Published: 16-10-2019 14:56 | Updated: 18-10-2019 14:54

Petter Höglund is the new Head of Department at MedH from 1 December

“MedH is a department with fantastic opportunities for ground-breaking translational research, and heading such a department is a very attractive proposition", says Petter Höglund.

Petter Höglund
Petter Höglund. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman.

Background and education

Petter Höglund began studying medicine at KI in 1984. In parallel with his studies, he conducted research at the Department of Tumor Biology where he studied NK cells. After interrupting his studies to be able to devote himself to research, Petter defended his doctoral thesis in 1993 on the cancer cell death induced by NK cells. After graduating and completing his medical training, he did a postdoc in France, after which he returned to KI and started his own research group.

Since then, Petter has been active at KI in various roles within both research and clinical activities. In 2011, he came to MedH in order to assist with building the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM). He now holds a combined position with clinical assignments and research projects within both basic immunology and transfusion medicine.

What was it about the Head of Department role that appealed to you?

“MedH is a department with fantastic opportunities for ground-breaking translational research, and heading such a department is a very attractive proposition. These are also exciting and challenging times for KI as a whole, where our new organisational model will be introduced at the same time as Strategy 2030 is being implemented. Even on the hospital side, a lot is going on that we have to carefully follow and influence, not least in regard to savings requirements and changing organisation. It will be very stimulating to lead the department through this,” says Petter Höglund.

What are the biggest challenges you foresee?

“One of the biggest is to secure the future provision of competence at all levels, from doctoral students and postdocs to professors, laboratory staff and administrative personnel. An active recruitment strategy and clear principles for competence development are crucial to MedH’s success. Our first-cycle courses and programmes and doctoral education are also important issues. The conditions for clinical training at NKS are driving the emergence of both new training environments and changing student mobility. This presents a challenge for us but also creates the conditions for strengthening our activity at the first-cycle level. The circumstances for doctoral recruitment have also changed radically and we must adapt to this. All of this also requires that the administration streamlines its procedures and where necessary secures competence through new recruitments.”

What is your five-year plan for the department?

“The translational research at MedH will continue to be top class and my goal is for it to be strengthened even further, across the entire department’s field of activity. Achieving this requires detailed work with core issues, organisation and work environment, but also active efforts with soft issues. I think that employees who feel involved at all levels, not only in the daily activities of the research group and division, but also in those of the department and KI, will make for better researchers and teachers as well as better ambassadors for the whole organisation. The work with the operational plan in KI’s Strategy 2030 is in full swing at the administration level, and in this we will have many natural departure points for our own internal work.”

“I will do all I can to ensure that my leadership is characterised by a holistic approach where the development of the professional employee and the person beneath are given equal weight.”

Brief info on Petter

Age: 56
Family: Wife and three teenage children
Title: Professor of Immunology, Specialist in Clinical Immunology
Enjoys in his free time: Singing in the choir, being in the garden, being with his family and reading books.