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Circular RNAs’ role in cancer initiation and progression has gain a lot of interest recently, but there is no clear picture regarding their functional importance. New findings by researchers at Karolinska Institutet suggest that despite the relative abundance and differential expression, a substantial number of circular RNAs may represent “passenger molecules” with little impact on a cell, reflecting a stochasticity of the gene expression and splicing processes.
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Behavioral Informatics Team Leader Aleksandra Sjöström-Bujacz will be teaching a doctoral course on Multilevel Data Analysis in Spring 2022.
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It’s described as a technological advance in computed tomography and the hope is that this imaging technique will eventually become hospital standard. At the end of October, a new type of CT scanner will be unveiled in MedTechLabs, an interdisciplinary centre set up by Karolinska Institutet (KI), the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Region Stockholm. KI professor Staffan Holmin is one of the researchers behind the initiative.
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Mariam Claeson is the senior project manager for the Political Economy of Adolescent Mental Health project at the Department of Global Public Health. After many years working abroad she is back at KI where her journey started as a medical student. She discusses progress in child health globally especially reduction in child mortality but is concerned about the major setbacks caused by the pandemic. Her focus now is on how to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.
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Muscle cells in patients with type 2 diabetes have a disrupted biological clock discover researchers at the University of Copenhagen and Karolinska Institutet. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that treatments for type 2 diabetes may be more or less effective depending on the time of day they are given.
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Congratulations to Ferdinand Choong, Assistant professor, from AIMES who has been chosen to be part of the SIGHT Fellow Programme.
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Eleven of the seventy reseachers that were granted funding in the 2021 KID Call at Karolinska Institutet are active at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge - Congratulations to all of you!
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Måns Magnusson at the research group Inborn Errors of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Deptartment of Molecular Medicine and Surgery will defend his thesis "Bioinformatic methods in rare disease" on October 22, 2021. Main Supervisor is Professor Anna Wedell.
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The Medical Association has received a donation of SEK 15 million from The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation to refurbish the old student union building. The project has been ongoing for years with the aim of creating an inspiring environment for KI's students, doctoral students, researchers and alumni.
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Antibodies in the airways quickly wane after SARS-CoV-2 infection, but vaccination results in a strong increase in antibody levels, especially after two doses, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal JCI Insight. The results suggest that having a second dose of vaccine also after recovering from COVID-19 may be important for protecting against re-infection and to prevent transmission.
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Elin Larsson recieves 4 980 000 SEK in project grant for the project IMPROVE it: “IMplementing best practice postpartum contraceptive services through a quality imPROVEment initiative for and with immigrant women in Sweden”.
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Congratulations to Claudia Hanson who has been appointed to the WHO TAG Maternal mortality estimations group.
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Implementation of WHO’s recommended public health policies on alcohol, unhealthy foods and tobacco has been slow globally, according to a study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, published in the journal The Lancet Global Health. The study found particularly low implementation in poor, less democratic countries and where corporations had more influence for example through corruption and political favoritism.
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Congratulations to Emilie Agardh who receives 4 920 000 SEK in project grant from Forte for the project A new approach to capture inequalities in health.
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The Erling Persson Family Foundation has awarded Johan Lundin a research grant of 10 million SEK divided over three years for the project Artificial intelligence for diagnostics of cancer and infectious diseases in resource-limited settings - the MoMic Project. Johan has just returned from Kenya, where he has been planning the next steps of the project.
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Karolinska Institutet and long-standing partner, Makerere University, have intensified their joint efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda. In partnership with several academic institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as with Tinkr, a company specializing in innovation, they have co-created and started delivering on capacity building projects for health professionals in support of the 2030 Agenda.
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Research on the role of diet in the development of type 1 diabetes is generally of low evidence, but there are some high-quality studies indicating that longer breastfeeding and later introduction to gluten may reduce the risk of disease. That is according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of available research on foods that may be linked to the risk of developing the type 1 diabetes in childhood. The study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet is published in the journal EBioMedicine.
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The early development of the immune system, antibiotics in dentistry and strengthened medical pedagogy. These are some of the research areas that Karolinska Institutet's new professors are interested in. On 14 October 2021, the annual inauguration ceremony was held in Aula Medica where 18 new professors were installed, and 12 adjunct professors and 2 visiting professors were welcomed to their new positions at the university.
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Less exercise and less rehab are the experiences reported by persons with Parkinson’s disease in a new study from Karolinska Institutet. The study sheds light on the situation during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Erika Franzén, professor and physiotherapist, especially women over 70 can be viewed as a risk group for reduced physical activity.
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Statins are a recommended and common intervention for preventing cardiovascular events by reducing levels of lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. During the pandemic, it has been debated whether statins influence the risk of death from COVID-19. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now conducted the largest population study to date in the field. The study, which is published in PLOS Medicine, indicates that statin treatment slightly lowers COVID-19 mortality.
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Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital have developed a new kind of antibiotic-free protection for wounds that kills drug-resistant bacteria and induces the body’s own immune responses to fight infections. The technology is presented in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and could be an important tool in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria.
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It remains a central challenge in psychiatry to reliably judge whether a patient will respond to treatment. In a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany show that moment-to-moment fluctuations in brain activity can reliably predict whether patients with social anxiety disorder will be receptive to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
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The ability to detect and react to the smell of a potential threat is a precondition of our and other mammals’ survival. Using a novel technique, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have been able to study what happens in the brain when the central nervous system judges a smell to represent danger. The study, which is published in PNAS, indicates that negative smells associated with unpleasantness or unease are processed earlier than positive smells and trigger a physical avoidance response.
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Researchers at the Aging Research Center (ARC) have been awarded several substantial grants from Forte's annual open call for proposals. Out of the 32 projects, programmes and networks that received funding at KI, five were awarded to ARC. The aim is to analyse enabling and contributing to an in-depth knowledge in research areas or issues.
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With a tight student budget, buying course literature can feel tough. The student association STRÄVA works, among other things, to ensure that everyone has access to course literature, and they are involved in the project KI students' book donation.
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It is mainly poorly controlled type 2 diabetes that carries an elevated risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, not the diabetes per se, a longitudinal study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows. The study comprises over 2,500 people and is published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.
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Anna Koman at the research group Endocrine Surgery, the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Primary hyperparathyroidism: nonclassical symptoms and benefits of parathyroidectomy" on October 15th, 2021. Main Supervisor is Inga-Lena Nilsson.
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Dr. Fang Fang, Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded a grant of approximately 1.5 million US dollar for three years, from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), USA.
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KI researchers Johan Lundin and Gunilla Karlsson-Hedestam receives research grant from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation, that supports projects in science, education, and development of children and young people.
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In October, WHO and Karolinska Institutet arranged the first Rosling seminar on the theme "Health Equity and Pandemics – a Moonshot for Sustainable Health". It stressed that the path to sustainable health is through global cooperation and an international perspective where the focus is on the world's most vulnerable.
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Three KI researchers have been awarded SSMF’s Large Grant, one of Sweden’s biggest grants for medical research. The researchers are allocated grants for four years of part- or full-time research with the goal of establishing an independent scientific career. This year the foundation received 153 applications, of which eight were granted.
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The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry rewards Benjamin List and David MacMillan for a new and ingenious tool for building molecules, asymmetric organocatalysis, which has contributed to more environmentally friendly chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Here, KI researcher Per I Arvidsson, Head of the Drug Discovery and Development Platform at SciLifeLab, comments on the discovery. He was one of those who introduced organocatalysis in Sweden and believes that the prize was expected.
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Davide Vetrano has received a 2 MSEK Junior Scholar Grant from the Strategic Research Area in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (SFOepi) for the project “Biomarker signatures of the multimorbidity-frailty continuum: in pursuit of personalized medicine for older adults.”
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During the pandemic, it has become evident that people with cardiovascular disease and obesity are at much higher risk of developing very severe, even fatal COVID-19 disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified some metabolic processes that SARS-CoV-2 uses to attack lung tissue. The results, which are published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, could one day be used to treat COVID-19, and potentially for other viruses like the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and HIV-1.
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KI researchers receive 164 808 40 SEK in Forte's yearly call within the areas of responsibility: health, working life and welfare. In total, 32 projects, programmes and networks at KI recieve funding.
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Dr Nicolas Pejovic has been awarded this year’s Rolf Zetterstöm prize for best thesis in pediatrics. The award was presented at Karolinska Institutet during Barnveckan. In his doctoral thesis No cry at birth. Neaonatal resuscitation in low resource setting: role of the laryngeal mask airway, Dr Pejovic investigates how midwives in low-resource settings could safely resuscitate newborns more effectively using a laryngeal mask instead of a conventional facemask.
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A scientist at Karolinska Institutet reports that machine learning can be used to gain insights into molecular events that change the shape of proteins after they are made, regulating their ability to interact with each other. This suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) may allow us, in the future, to accurately simulate highly complex biological scenarios in silico as well as leverage this information for therapeutic intervention.
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The 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology is about how people can feel temperature and touch. The discoveries explain basic functions in our lives and have opened doors to new treatments for pain, for example. We take it for granted, the fact that we can feel an icy wind, a hot plate or a hug, but how this actually works was unknown until it was discovered by the Nobel Laureates, a discovery made not so long ago.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have participated in a large international research project that has identified all cell types in the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement. The research has resulted in a detailed cell atlas presented in a large special package of scientific articles in Nature today. The long-term goal of the collaboration is to create a cell atlas of the whole brain in order to increase knowledge of brain diseases and contribute to better treatments.
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Scientists hope that tiny sacs of material excreted by cells – so-called extracellular vesicles – can be used to deliver drugs inside the body. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that these nano-bubbles can transport protein drugs that reduce inflammation caused by different diseases. The technique, which is presented in Nature Biomedical Engineering, shows promising results in animal models.
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We wish to congratulate Martin Kåberg at MedH who receives 3 950 000 SEK from Forte for his project about preventive interventions for reducing mortality and morbidity among people who inject drugs.
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At the end of September, a seminar tilted “How can we prepare ourselves for the next health crisis?” was held at KI with an expert panel including representatives of the Swedish Public Health Agency, the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. Anders Nordström, the Swedish Ambassador for Global Health and Secretary of the WHO’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), spoke on the WHO report “COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic”.
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Christer Betsholtz, professor at the Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded the major Nordic Prize for 2021 by the Eric K. Fernström Foundation. He receives one million SEK for his research into blood-vessel cells and their vascular structure and function.

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BioNut researcher has received SEK 4.6 million in research grant from FORTE for a project on “Effects of increased ultra-processed food advertisement (outdoors and digital) exposure on behaviours associated with obesity development in Swedish adolescents, evaluated in a socioeconomic context.”
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NVS congratulates them all!
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have examined long-term outcomes in patients who received pacemaker implantations after transcatheter aortic valve replacement through their groin. The result showed no significant difference in mortality for the patients with pacemakers compared to those without. The study is published in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.
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It is well known that obesity affects the body's insulin production and over time risks leading to type 2 diabetes and several other metabolic diseases. Now researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found further explanation for why fat cells cause metabolic morbidity. The study, published in Nature Medicine, may have an impact on the treatment of comorbidity in obesity with already available drugs.
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The Swedish Society of Medicine honors Agneta Nordberg, professor in clinical neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, with the Bengt Winblad Prize 2021.
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Several substantial appropriations have been awarded to KI through the Swedish Research Council’s national research infrastructure initiative.
The Swedish Twin Registry (STR), Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS) and the National E-infrastructure for Aging Research (NEAR) were all awarded funding through the Research Council.
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The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 has been awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.”
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2021-06-08