Published: 2021-04-08 09:54 | Updated: 2021-04-09 16:04

Ten KI researchers receive funding from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation

Ten researchers at Karolinska Institutet are granted funding through the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation's latest funding call, which in total distributes a little more than SEK 65 million. The grants include a six-year research position and several postdoctoral positions.

Emma Tham, researcher within the field clinical genetics
Emma Tham Foto: N/A

One of the KI researchers receiving funding is Emma Tham, senior researcher at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery. Her research aims to improve the detection and follow-up of children with cancer by studying so-called cell-free tumour DNA (ctDNA), a method that involves identifying and monitoring cancer through blood tests. Emma Tham will receive the grant for clinical research months – three months in three years.

"We hope that a simple blood test will be able to replace or supplement other test methods such as biopsies of tumour tissue or bone marrow samples. It would be a huge gain in many ways," says Emma Tham, who will now investigate whether ctDNA can be used as a biomarker for children with acute leukaemia and brain tumours.

Martin Enge at the Department of Oncology and Pathology is receiving funding for a six-year research position for the project "Differentiation state instability and clonal selection as escape paths from anti-cancer therapy". Gisela Barbany at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery recieves funding for a research position half-time, three years for her work with refined genetic diagnostics for childhood leukemics. 

Oscar Bedoya Reina at the Department of Microbiology, Tumour and Cell Biology has been authorised funding for a research assistant position to analyse the emergence and development of aggressive metastasis cells in neuroblastoma in children. 

Three KI researchers are also being funded for postdoctoral positions. These are: Hisashi Ishida, Iryna Kolosenko and Thale Kristin Olsen.

Nikolas HeroldSusanne Schlisio and Klas Blomgren have been awarded grants to fund their doctorate studies.

About the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation and the call

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is the largest funder of Swedish childhood cancer research and distributes SEK 260-300 million each year. In the spring call, a total of just over SEK 65 million was distributed. Out of 117 applications, 28 were granted, eight of which were KI researchers. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation announces funding for research three times a year.