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Fredrik Lanner

Assistant professor

Postal address : Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), H9, x, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, K 57 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Research description

Pluripotency, Embryonic Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

The Lanner lab aims to:

1. Uncover the fundamental principles underlying how the first cell types and pluripotency is established in the early human embryo.

2. Establish a good manufacturing practice (GMP) bank of clinically compliant high quality embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

3. Explore treatment of age-related macula degeneration using ESC derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells.

ESCs isolated from the human blastocyst can be propagated indefinitely and directed into any cell type of the adult human, offering great potential for regenerative medicine to replace lost or damaged tissues. The knowledge of how these pluripotent cells are established and controlled in vivo is generated primarily in animal modes such as the mouse while our knowledge of the same process in the human is rudimentary and key differences are emerging. We will explore these issues through single cell mRNA sequencing, pioneering genetic technologies and functional assays in human blastocysts. This fundamental knowledge will also be important for our understanding of infertility, a problem affecting 10-15% of all couples in our society.

We have established an efficient differentiation methodology of ESCs into clinically relevant cell types. However, before these safely can become clinical practice, additional hurdles must be overcome such as GMP production and immune matching of cells and patients. By establishing the KI Stem Cell Bank we hope to resolve these issues and facilitate efforts to move stem cell based regenerative medicine into the clinic. Finally, we will specifically aim to initiate trials based on ESC in treatment of macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in our elderly population.


Current Lab members

 Dr. Liselotte Antonsson, Lab manager 

Dr. Sophie Petroploulos, Postdoc. Single cell RNA sequencing analysis of human blastocyst formation. 

Dr. Sebastian Hildebrand, Postdoc. Establishing the biophysical properties of the trofectoderm, the first epithelial celltype.

Dr. Sarita Pauliina Panula, Postdoc. Establishing novel tools to explore distinct stem cell types in the human embryo.

Dr. Siqin Wu, Industrial Postdoc (Spiber Technologies). Developing novel ESCs differentiation strategies using spider silk.

John Paul Schell, PhD student. Dissecting naive and primed pluripotency.

Alvaro Plaza Reyes, PhD student. Treating AMD using ESCs. Establishing genetic technologies to study early human development. 

Sara Padrell Sánchez, PhD student. Treating AMD using ESCs.


Interested in joining the lab?
Postdoctoral Bioinformatician to exploring early human development and stem cell biology is currently available. 

Master and PhD projects may be available in the lab. Applications for post-doc positions are very welcomed if the applicant can bring financing. Otherwise early contacts are encouraged to plan applications for external personal post-doc grants.


KI Stem Cell Bank

Together with Professor Outi Hovatta we have established the KI Stem Cell Bank to derive clinically compliant GMP ESCs. Liselotte Antonsson and Mona Hedenskog manage the facillity.



Single-cell analyses of X Chromosome inactivation dynamics and pluripotency during differentiation.

Chen G, Schell JP, Benitez JA, Petropoulos S, Yilmaz M, Reinius B, Alekseenko Z, Shi L, Hedlund E, Lanner F, Sandberg R, Deng Q.

Genome Res. 2016 Aug 2. pii: gr.201954.115. [Epub ahead of print]


Characterization and target genes of nine human PRD-like homeobox domain genes expressed exclusively in early embryos.

Madissoon E, Jouhilahti EM, Vesterlund L, Töhönen V, Krjutškov K, Petropoulous S, Einarsdottir E, Linnarsson S, Lanner F, Månsson R, Hovatta O, Bürglin TR, Katayama S, Kere J.

Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 14;6:28995. doi: 10.1038/srep28995.


Single-cell RNA-seq reveals lineage and X-chromosome dynamics in human preimplantation embryos
Sophie Petropoulos, Daniel Edsgärd, Björn Reinius, Qiaolin Deng, Sarita Pauliina Panula, Simone Codeluppi, Alvaro Plaza Reyes, Sten Linnarsson, Rickard Sandberg, Fredrik Lanner
Cell, published online 7 April 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.03.023


Single-cell RNA sequencing: revealing human pre-implantation development, pluripotency and germline development.

Petropoulos S, Panula SP, Schell JP, Lanner F.

J Intern Med. 2016 Apr 5. doi: 10.1111/joim.12493.


Xeno-Free and Defined Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Functionally Integrate in a Large-Eyed Preclinical Model.

Alvaro Plaza Reyes, Sandra Petrus-Reurer, Liselotte Antonsson, Sonya Stenfelt, Hammurabi Bartuma, Sarita Panula, Theresa Mader, Iyadh Douagi, Helder André, Outi Hovatta, Fredrik Lanner, Anders Kvanta. 

Stem Cell Reports, online 24 december 2015


Adult human and mouse ovaries lack DDX4-expressing functional oogonial stem cells.

Zhang H, Panula S, Petropoulos S, Edsgärd D, Busayavalasa K, Liu L, Li X, Risal S, Shen Y, Shao J, Liu M, Li S, Zhang D, Zhang X, Gerner RR, Sheikhi M, Damdimopoulou P, Sandberg R, Douagi I, Gustafsson JÅ, Liu L, Lanner F, Hovatta O, Liu K.

Nat Med. 2015 Oct 7;21(10):1116-8


Lineage specification in the early mouse embryo.

Lanner F.

Exp Cell Res. 2014 Feb 1;321(1):32-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.12.004


Interaction domains of Sos1/Grb2 are finely tuned for cooperative control of embryonic stem cell fate.

Findlay GM, Smith MJ, Lanner F, Hsiung MS, Gish GD, Petsalaki E, Cockburn K, Kaneko T, Huang H, Bagshaw RD, Ketela T, Tucholska M, Taylor L, Bowtell DD, Moffat J, Ikura M, Li SS, Sidhu SS, Rossant J, Pawson T.

Cell. 2013 Feb 28;152(5):1008-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.01.056.


Cell-surface proteomics identifies lineage-specific markers of embryo-derived stem cells.

Rugg-Gunn PJ, Cox BJ, Lanner F, Sharma P, Ignatchenko V, McDonald AC, Garner J, Gramolini AO, Rossant J, Kislinger T.

Dev Cell. 2012 Apr 17;22(4):887-901. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.01.005.


The role of FGF/Erk signaling in pluripotent cells.

Lanner F, Rossant J.

Development. 2010 Oct;137(20):3351-60. doi: 10.1242/dev.050146.


FGF signal-dependent segregation of primitive endoderm and epiblast in the mouse blastocyst.

Yamanaka Y, Lanner F, Rossant J.

Development. 2010 Mar;137(5):715-24. doi: 10.1242/dev.043471.

Academic honors, awards and prizes

Swedish Research Council 

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Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research

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Ragnar Söderberg Foundation






Mats Sundin Fellowship






Research Associate position, funded by the Board of Research, Karolinska Institutet






Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse

Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse - Stödjer vetenskaplig forskning och infrastruktur inom naturvetenskap, teknik och medicin