Staffan Holmin´s research group

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The Staffan Holmin research group is a part of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and the Department of Neuroradiology at Karolinska University Hospital. The group is engaged in clinical and translational research on a wide variety of topics centered around modern neuroimaging, nuclear medicine, and image-guided vascular interventions.

Collaboration with Royal Institute of Technology

To enable technical development, we have extensive collaboration with researchers at the Department of Materials Science for prototyping and manufacture of novel endovascular equipment. We also have extensive collaboration with the research group Physics of Medical Imaging for the development of techniques in CT.


Clinical diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology

Clinical research is based at the Department of Neuroradiology at Karolinska University Hospital, and will continue at New Karolinska Hospital when the department relocates in 2018. Special areas of interest include pediatric neuroradiology, technical development in computed tomography (CT) and digital subtraction angiography, catheter-based chemotherapy in pediatric retinoblastoma, and thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke.

Figure 1.

Clinical and experimental radiochemistry

The work of prof emeritus Sharon Stone-Elander is continued in the group, where radiotracer development and validation, and positron emission tomography (PET) in animal models of stroke, inflammation and cancer are areas of study. The group also has a significant clinical responsibility of radiotracer production for Karolinska University Hospital as well as other hospitals in the region.  Examples of produced radiotracers and areas of study include: 18F-FDG (glucose metabolism), 11C-methionine (amino acids), 11C-acetate (fatty acids), 18F-NAF (skeletal diseases), 18F-FLT (cell proliferation), 18F-FMISO (hypoxia), 68Ga-DOTATOC (NET/somatostatin receptor), 68Ga-PSMA (prostate cancer).

Our research projects

  1. Exploration of “interventional nuclear medicine”, i.e. combination of endovascular intervention and nuclear medicine technology.

  2. Developing of new diagnostic and therapeutic radiotracers 

  3. Evaluations of tracer utilization and metabolism in vitro and ex vivo

  4. Pharmacokinetic evaluations of new PET imaging radiotracers in vivo in animal models of disease (cancer, brain, inflammation, apoptosis, hypoxia, cardiology) without and with therapeutic interventions

Figur 2

Experimental interventional radiology and imaging

At the KERIC core facility, preclinical and translational research is conducted using state-of-the-art imaging such as a full scale angiocatheterization lab for animal research, micro-PET for small animals, and high field 9.4T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). New devices and applications for endovascular interventional technique are explored.

Clinically relevant stroke model

We have developed an endovascular stroke (M2CAO) model in rat, using standard clinical equipment, wherein selective M2 segment occlusion is achieved and can be modulated with reperfusion to simulate thrombectomy. The model could be considered a successor to the filament MCAO model, but with greater control over infarct size and with preserved collateral circulation. The model is coupled to longitudinal MRI and PET imaging.

Trans-vessel wall technique

We have developed a specialized catheter system that enables direct transvascular access to tissue for deposition of cells or substances, without risk of bleeding. The system is compatible with standard endovascular equipment and enables effective minimally invasive cell transplantation.

Endovascular biopsy

We are developing new techniques and devices for endovascular biopsy of the vessel wall and endothelium, heart, and other organs. These devices aim to be less traumatic, and suitable for downstream analysis of tissues and single cells using modern molecular biology, such as RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq).

Selected Publications






Group members

Håkan AlmqvistGraduate Student
Tommy AnderssonAssociated
Fabian ArnbergAssociated
Babic DrazenkoAssociated
Petra BrinkestålAssociated
Patricius BrouwerAssociated
Arvin ChirehPhD student
Peter DambergAssociated
Anna Falk DelgadoAssociated, Postdoc
Vamsi Krishna GontuGraduate Student
Jonas GrafströmPostdoc
Per GraneAssociated
Rikard GrankvistPhD student
Dan GreitzAssociated
Åke HolmbergAssociated
Staffan HolminResearch team leader, Professor/senior physician
Patrik JarvollAssociated
Ida JonssonResearch assistant
Emma JussingGraduate Student
Åsa Kuntze SöderqvistAssociated
Anders LiljaAssociated
Philip LittleGraduate Student
Li LuAssociated
Johan LundbergAssociated
Daniel Martin MunozGraduate Student
Nuno Canto MoreiraAssociated
Obaidur RahmanAssociated
Patrik RingGraduate Student
Erik SaménAssociated, Postdoc
Anki Sandberg NordqvistAssociated
Mikael SandellGraduate Student
Sharon Stone-ElanderProfessor emeritus
Fredrik StåhlGraduate Student
Michael SödermanAssociated
Tetyana TegnebrattAssociated
Thuy TranAssociated