Researcher at KI admitted to the Wallenberg Clinical Fellow program
Jakob Wikström at KI is one of this year’s three Wallenberg Clinical Fellows. The purpose of the program is to encourage clinical research by Swedish physicians. The funding is for three years and is provided by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.
Jakob Wikström’s research involves finding new ways to treat difficult chronic leg ulcers. Ulcers on the feet or lower legs that are slow to heal are a major medical problem, particularly among elderly patients. Frequently, however, there is a lack of knowledge about the healing process and available treatments.
One prerequisite for the growth of new tissue across the wound is the availability of proteins that can build new cells, but many of these proteins must first fold into special 3D structures before this process can start. This occurs in the network that surrounds the cell’s nucleus, the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER). Sometimes, this process does not happen as it should and a significant amount of wrongly folded or unfolded proteins collect in the ER. This results in something called ER stress. Jakob Wikström’s research group will now study whether it is possible to balance this stress and, if so, whether it can contribute to improving the healing process in leg ulcers.