Organisation at the Centre for Health Crises

At the Centre for Health Crises, our vision is a society better prepared for future health crises. Our mission is to build the next generation of health crisis experts, through research, education, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Our strategic objectives define our scope and guide us in achieving our vision and mission.

Collage of three images. From left: scenery in drought, woman with face mask, cracked glass pane in the window to a hospital room

We believe that in an era of multiple, overlapping health crises both globally and locally, universities have a ‘fourth task', to contribute to society beyond research, education, and collaboration. And that is to provide expertise and experience, both before and during a health crisis. Through the Centre for Health Crises, Karolinska Institutet wants to contribute to this and work to ensure that universities' expertise is utilised in health crises and as part of the total defence. 

At the Centre for Health Crises, we want to contribute to building a society that is better prepared for health crises, by using the universities' capabilities in research, education, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Our vision

A society better prepared for future health crises. 

Our mission

By way of research, education, and interdisciplinary collaboration, we want to contribute to improved preparedness and ability to handle future health crises. 

Our mission is to do so by building the next generation of health crisis experts. We want to make sure that knowledge and proven experience inform policy and plans for the handling of future health crises. 

Work method

We combine short and long-term perspectives in our work to increase resilience through both preparedness and response. 

At the Centre, we work from an ‘all hazards’ perspective. The WHO defines the 'all hazards perspective' as acknowledging that while hazards vary in source (natural, technological, societal), they often challenge health systems in similar ways and demand a multisectoral response.

To us, this means that while some aspects are specific to a particular type of health crisis, different types of health crises also have many things in common. Commonalities include the need for surge capacity in intensive care and diagnostics, how we protect vulnerable groups, mental health issues, the need for evidence-based evidence to guide decision-making, communication challenges, and more.

For this perspective to guide our work, we need to understand how different health threats or hazardous disruptions affect health systems and thus societies. This requires a wide range of expertise, such as specialists in infectious diseases, climate impacts on health, disaster medicine, trauma, CBRN and much more. 

At the same time, we also need to understand what vulnerabilities exist within a given context or health system, how exposed it is to the threat or disruption, and what capacity the system has to cope with it. The more resilient a health system is, the better it will cope when exposed to a threat, be it an earthquake or a longer-term disruption, such as increased antibiotic resistance.

You find details about the work on the pages Areas of expertise and Work and activities of our website.

Annual reports, work plan and the report on lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic

Organisational set-up

Our work and activities are not limited to one department at KI, but rather they span across the university and are often carried out in collaboration with others. The Centre also supports KI's management with advice and expert support in a health crisis.

The Centre reports, via our Director and Steering Group, directly to the President of KI. 

Organisationally, the Centre for Health Crises is based at the department where the director is employed (currently the Department of Global Public Health). To ensure transparency in relation to that department, the administrative head of the director's department of employment is an adjunct member of our steering group.


In the office, we are a group of core staff led by our Director and Strategic Process Leader. In addition to them, the core staff consists off an administrative coordinator, a coordinator for university collaboration, and a communications officer. Their contact details can be found on the start page.

Our office is located at the Department of Global Public Health in Widerströmska huset on KI campus Solna.

Expert coordinators

Many of our operational activities are organised based around our areas of expertise. This ensures that there is a broad, interdisciplinary skills and knowledge base at the Centre, and it opens up for collaborations with external partners

The areas of expertise are presented in more detail on the page Areas of Expertise, where you can also find the expert coordinators' contact details.

Steering Group

Our steering group consists of representatives from several departments at KI, as well as external partners. The steering group ensures that the development of, and work within, the Centre is done in accordance with our mission. They also provide advice and support for the centre's continued development.

The members of the Steering Committee for the period 2022-04-06 to 2024-12-31 are: 

Adjunct members:

Background to the establishment of the Centre for Health Crises

KI established the Centre for Health Crises in the summer of 2021, with the intention of developing ways to coordinate and further develop the research, training initiatives and capacities that were started at KI during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the creation of the Centre, the need for coordination in health crisis management is not new. Previous health crises, such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, highlighted the need for stronger, better - more resilient - health systems. 

The Centre was created to be able to act quickly and flexibly in the event of future health crises, and to help coordinate KI's response to such crises. We demonstrated this ability just weeks after the Centre became operational, when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and we had to adapt quickly and deal with a very different type of health crisis. 

We continue to see a need to approach health crises in a broad sense and from an 'all-hazards' perspective, as well as to utilise and develop the role of universities. 

Content reviewer:
Åsa Svensson