International Collaborations

International collaboration is one of Cancer Research KI:s main focus areas and we are constantly broadening and developing our efforts within this area. Cancer Research KI manages international collaboration agreements signed by Karolinska Institutet with world-leading research centers in the Cancer Research field.

KI and Cancer Research Horizons Partnership

Karolinska Institutet and Cancer Research UK’s innovation engine, Cancer Research Horizons, have announced a 5-year strategic partnership dedicated to accelerating the translation of academic cancer research into improved treatments for patients. Under the terms of this new partnership, the parties have committed to several joint activities including research collaborations and funding initiatives, theme-based alliances, mutual access to facilities, expertise, materials, and tools, as well as joint events, and training programmes.  

Mayo Clinic

An annual research symposium began in 1994 between diabetes and metabolism investigators from the Mayo Clinic and the Karolinska Institutet. In 2011, Mayo Clinic and Karolinska Institutet signed an agreement that formalized and encouraged partnerships between the two institutions toward goals in research, education, and innovation. Today, Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic support a strong network of collaborations through a joint collaboration platform.

In 2020, the Mayo Clinic and Karolinska Institutet announce a collaborative call within the area of breast cancer.

This newly formed collaboration will begin with an initial phase supporting two demonstration projects in 2020 on the topic of breast cancer, due to already existing links and collaboration between the research entities. The aim of this collaboration is to have a global impact on cancer through research focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of breast cancer. A broader programme focusing on additional cancer sites is planned for future calls.

In 2019, Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic celebrate 25 years of fruitful scientific collaboration and exchange.

Collaborative Project Awards provide competitive funds to Mayo Clinic - Karolinska Institutet collaborations to conduct joint research projects.

Collaborative Travel Awards support individuals from Mayo Clinic who travel to Stockholm, Sweden, to work with collaborative partners. In turn, Mayo Clinic welcomes Karolinska Institutet travelers to Mayo Clinic’s three locations.

in 2018, Yuanyuan Zhang (Ph.D. student at the Department Oncology-Pathology) and Lakshmi Sandhow (Ph.D. student at the Department of Medicine Huddinge) were awarded student travel grants for the 8th Mayo Clinic Symposium on Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Therapeutics.

ECHoS Photo: NA

Establishing of Cancer Mission Hubs: Networks and Synergies (ECHoS) 

  • The project Establishing of Cancer Mission Hubs: Networks and Synergies (ECHoS) aims to coordinate R&I and Healthcare actions on cancer, with policy-making processes, towards people-centric healthcare and research systems.
  • The consortium brings together the leading expertise of more than 50 governmental, healthcare, academic, and nonprofit organizations from 28 countries.
  • National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs) will be created in each country to engage a broad range of stakeholders from both public and private sectors in collaborative initiatives and policy dialogues on cancer, at national, regional and local levels.
Logotype National Institute of Oncology, Budapest

National Institute of Oncology (Hungary)

The Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital strengthens their relationship with National Institute of Oncology (Hungary) in cancer research and education

In 2021, Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of research and education with the National Institute of Oncology (NIO). MoU applies to everything from student exchanges and joint courses and conferences to research collaboration at various levels. The parties undertake to comply with international principles and agreements on academic freedom.

NIO is the only accredited Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Eastern Europe. The institute's activities include care development, registry coordination and research in the field of cancer for the whole of Hungary, including some 10 million people. The collaboration is managed trough Cancer Research KI and the Karolinska CCC.

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Karolinska Institutet signed a collaboration agreement with MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas, USA in May 2013 and thus became a Sister Institution to MD Anderson. The agreement was renewed in May 2018 after the end of the first successful 5-year period.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is a top-ranked comprehensive cancer center in the United States. The Sister Institution Agreement with MD Anderson Cancer Center includes KI in the largest network of cancer institutions collaborating with the joint goal to end cancer.

Cancer Research KI administers the collaborative efforts with MD Anderson and Johanna Furuhjelm serves as Alliance Director and contact point at KI.

The primary joint efforts include:

  • Collaborative grants through the SINF (Sister Institution Network Fund) funding mechanism. The KI-MDACC Collaborative grants/ SINF have been announced yearly since 2013 and so far nine projects have received funding (funding of the KI partner by Cancer Research KI).
  • Annual GAP conference (Global Academic Programs). The conference is held odd years at MD Anderson in Houston Texas and even years hosted abroad at a Sister Institution. KI/StratCan has participated in the meetings annually since 2013 and Karolinska Institutet & University Hospital were proud hosts of the GAP 2018 conference in Stockholm, May 2018, with 900+ participants from 38 countries.
    The GAP 2019 conference will be hosted by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Huston, Texas, April 30th-May 2nd, 2019.
  • Joint workshops
  • Clinician visits
  • Nordic GAP (NGAP)


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

Content reviewer:
Dina Dabaghie