Published: 2021-04-28 10:05 | Updated: 2021-04-28 16:30

Niklas Björkström awarded 13,5 M SEK for his research

Portrait of Niklas Björkström.
Niklas Björkström. Photo: Markus Marcetic

Niklas Björkström at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH), Karolinska Institutet, receives the Ascending Investigator Grant at 13.5 M from Novo Nordisk Fonden for his project "Dissecting immune-endocrine mechanisms affecting endometrial physiology and pregnancy outcome".

Niklas Björkström is one of three Scandinavian researchers that are awarded the yearly “Ascending Investigator Grant” from Novo Nordisk Fonden, receiving around 13.5 million SEK. One of the aims for Niklas' research is to provide ground-breaking insights into the mechanisms underlying pregnancy disorders and reduced fertility. 

The Ascending Investigator Grant is awarded researchers a total of five years, as part of the Novo Nordisk Fondens Research Leader Programme. It's an ambitious grant programme aimed at talented research leaders at different stages of their careers. 

The title of Niklas Björkström's project is "Dissecting immune-endocrine mechanisms affecting endometrial physiology and pregnancy outcome". In the project Niklas and his research group will investigate how the immune system of the uterus is regulated by the female sex hormones, both in healthy women during the menstrual cycle and in pregnancy as well as in women with disorders that affect fertility. For a successful pregnancy to be established, a multitude of coordinated biological events need to occur in the uterus. The uterus contains a large number of immune cells that contribute to this process and many pregnancy disorders are linked to dysfunctional immune responses. In the research group's studies, they will make use of the most advanced techniques to characterize the human immune system and perform studies on clinical material that they obtain from both healthy women and women that suffer from obesity or PCOS, two conditions with menstrual dysfunction and reduced fertility.