Published: 05-11-2020 15:49 | Updated: 10-11-2020 07:31

Jorge Ruas appointed Professor of Molecular Physiology

Congratulations Jorge Ruas, newly appointed Professor of molecular physiology at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet.

Professor of Molecular Physiology and group leader for the Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology research group.
Jorge Ruas, Professor of Molecular Physiology and group leader for the Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology research group at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Hello Jorge Ruas, Tell us a little bit about your background? 

–  After getting my Pharm.D. degree from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) I came to Karolinska Institutet for my PhD, which I received in 2005. My doctoral work was centered on understanding how cells regulate gene expression to adapt to insufficient Oxygen supply. I then moved to Boston (USA) for my postdoctoral studies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. During those years I continued to study regulation of gene expression, but now in the context of how skeletal muscle adapts to different challenges (such as physical exercise). I returned to KI in 2011 as Assistant Professor, to start my own research group at the department of physiology and pharmacology. In 2016 I became Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology.

What does this Professorship mean to you?

– I see it as a recognition of our work and contributions to the field, but also of the research area of molecular physiology. Professors are, in a way, ambassadors for the university and for their research area. I’m honored to represent both.

Tell us about the research you do? 

– We are trying to identify the molecular mediators of the beneficial effects of exercise. It is clear that maintaining an active lifestyle and engaging often in physical exercise is greatly beneficial for human health. Exercise can be used to prevent and treat a variety of diseases. But why is that? What changes occur and in which organs when you train? And how do organs “talk” to each other in the body so everything works in a coordinated way? And finally, can we turn these findings into novel therapies? These are some of the questions we are asking in our research.

What is up next for you and your research group?

–  The dream is to continue to be able to support a research environment where we can ask important scientific questions, with the freedom to pursue relevant and ambitious projects. The goal is to discover new physiological mechanisms that contribute to human health and to explore their therapeutic potential.


Jorge Ruas Professor