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Ola Hermanson

Senior researcher

Visiting address : Retzius Väg 8 171 65 Solna, Sweden
Postal address : Department of Neuroscience (Neuro), C4, Department of Neuroscience (Neuro), C4, Retzius Väg 8 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Delivery address : Institutionen För Neurovetenskap, Karolinska Institutet, Retzius Väg 8 171 65 Solna, Sweden


School of Medicine, Lund, 1987-1990

PhD studies, Linköping University, 1991-1997

Postdoctoral training, University of San Diego (UCSD), 1997-2002

Assistant Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB), Karolinska Institutet, 2003-2005

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 2006-2009

Senior scientist, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 2009-

Research description

We are interested in the development of the brain in health and disease, in particular brain regions involved in social, emotional/affective and cognitive processes. We are specifically interested in molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of stem cell and progenitor characteristics and differentiation into functional neurons and other cell types. To investigate these topics, we use advanced molecular techniques, including genome-wide analyses of chromatin, and the most relevant cell types, involving translational collaborations with clinicians. Our activities can be divided into three main, overlapping branches:

1. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of stem cell state and fate to generate functional systems for repair of a damaged nervous system, for example after surgery, and increased understanding of psychiatric disease;
2. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of tumor cell and cancer-derived stem cell state and fate, especially in glioma and childhood cancers  medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma;
3. Biomedical engineering  and studies of microenvironment (see, e.g., Biomaterials, 2007; 2009; 2012) to provide novel approaches for stem and cancer cell biology and clinical applications in regenerative medicine.

We participate actively in several networks of neuroscience, cancer, bioengineering, stem cells, and regenerative medicine. In addition, we are dedicated fans of basic science and are involved in many outreach activities.