Published: 13-09-2019 10:10 | Updated: 14-10-2019 09:03

Andrea Carmine Belin receives a grant from the Mellby Gård Foundation in collaboration with the Swedish Brain Foundation

The Swedish Brain Foundation supports qualified research on the brain and other nervous systems, as well as diseases, injuries and disabilities throughout the nervous system. 98 out of 273 applications were granted funding this year.

Portrait of Andrea Carmine Belin, researcher at Neuro

Andrea Carmine Belin, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, has been granted research funding of a total of 4.600.000 SEK from the Mellby Gård Foundation in collaboration with the Swedish Brain Foundation, for the research project “Characterization of Cluster headache and the relation to circadian rhythm and genetic factors”.

Tell us a little more about the grant itself?

“I have received the Swedish Brain Foundation’s Research Grant 2019 with a “bonus” from the Mellby Gård Foundation. This is, besides the evaluation of the Scientific Committee of the Swedish Brain Foundation, the result of annual follow-up meetings with and written reports to the Mellby Gård Foundation, a donor who cooperates with the Swedish Brain Foundation”, says Andrea Carmine Belin.

And could you tell us more about your research?

“My research focuses on cluster headache, an incurable neurovascular disease leading to extreme pain which is more common among men. It has been reported to have a hereditary component and a link to circadian rhythm”, she continues. “Thanks to continuous support, my team and I have been able to build one of the world's largest biobanks with biological tissue and clinical data from patients with cluster headache and controls over the course of a few years. This biobank now allows us to answer the many questions about what causes cluster headache, how we can better treat the disease, and at best cure it.”

What happens next?

“The first step in this project is to evaluate data from a so-called genome wide association study (GWAS) performed on our Swedish biobank, where we studied genetic markers across the entire genome. We will compare the frequency of genetic markers between patients and controls and in relation to e.g. collected data on drug response. We will also examine gender differences and the connection to circadian rhythm in relation to cluster headache. The support from the Mellby Gård Foundation and the Swedish Brain Foundation is absolutely crucial for my team to conduct research on cluster headache,” says Andrea.


Andrea Carmine Belin Principal Researcher