More MTC News

Published 2014-10-01 11:07. Updated 2015-04-16 09:22

New Grants to MTC Autumn 2014

Applying for grants

10 MTC researchers have received grants for medicine, NT  and development research projects from the Swedish Research Council (VR) this November. A further researcher has received the Novo Nordisk Foundation Advanced Grant and Cancerfonden have also awarded 6 MTC cancer researchers grants.

More information about MTC grants here

Elisabeth Norin is interviewed on Vetenskapens värld on SVT

Elisabeth Norin is interviewed about faecal transplants as part of SVT's Vetenskapens värld November 2014. The interview begins at 35:15 on the link below

View SVT's Vetenskapens värld here

Anders Björkman goes to Liberia to fight Ebola

Anders Björkman, Professor in infectious diseases and research group leader at MTC, will be travelling to Liberia with MSB (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap) to help fight the spread of the Ebola virus. In an article in Läkartidningen Anders descibes how he made the decision.

Read the article i Läkartidningen (in Swedish)

New knowledge about anemia and fatigue in cancer patients

Many patients with cancer experience low blood counts, which causes weakness and fatigue. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and colleagues from China and the UK have discovered how a tumour affects a patient’s blood count and bone marrow characteristics. The study has been published online in the scientific journal Cell Reports.

Read More Here

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 39,6 M SEK Grant to Researchers from MTC, Oncology and Pathology and MBB

Professor Yihai Cao                               Sir David Lane     

Professor Jonas Berg at the Department of Oncology and Pathology together with Professor Yiha Cao and Sir David Lane from MTC and Pär Norlund at MBB have recieved a five year grant for 39,6 M SEK from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for research focusing on discovering more effective breast cancer treatments

More Information Here

1st prize at the annual KI Cancer Retreat poster session to Marina Stantic

Marina Stantic in the Margaretta Wilhelm Group at MTC has won first prize in the KI Cancer Retreat Poster session. The KI Cancer network is the largest network of its kind at KI and hundreds of members attend the annual retreat.
The prize is sponsored by Kancera AB and consists of 10,000 SEK.

Margaretta Wilhelm Group

Novo Nordisk Foundation Advanced Grant for 12.3 M SEK Awarded to Yihai Cao

Professor Yihai Cao  has been awarded the Novo Nordisk Foundation Advanced Grant. The requirements for receiving an advanced grant are that the research project is of the highest international quality and that the researcher is an established researcher at a high international level.  The researchers selected by the committee were invited to submit a five-year research program with regard to receiving a grant of 10 million Danish kroner in portions of 2 million Danish kroner yearly for 5 years.

More Information About the Grant


Gabriel Pedersen, Monika Àdori, Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam et al publish in PNAS

A sub-population of antibody-secreting cells, B-1 cells, provides early protection against several types of pathogens. Both the development and function differ between B-1 and the better known B-2 cells. In a paper in the current issue of PNAS, Pedersen et al. demonstrate the existence of a phenotypically distinct B-1 transitional cell population in the neonatal spleen of wild type mice. This transitional B cell subset was lost in the absence of the atypical NF-κB regulator IκBNS, thus revealing a requirement for intact NF-κB signaling during this stage of B-1 cell development. Studies of B-1 cell development and function by selective ablation of specific regulators of the NF-KB pathway may reveal new targets for therapeutic intervention

Read the Article Online here

Axel Hirsch Prize for groundbreaking research on angiogenesis

Professor Yihai Cao at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet is awarded the 2014 Axel Hirsch Prize for his groundbreaking studies on angiogenesis and its importance for numerous physiological and pathological conditions.

Read More Here

Dilaforette presents results from exploratory Phase I/II clinical trial in uncomplicated malaria

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – May 30, 2014. Today, Dilaforette AB announced the results from an exploratory Phase I/II clinical trial in malaria with its candidate drug sevuparin. Sevuparin was studied in adult patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria as adjunct treatment and was found to be safe and well tolerated. The study results indicates important early anti-adhesive effects with a potential to improve the outcome for patients with severe malaria, even though the primary efficacy endpoint was not met. Karolinska Development owns 69 percent of Dilaforette.

Read More Here

10 Year Swedish Research Council Grant to Foreign Adjunct Professor Sir David Lane

Foreign Adjunct Professor and MTC friend, Sir David Lane has been awarded 144 million SEK over a period of 10 years from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet ) as part of an unprecedented initiative by Sweden to recruit international top researchers to Swedish Universities. David will expand ongoing collaborations at MTC and initiate new KI-wide activities during what promises to be an extremely exciting decade for basic, translational and interdisciplinary experimental research. We congratulate David and wish him warm welcome to KI!

Cancer and Allergy Fund Environmental Medicine Award 2014 to Britta Wahren

The Cancer  and  Allergy  Foundation ́s  Environmental  Medicine  Award  is  one  of  the  largest   research  awards  available  in  Sweden  and  is  given  each  year  to  one  or  two  prominent   researchers  in  environment-­‐related  cancer  and  allergy  research.  This year's award ceremony took place on May 19th, 2014 and one of the recipients was MTC's Britta Wahren

More information about the award

Jan Albert Honoured for his HIV Research

Chief Physician and Professor Jan Albert has been awarded the Honorary Red Ribbon from the Hiv-Sverige organisation. The annual award is given out by Hiv-Sverige on International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day to individuals or groups who have made a significant improvement for HIV sufferers in Sweden during the year.

Read More About Jan Alberts Research

Läs denna nyhet på svenska     

NIH grant to Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam at MTC

Professor Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam (pictured) at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) at KI, receives a PO1 grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The total amount of the grant is 80 million SEK, to be shared between four research groups. In addition to Karlsson Hedestam, L. Shapiro at Columbia University, Yuxing Li at TSRI and Richard Wyatt at TSRI share the grant. Twenty million SEK is awarded to Karlsson Hedestam’s group over five years, 2014–2019.

The aim of the project is to analyze, at a high level of resolution, immune responses elicited by new generation soluble HIV-1 glycoproteins. The research group at MTC will investigate B cell affinity maturation processes and recruitment of B cells into long-lived memory compartments. The evolution of specific antibody lineages will be examined by single cell and next generation sequencing to further understand host antibody responses to foreign protein antigens.

References of relevance to the grant

1.    C. Sundling, Y. Li, N. Huynh, R. Wilson, S. O’Dell, C. Poulsen, J. R. Mascola, R. T. Wyatt, and G.B. Karlsson Hedestam ”High-resolution genetic and functional definition of vaccine-elicited B cell responses against the HIV primary receptor binding site” (2012) Science Translational Medicine;4(142):142ra96

2.    K. Tran, J. Guenaga, C. Poulsen, N. de Val Alda, R. Wilson, C. Sundling, Y. Li, R. Stanfield, I. Wilson, A. Ward, G. B. Karlsson Hedestam and R. Wyatt ”Vaccine-elicited primate antibodies use a distinct approach to the HIV-1 primary receptor binding site informing vaccine redesign” (2014) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A; Epub. February 4, 2014

3.    C. Sundling, Z. Zhang, G. Phad, Z. Sheng, Y. Wang, J. Mascola, Y. Li, R.T. Wyatt, L. Shapiro, and G.B. Karlsson Hedestam ”Single-cell and deep sequencing of macaque B cells reveal a diverse IGHV repertoire following immunization” (2014) Journal of Immunology; 15;192(8):3637-44

More information about Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam's research here

Mats Wahlgren Featured on P1 Tendens 28 April

There is now a podcast (in Swedish) available from Radio P1 Tendens on 28 April featuring Mats Wahlgren (at 02:50) discussing internationalization within research and its positive effects.

Listen to the program here


Elisabeth Norin Featured in Hjärnkontoret from SVT

Elisabeth Norin was interviewed in the Scientific series 'Hjärnkontoret' for children on Swedish national television (SVT) this month


Björn Önfelt receives SSF Medical Bioengineering Grant for 32 Million SEK

Björn Önfelt has received a Medical Bioengineering Grant for 32 Million SEK from The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). The grant is for research focusing on cell based therapy and is one of 8 Medical Bioengineering Grants this spring from SSF for a total of 250 Million SEK.

Read More on the SSF website
Björn Önfelts research project at MTC

Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation Position Awarded to Sonia Lain

Sonia Lain is awarded a 6 year position by the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden) for research on combinations of new & potential medicines for the treatment of pediatric cancers.

More information about Sonia Lain's research
Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation Awards and Grants 2014

Wallenberg Academy Fellows Candidates from MTC

For the 2014 round of the Wallenberg Academy Fellowships, we were proud to see that all 3 candidates MTC had nominated were selected to represent KI in the national evaluation process. The candidates are: Anita Göndör and Jonathan Coquet (internal candidates) and Edmond Loh (external candidate). The Wallenberg Academy Fellows program, which aims to engage up to 125 young researchers in different disciplines over a five-year period, gives support up to a total value of 1.2 billion SEK. The selection of the 2014 Fellows will be announced at the end of the year. We wish Anita, Jonathan and Edmond the best of luck with their applications!

Three New Group Leaders Appointed

Three new group leaders have been appointed by the MTC Head of Department from March 2014; Anita Göndor (DNA repair and chromosome crosstalk: a two-way relationship), Jonas Sundbäck (Immunology research/undergraduate education) and Margareta Wilhelm (Exploring the role of p73 isoforms during tumor development). Congratulations!
More information about MTC researchers

New findings on neurogenesis in the spinal cord

Research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggests that the expression of the so called MYC gene is important and necessary for neurogenesis in the spinal cord. The findings are being published in the journal EMBO Reports.

Read the KI Press release

Investigating mechanical properties of cells to better understand the cause of cancer

Oncogenes deregulate fundamental cellular functions, leading to the development of tumors and metastases. A recent article, published in PNAS, from researchers at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet together with colleagues at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), clarifies how oncogenes induce the stiffness and invasive capacity of transformed cells.

The research group found that oncogenes change the organization of the vimentin fibers of the intracellular cytoskeleton, induce cell stiffness and an invasive capacity of cells. They also showed that the protein HDAC6 mediates this effect on vimentin reorganization and increased cell stiffness. These findings reveal how key molecules for tumor treatment and diagnosis, such as oncogenes, HDAC6 and vimentin, can modulate cell stiffness.

- Therefore, the findings underscore the importance of investigating the mechanical properties of cells to fully understand what causes tumors and metastasis, explains project leader Annica Gad at MTC.

Link to the article abstract in PNAS


Birgitta Henriques Normark appointed Vice Dean of Recruitment

Birgitta Henriques Normark has been appointed new vice dean of recruitment for a three year term commencing 1 April 2014.

Birgitta Henriques Normark receives the appointment of vice dean of recruitment after the position was advertised inviting applications of interest, and following a decision by the Vice Chancellor on the proposal of the internal boards. Since she will not be taking office until 1 April 2014, Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg’s term as vice dean will be extended until 31 March. The position is equivalent to the former one of “assistant dean of recruitment” and places the incumbent, as chairperson of the Recruitment Committee, in charge of preparing the recruitment of professors and senior lecturers, including adjuncts and visiting teachers.


Dr. Tatiana Pavlova, awardee of the Georg & Eva Klein Foundation and Clas Groschinsky Scholarship 2013

Congratulations to your scholarship! What is your research background?

I started my cancer research in 2005 and made my PhD defense in Moscow, Russia in 2009 within tumor biology and epigenetics. In 2010, I joined George Klein's group and started working on the tumor microenvironment.

Please tell us some more about your present research project concerning in-depth studies of the tumor microenvironment applied on prostate cancer.

One out of three people get cancer. But two out of three never do. Why is this? Tumor cells are very heterogeneous, which suggests that there are some general protective mechanisms working against development of tumorigenic cells. This protection comes from the tumor microenvironment. The goal of my project is to reveal these mechanisms. Another question is whether there are differences between individuals. The understanding of these mechanisms will contribute to new targets for individualized cancer prognosis, treatment and (hopefully!) prevention of cancer.

What are your plans for the next five year period?

I would love to continue my scientific career at Karolinska Institutet, and continue with studies of the tumor microenvironment. I hope to be able to start my own group and to work on new projects.

Why do you think it is important to support The Georg & Eva Klein Foundation?

Georg and Eva Klein are not only great scientists, they are also excellent teachers. They still work a lot with young researchers, sharing their experiences and their bright insight in science. Having the opportunity to work together with Georg and Eva is a great school and real pleasure for young researchers.

More information about the Georg & Eva Klein Foundation

Georg och Eva Kleins Stiftelse


New Grants to MTC Autumn 2013

8 MTC researchers have received grants for medicine, NT, Swedish Research Links and development research projects from the Swedish Research Council (VR) this November. A further two researchers have received Framework grants for research cooperation with China and Framework grants in antimicrobial resistance, from the Sweden-NSFC (China) joint research program. Cancerfonden have also awarded 6 MTC cancer researchers grants. In addition, 3 researchers have been awarded project grants from Barncancerfonden.

Swedish Research Council (VR) Annual Grants in thousand SEK
Name 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
Albert, Jan 1 M 1 M 1 M 1 M 1 M 5 M
Henriques Normark, Birgitta 700 700 700     2.1 M
Karlsson, Mikael 1 M 1 M 1 M     3 M
Pettersson, Sven 700 700 700 700   2.8 M
Kaneko, Akira 946 742 742     2.448 M
Rottenberg, Martin 281 225 245     751
Ohlsson, Rolf 900 900 900 900   3.6 M
Römling, Ute 700 800 800 800   3.1 M
Swedish Research Council (VR) Framework grants for research cooperation with China and Framework grant in antimicrobial resistance, Sweden-NSFC (China) joint research program in Million SEK
Name 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
Henriques Normark, Birgitta 3.901 3.901 3.901 3.901 3.810 19.392
Hoffner, Sven 3.923 3.923 3.923 3.923 3.923 19.502
Swedish Research Council (VR) Framework grants and research schools in infection and antibiotics in Million SEK
Name 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total
Henriques Normark, Birgitta 3.571 2 857 2 857 2 144 11.429
Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden) Annual Grants in thousand SEK
Name 2014 2015 2016 Total
Arsenian Henriksson, Marie 800 800 800 2.4 M
Fredlund, Erik 500 500 500 1.5 M
Karlsson, Mikael 500 500 500 1.5 M
Pettersson, Sven 500 500 500 1.5 M
Szekely, Laszlo 600 600 600 1.8 M
Önfelt, Björn 500 500 500 1.5 M
The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden) Project Grants in thousand SEK
Name 2014 2015 2016 Total
Arsenian Henriksson, Marie 400 400   800
Larsson, Lars-Gunnar 1 M 1 M   2 M
Westerberg, Lisa 500 500   1 M

Baltic Network against Life Threatening Viral Infections Conference Vilnius, Lithuania, April 24-27, 2014.

Early bird registration for 11th conference of Baltic Antiviral Network Vilnius April 24-27th, 2014 is now open, deadline February 28th. Abstract submission is open until March 20, 2014

More Information on the Conference Website

Download the Program and Information (pdf)


Hannah Akuffo Accepted as Fellow of The Royal Collage of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCPE) 

Professor Hannah Akuffo has been accepted to be a Fellow of The Royal Collage of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCPE). This is in recognition for her research work in the area of infectious diseases and for her leadership role in the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). The award was presented to her on Friday October 18th.

Motivation for the award

Professor Hannah Akuffo has an extensive and proven track record in research on the immunology of poverty-related parasitic diseases and has extensive experience of Euro-African research cooperation and funding. Her work has included studies to develop an affordable tool for diagnosis of the causative agent of river blindness. She has served over the last 12 years in various research steering committees of the World Bank/UNDP/WHO Special Programme on Tropical Disease Research and Training (TDR). In 2009, she was appointed to the prestigious position of the Chair of The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial

Hannah Akuffo's Website


Lars Gunnar Larsson receives Knut and Alice Wallenbergs Foundation Grant for 33.6 Million SEK

Lars Gunnar Larsson receives Knut and Alice Wallenbergs Foundation Grant for 33.6 Million SEK for his groups research in Skin Cancer treatments

Read More Here (article in Swedish)