Ulf Hedin has been awarded funding from Mats Kleberg foundation

Published 2014-08-14 10:39. Updated 2014-08-14 10:41Denna sida på svenska

Ulf Hedin has been awarded funding from Mats Kleberg Foundation for research on biomarkers of plaque instability in the carotid artery.


Unstable atherosclerosis in the carotid bifurcation is a preventable cause of ischemic stroke. Today, patients with symptoms of carotid plaque instability such as minor stroke or TIA undergo preventive surgery but there are no methods available to detect plaque instability prior to events and thereby improve risk management as well as selection of patients for intervention.


The projects is based on the hypothesis that detailed molecular analysis of tissue and blood samples from patients with carotid atherosclerosis can serve as a platform for clinical and basic research that will lead to:

  1. Identification of central mechanisms in human plaque instability and plaque healing
  2. Identification of biomarkers and development of imaging for the detection of plaque instability in patients with carotid atherosclerosis

Work plan

In this project, we utilize an established biobank (BiKE) of plaque and plasma samples from n>800 patients treated at our clinic processed for RNA, DNA, proteomic, in situ and in vitro analyses. Data is combined with phenotypic information, transcriptomic array profiles and genome wide SNP data. The project has progressively developed into a competitive platform for generation of new hypotheses on mechanisms and gene signatures in plaque instability and will now explore the proteomic landscape of human atherosclerosis aiming at detection of key protein targets and plausible biomarkers. Towards these goals we will employ mass spectroscopy and affinity-based proteomics, new methodology for RNA expression analyses in situ, and bioimaging.


The project will have considerable impact on stroke preventive management of patients with carotid atherosclerosis and is expected to:

  1. improve selection of patients for stroke preventive surgery and optimized risk intervention
  2. support development of plaque-stabilizing drugs
  3. transfer knowledge to unstable atherosclerosis in other vascular beds as eg coronary arteries

Professor/senior physician

Ulf Hedin

Phone: 08-517 721 75
Organizational unit: Vascular Surgery
E-mail: Ulf.Hedin@ki.se