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Martin Eklund

Assistant professor

About me

I am an associate professor of biostatistics at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) at Karolinska Institutet (KI). I did all my undergraduate studies at Uppsala University, apart from a three-semester stint at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. I also did my PhD at Uppsala University, mainly focusing on computer intensive methods for statistical model choice and validation with applications in the drug development pipeline. After I finished my PhD, I did postdocs at the section for Global Safety Assessment at AstraZeneca and at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI. During 2013 and 2014, I was based in San Francisco and worked at the Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF).


  • PhD Bioinformatics, Uppsala University, 2010
  • MSc Molecular Biotechnology (civilingenjör), Uppsala University, 2005
  • MSc Mathematics, Uppsala University, 2006
  • BSc Macroeconomics, Uppsala University, 2004

Research description

My research focuses on the intersection between statistics and translational medicine, in particular related to improvement in early detection of prostate and breast cancer.

The STHLM3 trial

STHLM3 is a large-scale prospective and population-based prostate cancer diagnostic study involving close to 60,000 men in Stockholm 2013-2015. Two screening methods, PSA and the STHLM3 Model, were tested and compared for safety and efficacy. The primary aim of STHLM3 was to investigate if S3M could substantially reduce the proportion of men undergoing prostate biopsy whilst maintaining the sensitivity for detecting consequential prostate cancer (Gleason Score 7 or above) compared to PSA. A number of follow-up studies to STHLM3 are currently being planned, e.g. STHLM3-MRI, which will combine the STHLM3 Model with MRI investigations to further improve prostate cancer diagnostics, and STHLM3-clinic, which involves the final clinical implementation of the STHLM3 results. The primary funding source for STHLM3 was the Stockholm County Council (Stockholms Läns Landsting).

The WISDOM trial

The WISDOM trial investigates whether a risk-based approach to breast cancer screening is as safe and effective as annual mammograms. We will also determine whether women readily accept personalized screening and if knowledge of their own risks, and the reasons for less-frequent screening, will reduce anxiety about breast cancer. Finally, we will determine whether our personalized approach will lead to more of the highest-risk women deciding to use strategies that can prevent breast cancer. Participants in the personalized screening arm receive a risk assessment that includes family and medical history, breast density measurement, and genomic tests (SNPs and high-penetrance genes such as BRCA1/2). WISDOM will enroll 100,000 women across California and South Dakota and is funded by the Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI).

Current supervision of PhD students

Current research grants (as PI)

My research is supported by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), and the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden).

Selected articles