conversation
From cold-resistant genes to face masks, Karolinska Institutet researchers contribute to the global public discourse on a range of topics through our collaboration with the international news site The Conversation.
New career path created for research infrastructure specialists
Modern research often uses high-tech methods and tools that require particular expertise. Despite this, there has been no career paths for individuals interested in the technical and methodological development needed to operate and develop the research infrastructures of the future. Starting April 1, 2023, such a career path will be available at KI, possibly the first of its kind in Sweden.
New university management
KI's new president - the kidney specialist with a passion for education
The new president of Karolinska Institutet, Annika Östman Wernerson, is professor of kidney and transplant science and has a passion for pedagogy research. KI’s internal culture, strengthening the dialogue between management, departments, staff and students, is one of her strongest driving forces.
KI’s new vice-president – the cancer researcher with the empirical mindset
KI’s vice-president is Martin Bergö, a professor of molecular medicine whose most significant discovery to date is that antioxidants can accelerate tumour growth. He aims for a research-inspired leadership, and will start by tuning into the voice of the university and channelling the collective wealth of ideas to make KI even better.
Ole Petter Ottersen on his time as KI’s president
Ole Petter Ottersen has been president of Karolinska Institutet for five and a half years. At the end of this month, February 2023, he will be leaving his office for the last time. Of all he has seen and done, he remembers especially the day when the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
App resulted in better dietary habits and less screen time in young children
With the help of a multi-language smartphone app, parents in Sweden were able to give their young children better dietary habits and less screen time, a study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity reports.
Wilhelmina Hoffman and Fredrik Lundberg made honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet has decided to make Wilhelmina Hoffman, specialist in geriatric medicine, and economist Fredrik Lundberg honorary doctors. The formal ceremony will take place in connection with the doctoral conferment ceremony at Stockholm City Hall on 12 May.
Digital twin opens way to effective treatment of inflammatory diseases
Inflammatory diseases have complex disease mechanisms that can differ from patient to patient with the same diagnosis. This means that currently available drugs have little effect on many patients. Using so-called digital twins, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now obtained a deeper understanding of the “off and on” proteins that control these diseases.
Childhood obesity linked to increased risk of different forms of diabetes in adulthood
Child obesity is linked to increased risk of developing diabetes in adulthood, both autoimmune forms of diabetes and different forms of type 2 diabetes, a new study published in Diabetologia reports. The risk of developing the most insulin-resistant form of diabetes is, for example, three times as high in children with obesity.
Internet CBT to prevent child sexual abuse launched in several languages
An online anonymous CBT treatment program for individuals with a sexual interest in children showed good results in an English language pilot study. Now the program for crime prevention also opens in Swedish, German, and Portuguese. The treatment program, which has been developed by researchers at KI, will be evaluated within an international collaboration funded by the EU's Internal Security Funds.
Children’s lung capacity improved in cleaner air
As air pollution in Stockholm has decreased, so has the lung capacity of children and adolescents has improved, a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal reports. The researchers from Karolinska Institutet consider the results important, since the lung health of the young greatly affects the risk of their developing chronic lung diseases later in life.
New professorship centred on prevention
Thanks to donations from numerous actors, Karolinska Institutet is now able to create a new professorship in prevention medicine. The professorship is named after its patron, HRH Prince Daniel.
Major genetic study reveals unexpectedly high variation in T-cell receptor genes
Researchers from Karolinska Institutet have discovered that the genes encoding our T cell receptors vary greatly between persons and populations, which may explain why we respond differently to for example infections. The findings, presented in the journal Immunity, also demonstrate that some gene variants are inherited from Neanderthals.
Time of day may determine the amount of fat burned by exercise
Physical activity at the right time of the day seems able to increase fat metabolism, at least in mice. A new study from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Copenhagen shows that mice that did exercise in an early active phase, which corresponds to morning exercise in humans, increased their metabolism more than mice that did exercise at a time when they usually rest. The results are published in PNAS.
Nicotine exposure during pregnancy may increase risk of sudden infant death
Infants whose mothers have used snus during pregnancy run three times the risk of sudden infant death, according to a registry study from Karolinska Institutet published in Pediatric Research. The risk was much lower if the mother had stopped taking snus before the first antenatal visit. All types of nicotine products should be avoided during pregnancy, researchers say.
Genetic analysis can reduce adverse drug reactions by 30 per cent
Patients can experience 30 per cent fewer serious adverse reactions if their drugs are tailored to their genes, reports a study published in The Lancet. A European collaboration involving researchers from Karolinska Institutet suggests that a genetic analysis prior to drug therapy could significantly reduce suffering and healthcare costs.
Heart failure places a great strain on healthcare
Patients with heart failure often suffer from co-morbidities, which places a great strain on the healthcare services, a multinational study published in Heart reports. The researchers, who are based at Karolinska Institutet, identify an urgent need to improve risk management of the disease.
New immunotherapy holds promise for ovarian cancer
CAR T-cell therapy, a certain kind of cancer treatment in which the immune system’s T cells are programmed to attack tumour cells, is effective in mice with ovarian cancer, according to a study published in The Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. The researchers, who work at Karolinska Institutet, hope that the discovery will pave the way for a clinical trial to see how effective the treatment is for women with the disease.
Selected top publications
Researchers have mapped the human adipose tissue: This is how fat cells change in health and disease
Lucas Massier et al, Nature Communications, March 2023
Too much oxygen after cardiac arrest is associated with lower survival
Akil Awad et al, Critical Care, March 2023
Movement reduces sensory responses in Parkinson’s disease
Roberto de la Torre-Martinez et al, Nature Communications, February 2023
Researchers identify T cells involved in the autoimmune disease AAV
Ravi Kumar Sharma et al, Kidney International, February 2023
The risk of pregnancy complications for women with axial spondyloarthritis has decreased over time
Matilda Morin et al, The Lancet Rheumatology, January 2023
Reduced risk of alcohol related disorders in elite football players
Peter Ueda et al, BMJ, December 2022
Vaccination effective and safe in mice with hereditary small vessel disease
Daniel V Oliveira et al, EMBO Molecular Medicine, December 2022
Simultaneous mapping of different epigenetic landmarks in a single cell
Marek Bartosovic and Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Nature Biotechnology, December 2022
More high impact publications
Information regarding the war in Ukraine
On this page you will find information for staff and students and resources for journalists and the public concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Macchiarini case: timeline
KI in the debate
KI constantly engages in the public debate and comments on current issues concerning our operations. On this page you find published opinion pieces and comments.