My research focuses on investigating environmentally induced epigenetic changes in complex disorders, mainly to analyse epigenetic aberrations involved in smoking-induced rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
My PhD project (2010) entitled "Gene-environment factors in depressive disorders -with a focus on circadian genes", aimed at identifying genetic variants associated with depressive disorders in relation to environmental factors, with a focus on the circadian clock system. This system produces, maintains and synchronises a variety of biological rhythms such as the sleep-wake pattern, blood pressure and hormone release. Genetic vulnerability mediated by these clock genes might cause predisposition to depression and environmental stressors, both during childhood and later on in life, and may also cause predisposition to depressive symptoms. The overall conclusion implicates that mutations in the circadian genes might cause, contribute or increase the risk for depressive symptoms. Hence, the identification of genetic variants in circadian genes and their effects will give us a better understanding of the neurobiology behind depressive disorders and contribute to the improvement of diagnosis and treatments.
I am affiliated with IMM Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS). I coordinate collaboration within consortia at the Nutritional Epidemiology unit at IMM. This involves working with several groups from the USA and Europe. It involves responsibility for contacts, data transfer, contracts, etc. At the Medical Epigenetic group at CNS, I am conducting research aimed at investigating the role of epigenetic aberrations in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to better understand the way environment and lifestyle interact with genetic predisposition that cause the inflammatory reactions underlying the development of RA.
Having these two research affiliations, I plan to initiate research with a nutritional-related epigenetic approach to complex disorders, such as particular cancers.
Neurogenetics, course for graduate students at Karolinska Institutet
Psychiatric Genetics, course for graduate students part of the doctoral school for psychiatrists at Karolinska Institutet
2010 PhD in Medical Science at Karolinska Institutet
2005 MSc in Molecular biology at Stockholm University
Five selected publications
CRY2 is associated with rapid cycling in bipolar disorder patients.
PLoS One. 2010 Sep 9;5(9):e12632.
CRY2 is associated with depression.
PLoS One. 2010 Feb 24;5(2):e9407.
CLOCK is suggested to associate with comorbid alcohol use and depressive disorders.
J Circadian Rhythms. 2010 Jan 21;8:1.
PreproNPY Pro7 protects against depression despite exposure to environmental risk factors.
J Affect Disord. 2009 Nov;118(1-3):124-30.
A multifactorial developmental model for the etiology of major depression in a population-based sample.
J Affect Disord. 2009 Feb;113(1-2):66-76.