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Lars E Gustafsson


About me

Professor of Physiology and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Studied medicine at the Karolinska Institutet, where I obtained my MD in 1974 and became a licensed doctor in 1979. After a PhD in physiology 1980 and positions at the Swedish National Institute of Environmental Medicine in 1999 I became professor in physiology, Karolinska Institutet. 

Research description

With methods from organ baths to HPLC and mass spectrometry, I have studied mediators regulating smooth muscle in internal organs and blood vessels including regulation of the pulmonary circulation and in a project with Salvador Moncada in 1991 discovered exhaled nitric oxide.

The work showed that endogenous nitric oxide is necessary for a normal oxygenation of the blood and that exhaled nitric oxide can be measured in single breaths, where a decrease is seen in smokers and an increase is found in both experimental and human asthma.

I have since mainly worked on exhaled nitric oxide, but still keeps an interest in mediator research, including work on bladder regulation and on novel nitric oxide releasing compounds. Presently I am involved in a project studying basic factors such as gravity and ambient pressure which affect exhaled nitric oxide, incorporating studies on the international space station, ISS. 

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • The Swedish Cancer and Allergy Foundation prize 1999 (together with Björn Gillberg)
  • Karolinska Innovations Contest 2005, first Prize. Novel Vasodilator Concept
  • Innovationsbron Stockholm 2005. Best Business Idea Award.