Our history

Denna sida på svenska

Since the start in 1997 at Karolinska Institutet the department has grown more than five-fold from 40 to approximately 280 employees today. Over the years the research programs have also grown and spread.

Professor Hans-Olov Adami at our first address at Karolinska Institutet.


  • 2014 - Paul Lichtenstein began his tenure as Chair of MEB
  • 2008 - Henrik Grönberg was appointed Chair
  • 2006 - Nancy Pedersen was appointed as prefekt of MEB, succeeding Hans-Olov Adami.
  • 2004 - KI Biobank was founded as a core facility to offer service for registration, handling, storage and distribution of samples
  • 2003 - The department moved into the current, permanent premises
  • 2002 - To mark the fundamental importance of the biostatistics group for the research at the department, for the research education and international collaborations, the department changed its name to Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB).
  • 2000 - A biostatistical research group with international members was recruited.
  • 1999 - The Swedish Twin Registry which contains data on approximately 85 000 twin pairs, both monozygotic and dizygotic, moved to MEP.
  • 1998 - The first professor in the Department was appointed at Karolinska Institutet: Olof Nyrén
  • 1997 - The Department of Cancer Epidemiology at Uppsala University moved to Karolinska Institutet and changed its name to the Department of Medical Epidemiology (MEP).
  • 1994 - A new department of Cancer Epidemiology was established at Uppsala University
  • 1990 - The Autonomous Unit of Cancer Epidemiology was established at Uppsala University, formally within the Department of Surgery.

Heads of department



Professor Hans-Olov Adami 1990-1997 in Uppsala
1997-2005 in Stockholm
Professor Nancy Pedersen 2005-2007    
Professor Henrik Grönberg 2008-2013    
Professor Paul Lichtenstein 2013-    

Some important publications 

Radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting in early prostate cancer.
Bill-Axelson A, Holmberg L, Ruutu M, Häggman M, Andersson S, Bratell S, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2005 May;352(19):1977-84

Pregnancy characteristics and maternal risk of breast cancer.
Cnattingius S, Torrång A, Ekbom A, Granath F, Petersson G, Lambe M
JAMA 2005 Nov;294(19):2474-80

A common variant associated with prostate cancer in European and African populations.
Amundadottir L, Sulem P, Gudmundsson J, Helgason A, Baker A, Agnarsson B, et al
Nat. Genet. 2006 Jun;38(6):652-8

Premorbid predictors of chronic fatigue.
Kato K, Sullivan P, Evengård B, Pedersen N
Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2006 Nov;63(11):1267-72

Hysterectomy and risk of stress-urinary-incontinence surgery: nationwide cohort study.
Altman D, Granath F, Cnattingius S, Falconer C
Lancet 2007 Oct;370(9597):1494-9

Risk of cancer after blood transfusion from donors with subclinical cancer: a retrospective cohort study.
Edgren G, Hjalgrim H, Reilly M, Tran T, Rostgaard K, Shanwell A, et al
Lancet 2007 May;369(9574):1724-30

Oral use of Swedish moist snuff (snus) and risk for cancer of the mouth, lung, and pancreas in male construction workers: a retrospective cohort study.
Luo J, Ye W, Zendehdel K, Adami J, Adami H, Boffetta P, et al
Lancet 2007 Jun;369(9578):2015-20

Cumulative association of five genetic variants with prostate cancer.
Zheng S, Sun J, Wiklund F, Smith S, Stattin P, Li G, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2008 Feb;358(9):910-9

Schizophrenia, substance abuse, and violent crime.
Fazel S, Långström N, Hjern A, Grann M, Lichtenstein P
JAMA 2009 May;301(19):2016-23

Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study.
Lichtenstein P, Yip B, Björk C, Pawitan Y, Cannon T, Sullivan P, et al
Lancet 2009 Jan;373(9659):234-9

Radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting in early prostate cancer.
Bill-Axelson A, Holmberg L, Ruutu M, Garmo H, Stark J, Busch C, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2011 May;364(18):1708-17

Effect of screening mammography on breast-cancer mortality in Norway.
Kalager M, Zelen M, Langmark F, Adami H
N. Engl. J. Med. 2010 Sep;363(13):1203-10

Suicide and cardiovascular death after a cancer diagnosis.
Fang F, Fall K, Mittleman M, Sparén P, Ye W, Adami H, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2012 Apr;366(14):1310-8

Prostate cancer screening in men aged 50-69 years (STHLM3): a prospective population-based diagnostic study.
Grönberg H, Adolfsson J, Aly M, Nordström T, Wiklund P, Brandberg Y, et al
Lancet Oncol. 2015 Nov;():

Red Blood Cell Concentrate Storage and Survival After Cardiac Surgery.
Sartipy U, Holzmann M, Hjalgrim H, Edgren G
JAMA 2015 Oct;314(15):1641-3

Telomere Length Shortening and Alzheimer Disease-A Mendelian Randomization Study.
Zhan Y, Song C, Karlsson R, Tillander A, Reynolds C, Pedersen N, et al
JAMA Neurol 2015 Oct;72(10):1202-3

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Violent Crime: A Cohort Study.
Molero Y, Lichtenstein P, Zetterqvist J, Gumpert C, Fazel S
PLoS Med. 2015 Sep;12(9):e1001875

Register-based researchTwin research