StratCan Collaborators

To promote research excellence and translation of research findings into clinical practice, StratCan has established strategic alliances at the local, national and international level.

At Karolinska Institutet StratCan connects the activities of three Thematic Translational Centers and two Linné centers focused on cancer research. StratCan also closely interacts with the KICancer network and the NatiOn research school. On the national level StratCan has an alliance with Stockholm County Council and the Regional Cancer Center (RCC) as well as close collaboration with the two other national strategic cancer research environments (U-CAN and BioCare). Internationally StratCan currently has collaboration agreements with MD Anderson Cancer Center and DKFZ in place and plans for futher partnerships. StratCan also collaborrates with industry and manages joint projects and efforts under the KI-Roche Master Collaboration Agreement.

Associated Centers

StratCan has established a research environment and meeting point for the most competitive cancer research at KI. StratCan brings together research groups and research centers (the three Translational Thematic Centers - ACT, BRECT, IMTAC - and the two Linné centers within cancer research - CRisP, STARGET) spread over many different departments and three geographical locations.

Translational Thematic Centers

The theme centers are set up jointly by the Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council to promote the transfer of basic research to clinical application. StratCan has close collaboration with the three theme centers in cancer research (ACT, BRECT, IMTAC) and their directors are members of the Executive Board.

  • Center for Advanced Cancer Therapies (ACT)
    The aim of ACT is to identify and characterize novel compounds that target critical pathways in cancer cells. A multidisciplinary approach that integrates clinical research with state of the art HTP screening of chemical libraries and target identification/validation technologies, including cell and molecular biology, transcriptomics, proteomics, computational biology and in vivo imaging techniques is used. Director: Galina Selivanova.
  • Breast Cancer Theme Center (BRECT)
    The breast cancer theme center aims to increase our understanding of critical steps in breast cancer development and therapy. The research span from basic studies using cell lines, animal models and patient biopsies, to prospective clinical studies and clinical trials, with the ultimate goal to improve breast cancer therapy and disease outcome. Director Jonas Bergh.
  • Theme Center for Immune Modulatory Therapies (IMTAC)
    The main focus of IMTAC is developing innovative immune-based treatment approaches and accelerating the movement of effective immunotherapies into the clinic as part of the standard of care for patients. Director: Rolf Kiessling.

Linnaeus Centers

The Swedish Research Council provides support to a total of 40 research environments in different research areas through a 5-10-year Linnaeus grant allocated in 2006 and 2008. The aim of the Linnaeus grants is to enhance support for research of the highest quality that can compete internationally. It also aims to encourage universities and colleges to prioritize research fields and to allocate funding for them. StratCan has close collaboration with the Linnaeus Centers in Cancer Research at Karolinska Institutet, and their directors are members of the Executive Board.

  •  CRisP - The Cancer Risk Prediction Center
    The translational research environment CRisP covers the fields of cancer epidemiology, next-generation sequencing, biostatistics, systems biology, pathology, surgery and quality-of-life research. CRisP was established in 2008 based on a shared vision of decreased breast and prostate cancer mortality through individualized risk prediction and prevention. Coordinated by Henrik Grönberg.
  • STARGET - a Cancer Research Network
    STARGET is a cancer research network at Karolinska Institutet dedicated to a systematic characterization of the roles of pericytes and fibroblasts in normal and tumor tissue. It is the only Linné center dedicated to experimental cancer research. STARGET i supported by the Swedish Research Council since 2006. Coordinated by Arne Östman. 


StratCan has close collaboration with the KICancer network at KI, chaired by Ingemar Ehrnberg.

NatiOn research school

StratCan supports the National Research School in Clinical Cancer (NatiOn) with means to cover the costs of research time for 10 clinicians pursuing their PhD. This effort is in continuation of a previous announcement of two four-year grants for postgraduate education in cancer research for MDs or medical students. The ambition is to encourage participation and allow more clinicians time to engage in research to meet the future need for competitive clinical cancer researchers.

National Collaboration

SFO Cancer: BioCARE & U-CAN

The Strategic Research Programmes (SFO) in Cancer: U-CAN from Uppsala/Umeå, BioCARE from Lund/Göteborg and StratCan from Karolinska Institutet, work together for national efforts in cancer research. On StratCans initiative the programmes meet yearly for The Swedish Cancer Research Meeting.

Regional Cancer Center (RCC)

Regional Cancer Center Stockholm - Gotland will lead and coordinate the region's efforts to streamline cancer care processes. StratCan has close collaboration with RCC, strengthened by the fact that Roger Henriksson, co-director of StratCan, is head of RCC Stockholm - Gotland. A significant joint effort is the recruitment of Professor Per Ljungman as Research Coordinator at RCC.

International Collaboration

StratCan has formed international collaboration agreements with two world-leading cancer research centers, DKFZ in Germany and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, USA. These collaboration agreements have resulted in joint project grant announcements with each partner university.


StratCan collaborates with The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). Presently two research projects are jointly funded through this collaboration.

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Ronald A. DePinho, President MD Anderson and Anders Hamsten, Vice-Chancellor KI at the signing ceremony.In May 2013 KI signed a "Sister Institution Agreement" with MD Anderson Cancer Center. MD Anderson Cancer Center is a top-ranked comprehensive cancer center in the United States. The signing ceremony was held at KI accompanied by a mini-symposium with prominent international speakers.

StratCan administers the collaborative efforts with MD Anderson and serves as the contact point at KI. The primary joint efforts include:

  • Participating in the SINF (Sister Institution Network Fund) grant announcement for collaborative grants. The KI-MDACC Collaborative grant/ SINF has been announced yearly since 2013 and so far five projects have received funding (funding of the KI partner by StratCan).
  • Participating in the annual GAP meeting. The meeting is held every second year at MD Anderson in Houston Texas and every second year hosted abroad at a Sister Institution. KI/StratCan has participated in the meetings annually since start.

Industry Collaboration

KI-Roche Master Collaborative Agreement

The Master Collaborative Agreement (MCA) for strategic collaboration in the Cancer Research field was signed by KI and Roche global research organization in December 2014. The aim is to develop new and better therapies and more specific methods for analyses, but also to identify novel signal pathways that can be targets for future drugs.

Article regarding the MCA in (in Swedish)

Joint Steering Committee (JSC):

Members: Astrid Kiermaier (Roche), Pavel Pisa (Roche), Rune Toftgård (KI) and Klas Wiman (KI). Chair: Gabriele Beer (Roche).

Alliance Directors: Björn Arvidsson (Roche) and Sandra Falck (KI).

The Joint Steering Committee meets regularly (2-4 times yearly).

Please, do not hesitate to contact the alliance directors or any other member of the JSC should you have any questions or want more information regarding the collaboration agreement and possibilities for joint research projects.

KI-Roche Oncology workshop:

The first joint KI-Roche workshop in Oncology was held at Nobel Forum KI Solna October 19-20, 2015 with the ambition to allow interaction and discussion regarding possibilities for joint research projects.