Published: 2022-02-09 12:36 | Updated: 2022-02-09 12:36

KI receives more than 95 million SEK from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation

The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation distributes a total of SEK 95,776,000 to researchers at Karolinska Institutet. Photo: Getty Images

In the largest funding round from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation (Hjärt-Lungfonden), researchers at Karolinska Institutet will share a total of 95,776,000 SEK. All in all, approximately 70 projects at KI will benefit from the grant.

The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation has decided to allocate 333 million SEK to Swedish cardiopulmonary research. The funds are divided between a total of 223 grants throughout the country, of which about 70 are connected to Karolinska Institutet. 

Marie Wahren-Herlenius is one who has obtained a grant at KI. She receives a total of 5,100,000 SEK for researching the rare and serious children's sickness Kawasaki's disease. "We want to identify the prevalence of Kawasaki's disease in Sweden and examine how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of the disease" says Marie Wahren-Herlenius, professor in experimental rheumatology at the Department of Medicine, Solna

"We hope to identify as yet unknown disease mechanisms that are suitable for the development of new treatment methods. Without treatment, around 20 percent of sufferers develop aneurysms in the coronary arteries." 

Examining health effects of tobacco

Magnus Lundbäck, associate professor of cardiology and doctor at the Department of Clinical Sciences at Danderyd Hospital. Photo: Oskar Omne

Magnus Lundbäck receives 1,500,000 SEK from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation to investigate the health effects of e-cigarettes and alternative tobacco products, with a focus on the cardiopulmonary system. 

"These products are launched widely all over our earth without us knowing the consequences to human health. In collaboration with Umeå University, Uppsala University and the Swedish Defence Research Agency, we study the effects that these products may have on the cardiopulmonary system" says Magnus Lundbäck, associate professor of cardiology and doctor at the Department of Clinical Sciences at Danderyd Hospital.

"The research grant from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation is absolutely crucial for us, since we must remain free of influence from the industry."

Andreas Claesson, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, has been allocated funding over two years for leading one of the first studies in the world in which defibrillators are flown to their destinations using drones to save lives in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. He has also previously received a research position totalling six years.

"Today, approximately 90 percent of those who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest die. Recently, for the first time, someone's life could be saved with the help of a defibrillator flown to the location by a drone", says Andreas Claesson, associate professor at the cardiac arrest centre at the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet.

A total of 333 million SEK for heart-lung research

The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation continually supports several hundred scientifically selected research projects at Sweden's universities and university hospitals. Grant distribution across the country: 

  • Stockholm, 102.4 million SEK
  • Gothenburg, 59.4 million SEK
  • Scania, 70.6 million SEK
  • Uppsala, 14.1 million SEK
  • Linköping, 16.8 million SEK
  • Umeå, 16.3 million SEK
  • Other: 4.9 million SEK

Amongst other things, funds are also allocated to the large population study SCAPIS, whose main funding body is the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation.