News - Upper GI Surgery

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New PhD student

Manar Yanes has been recruited as a PhD student to the group with Jesper as main supervisor. His PhD thesis will focus on consequences of anti-reflux surgery and the data for the remaining studies will mainly be derived from the Nordic Anti-reflux Surgery Cohort (NordASCo). Admission seminar is planned to 26th of April. Warmly welcome Manar!


We would like to congratulate Carl Kilander from the group who successfully defended his thesis  "Aspects of biliary tract cancer : incidence and reproductive risk factors" on January 27, 2017. Main Supervisor was Omid Sadr-Azodi and co-supervisor Jesper Lagergren.

Recruitment of an Assistant Professor

Shaohua Xie has been selected for the position as Assistant Professor ('Forskarassistent') with a focus on cancer epidemiology in UGIS. Shaohua was ranked number one among the applicants by external review and we wish to warmly welcome him to his new position.


Shaohua Xie

Organizational unit: Upper Gastrointestinal Research

New PhD student within the Clinical Scientist Training Programme

Eivind Gottlieb Vedi received funding from the Clinical Scientist Training Programme (CSTP) at KI, which supports salaries of selected PhD candidates who start their PhD studies during their medical studies. The PhD project is entitled “Improved surgical treatment of oesophageal cancer” and will be based on a new and comprehensive nationwide Swedish data collection from medical records and registries. Warmly welcome Eivind!

End of Term

The groups Upper GI Surgery and Surgical Care Science have had their traditional End of Year seminar this week. Jesper Lagergren and Pernilla Lagergren have a summary of the excellent achievements we have accomplished this year. We also listened to assistant professor Helin V. Norberg talking about the timely topic autophagy. Thereafter we enjoyed a vegetarian Christmas lunch together. Thanks for a very productive 2016 and looking forward to 2017. Merry Christmas everyone!

A Sino-Sweden Joint Workshop: New developments in Oesophageal Cancer

We hosted a well-attended workshop the 13th to 14th of October with the title "Recent Developments in Oesophageal Cancer" in the Aula Medica at KI. Among the very prominent guests was the President of the Nanjing Medical University, professor Hongbing Shen, together with other researchers from the same university. We discussed on-going studies, future plans and opportunities for collaboration between the Chinese researchers and the groups Upper GI Surgery and Surgical Care Science. We also listened to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs at KI, professor Maria Masucci and a nestor of KI-China collaborations, professor Ingemar Ernberg.

The workshop was a part of a China-Sweden Network Grant we received earlier this year, funded by the Swedish Research Council in Sweden and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in China.

New publication in Gut

We are pleased to have got an article accepted for publication in Gut with the title “All-cause and cancer-specific mortality in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in a population-based cohort study (the HUNT study)” The authors are Eivind Ness-Jenssen, Eivind Gottlieb Vedi, Karl Wahlin and Jesper Lagergren. 



Joonas Kauppila

Organizational unit: Upper Gastrointestinal Research

We’d like to say welcome to our new post doc Joonas Kauppila, a surgeon from Oulo, Finland. He’ll work with us for two years on a project about oesophageal cancer surgery.

End of Term Seminar

The end of term was celebrated with a seminar and lunch together with the group Surgical Care Science in Aula Medica. Together we talked about the achievements during spring and set the course for the future.

New publication in Journal of the National Cancer Institute 

We are pleased to have got an article accepted for publication in JNCI with the title “Eradication of Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.” The authors are Eva Doorakkers, Jesper Lagergren, Lars Engstrand, Nele Brusselaers.


The group would like to welcome Sirius Rabbani, a medical student from KI, who will work here this summer on ethnic/racial disparities in oesophageal cancer supervised by Shaohua Xie.

We would also like to welcome Wentao Li, a second-year Public Health PhD student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, for a short term research period this autumn (September to November). Wentao will also be supervised by Shaohua and will among other things work on a systematic review on biomarkers predicting the risk of oesophageal cancer.

New publication in Journal of Clinical Oncology

We are pleased to have got an article accepted for publication in Journal of Clinical Oncology with the title: Surgical proficiency gain and survival following esophagectomy for cancer. The authors are Sheraz R. Markar, Hugh Mackenzie, Pernilla Lagergren, George B. Hanna, and Jesper Lagergren. The article will be published online 7th of March.

New PhDs

Congratulations to Sheraz Markar who was admitted as a PhD in the group at the admission seminar 27th of January 2016, and Qiaoli Wang who was admitted 24th of February 2016.

Welcome to our spring students

Johanna Simin from the programme of Public Health Sciences at KI, will be supervised by Nele Brusselaers and work on the HRT cohort, to calculate SIRS for all cancer groups.

Eivind Gottlieb Vedi, a medical student from KI will be supervised by Eivind Ness-Jensen and work on a project called: All-cause and cancer related mortality in gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a population-based cohort study based on the HUNT study.

Welcome Johanna and Eivind!

New statistician

A warm welcome to our new statistician Karl Wahlin, a former university lecturer in statistics at Linköping University.

Grant from the Nordic Cancer Union

We are pleased to have received 45,000 EUR from the NCU for the project Influence of obesity surgery on cancer risk in a Nordic population-based cohort study.

Prospective PhD students

Sheraz Markar

Sheraz Markar from Imperial College London has been recruited as a prospective PhD. Sheraz Markar is funded from London (where he currently is finishing  a PhD at Imperial College) and his thesis will focus on oesophageal cancer surgery.

Qiaoli Wang

Dr. Qiaoli Wang (MD) has been recruited as new full-time PhD student in UGIS. She comes with a 4-year scholarship from China and her thesis will examine the aetiology, prediction and prevention of squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus.

Half time seminar

Congratulations to John Maret-Ouda for a well conducted half-time seminar on the 30th of November 2015.

John Maret-Ouda

Funding from the Swedish Research Council

Congratulations to our post-doctoral researcher Shaohua Xie who has received a project grant from the Swedish Research Council for collaborative research together with Chinese researchers addressing oesophageal cancer!  The funding is 700,000 SEK during a 2-year period (2016-2017).

Funding from Swedish Cancer Society

We are thankful for having received 1,750,000 SEK / year for 3 years (5,250,000 SEK during 2016-2018) from the Swedish Cancer Society for research projects on oesophageal cancer.

New PhD

Congratulations to Eva Doorakkers who was admitted as a PhD in the group at the admission seminar 29 September 2015.

PhD student

Eva Doorakkers

Organizational unit: Upper Gastrointestinal Research

Congratulations Pernilla!

We would like to congratulate the research group leader of our neighboring group, professor Pernilla Lagergren, who has been awarded The Anders Jahre Medical Prize for Young Scientists 2015. The motivation is: "For groundbreaking research on factors affecting survival and quality of life after cancer surgery." The prize of NOK 400,000 is divided equally between the two award winners.

2.7 MSEK Alf Medicine

We are very pleased to have received notification of project funding from ALF Medicine 2016. The project Reduced death in oesophageal cancer by clinical research addressing its aetiology, prevention and therapy is funded with 900 000 yearly 2016-2018 (in total 2.7 MSEK). This funding will enable us to recruit one or more clinicians for research in the group. 

Welcome to our autumn students

Nils Mårten Hauffman is writing his master thesis at KI. Together with Dag Holmberg he will be studying if early detection of Barrett's esophagus improves staging and mortality in esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Sirus Rabbani, also a medical student from KI, will be working with our post doc Shaohua Xie on a project regarding a global assessment of the male predominance in the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Kick Off at Sjöfartshuset

Together with the research group Surgical Care Science we had a Kick Off at Sjöfartshuset in the Old Town in the beginning of September. Upcoming work and important topics have been thoroughly discussed. Urban Lehndahl, the secretary general of the Nobel Assembly, presented the important and secretive work in the Nobel Assembly and we also had a chance to get inspired at a guided tour about the Nobel Laureates and creativity at the Nobel Museum.

New publication in BMJ

What is the most effective treatment for severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease?

Maret-Ouda J, Brusselaers N, Lagergren J

Severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be treated medically, using proton pump inhibitors, or surgically. We reviewed the existing literature comparing these treatments regarding reflux control, complications, future risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, quality of life and cost effectiveness. The conclusion is that medication is first line therapy, but that surgery is a good option, especially among young and otherwise healthy patients, where treatment is likely to continue for a long period of time.

Associate Professor

We congratulate Nele Brusselaers who, in June 2015, was appointed as Associate Professor in clinical epidemiology.

New PhD candidate

We congratulate Nele Brusselaers, Lars Engstrand and Jesper Lagergren who got funding (KID-funding) for a PhD candidate for a research project addressing how eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection influences cancer risk.

Half time

Congratulations to Wenjing Tao for a well conducted half-time seminar on 28th May 2015.

Welcome to our summer and project researchers

During spring and summer 3 students from the study programme in medicine at Karolinska Institutet and from Södertörn University will visit us.

Rifat Chowdury, a medical student from KI is here to study how the number of removed lymph nodes at surgery for gastric cancer affect long-term survival. The research is based on data from St Thomas' Hospital in London (King's College London). Rifat is supervised by Jesper Lagergren and James Gossage.

Manar Yanes, also a medical student from KI will work on a study on the risk of short-term mortality after antireflux surgery during the summer. The study is based on data from the Swedish patient register. Manar is supervised by John Maret-Ouda and Jesper Lagergren.

Vijaya Gajulapuri, a master's student from the Infectious disease control programme at Södertörns högskola will be here for his master project about how eradication of Helicobacter pylori changed over time. The study is based on data from the Swedish prescribed drug register. He is supervised by Nele Brusselaers.

Warmly welcome!

New post doc

A warm welcome to our new post doc Shaohua Xie.


Shaohua Xie

Organizational unit: Upper Gastrointestinal Research

New PhD

Congratulations to Dag Holmberg who was admitted as a PhD in the group at the admission seminar January 28 2015.

Half time

Congratulations Carl Kihlander for a well conducted half-time on 28th November 2014.

Project Grant from Swedish Research Council

Jesper Lagergren has received 2.1 million SEK for the years 2015-20

Dag Holmberg

Dag Holmberg has been recruited as a prospective PhD within a KID funded doctoral education project.

Eva Doorakkers

Eva Doorakkers has been recruited to the group as Research & Development Trainee.

The Strategic Research Program in Epidemiology, Young Scholar Awards at Karolinska Institutet

Nele Brusselaers has received 1 million SEK for the years 2014-2015


Anna Lindam has got a 2 + 2 year postdoctoral positionat KEP, which she will start soon after her dissertation 

Report on our research

A report on what our research based on SECC-network has resulted in


Maartje van der Schaaf,  April 25

Hanna Johans

Hanna Johans has been recruited to the group as new personal assistant to Jesper!

Eivind Ness-Jensen

Eivind Ness-Jensen has been recruited to the group as new postdoctoral researcher!


Rickard Ljung has received 300,000 SEK in ALF-funding for a research project.

Funding for congress participation

Anna Lindam has received funding of 10,000 SEK for congress participation.

Money for conference

Congratulations to Ylva and Lovisa who received 15,000 SEK each from Radiumhemmets Research Funds to be used for participation in an International Quality of Life conference organized by the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL)

Research Assistant

Rickard has been appointed one of Karolinska Institutet's central 4-yar positions as research assistant with a total funding of 3 million SEK. Congratulations!

New master student

We welcome Poorna Arnand who will complete a master thesis in nutrition under supervision by Lena Martin. Her project addresses how body composition influences the risk of toxicity during neoadjuvant chemotherapy for oesophageal cancer.

New master student

We welcome Andreas Vall who will complete a project with us this term as part of his medical training. The project is a validation study of the tumour classification data (TNM) of oesophageal cancer in the Swedish Cancer Registry. Nele is the supervisor.

New PhD candidate

We congratulate Jesper, Nele, Rickard and Hashem who got funding (KID-funding) for a PhD candidate for a reserch project addressing prevention of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.