Published: 17-06-2024 14:14 | Updated: 18-06-2024 15:16

Rickard Sandberg elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Rickard Sandberg. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

KI researcher Rickard Sandberg has been elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Academy of Sciences in the Medical Sciences category. In his research, he has developed new methods for studying genes in individual cells.

Rickard Sandberg is professor of Molecular Genetics at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet. He researches the processes that regulate the human genome and is one of the pioneers in the development of single-cell RNA sequencing. 

With the new methods, which he and others have developed, the researchers can study the level of expression in individual cells and see what happens when genes are turned on and off. 

This is done at a completely different level of detail than was possible before when it was only possible to examine larger accumulations of cells. 

Important basic research

The focus has been to better understand how the genome controls different regulatory processes, such as how often and how much RNA is transcribed from each gene, and also how variants of RNA molecules are specified in the body's different cell types. 

This is important basic research that can help us understand different disease states and why they occur. 

Another, and fairly new, track for his research group is to try to see how RNA sequencing can be used in healthcare and clinical research in the long term. Among other things, they want to develop inexpensive measurement methods to determine what type of tumour is involved in cancer, how a patient responds to treatment or how a disease progresses.