About us - Reproductive endocrinology and metabolism

Our group’s research activities aim to yield new key information on the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common female endocrine and metabolic disorder.

An illustration of PCOS from Stener-Victorin et al. Endocr Rev, 2020,41:4; 538–576
Stener-Victorin et al. Endocr Rev, 2020,41:4; 538–576

Our research aims to gain deeper understanding of the heritability of PCOS and associated comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and mental-health disorders across generations by dissecting the molecular, mechanistic, and causal links, and to determine whether men can also transmit the disease. We use different PCOS-like mice models to delineate the main trigger of PCOS and define whether germ cells drive the transmission of the syndrome in the absence of PCOS-associated gene variants. Moreover, we translate our findings in mice to the clinical situation and perform detailed phenotyping of women with and without PCOS and collect serum/blood and endometrium, fat and skeletal muscle tissue biopsies and investigate the effect of different treatments.

Link to the article

Group members

The group members of Reproductive endocrinology and metabolism
Group members of Reproductive endocrinology and metabolism

Elisabet Stener-Victorin

Research group leader

I completed my PhD in the field of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Gothenburg (GU). This was followed by postdoctoral studies in Japan followed by research position at GU funded by Swedish Research Council (VR). 2015 I was recruited to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at KI and I moved with my research group. I am PI for the Reproductive Endocrinology and Metabolism (REM)-group and our research focus on dissecting genetic versus epigenetic heritability in the transmission of PCOS and associated comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, endometrial dysfunctions, and mental-health disorders across generations by dissecting the molecular, mechanistic, and causal links, and to determine whether men can also transmit the disease. Recently we also start to investigate the role of the immune system in the pathology of PCOS.

Location: Biomedicum B0552

Sara Torstensson

PhD student

I have a Master of Science in Biomedicine and the overarching objective of my PhD project is to determine the role of the immune system in the pathology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Using various in vivo models, I aim to characterize the immune profile and study the underlying mechanisms as well as the risk of transgenerational transmission.

Location: Biomedicum B0551

Haojiang Lu

PhD student

I have a Master of Science in Biomedicine and in my PhD I am studying the transgenerational inheritance of PCOS-like phenotypes in both male and female offspring; and trying to dissect possible mechanisms of such transmission. Mouse models are important part of my project, while in vitro experiments and sequencing techniques are also applied with the help of specialists.

Location: Biomedicum B0553

Gustaw Eriksson

PhD student

I have a Master of Science in Bioinformatics at Lund University, and I start my PhD studies in the Reproductive Endocrinology and Metabolism (REM) group during the fall 2021. My main objective is to generate and analyze single cell sequencing data from tissue biopsies from women with and without PCOS. Moreover, we have recently established endometrial organoids to unravel underlying mechanisms.

Location: Biomedicum B0553

Congru Li

PhD, Postdoc

I completed my PhD of Genetics at Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. My research interest focusing on the epigenetic mechanisms of female reproductive diseases including embryo development and offspring health. I have experience and expertise in epigenetic and transcriptomic single cell and bulk sequencing and bioinformatic analysis.  I am involved in single cell RNA sequencing and DNA methylation of tissue biopsies from women with and without PCOS.

Location: Biomedicum B0553

Angelo Ascani

Visiting PhD student from Graz University

I am a visiting PhD student from the Medical University of Graz (Austria) through an EMBO fellowship award. I am studying the underlying interactions between B cell hypermutations and the hyperandrogenic hormonal milieu in PCOS, utilizing both human case-control exploratory studies as well as antibody and B cell extraction and transfer methods into different mouse models.

Location: Biomedicum B0551

Sanjiv Risal

PhD and Staff Scientist

I am research specialist in reproductive endocrinology and germ cell biology at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. I am keen to apply my knowledge in female reproductive endocrinology, cell and molecular biology, embryo and oocytes manipulation, reproductive and metabolic phenotyping, cell and organ cultures, and animal models gathered along with more than ten years of academic training/research. I have worked extensively in translational medical research, mainly focusing on premature ovarian failure and PCOS.

Location: Biomedicum B0553

Eva Lindgren

MSc, Research Engineer

I have a bachelor’s degree in biomedical laboratory science and started to work at KI 1980. Since 2016 I am working as Lab manager in the REM group. I have many administrative tasks in the group, and contributing to many of the research project, specifically the human cell culture projects.

Location: Biomedicum B0551

Former group members

Elizabet Jedel – PhD

Julia Johannson – PhD

Lisa Lindheim – PhD Candidate, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Louise Mannerås Holm – PhD

Luigi Manni – PhD

Min Hu – Postdoc

Milana Kokosar – PhD student

Maria Manti – PhD

Rodrigo Marcondes – PhD student

Romina Fornes – Postdoc

Yang Qian – PhD

Zhiyi Zhang, PhD, visiting researcher from Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, China

Group members outside Karolinska Institutet

Anna Benrick – MSc, PhD, Researcher, Gothenburg University, Sweden

Emma A. Nilsson – Researcher, PhD, Lund University

Josefin Katakoa – Doctoral student, Gothenburg University, Sweden

Manuel Maliqueo – PhD, University of Chile, Santiago

Research support

​Collaborations

National collaborators

International collaborators

  • Professor Richard Legro, Pennsylvania State University, US
  • Professor Andrea Dunaif, Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System, US
  • Professor Thomas Jansson, University of Colorado Denver, US
  • Professor Helena Teede, Monash University, Australia
  • Professor Adam Balen, Leeds University Hospital, UK
  • Professor Jie Qiao, Peking University Third Hospital, China
  • Professor Matti Poutanen, Turku University, Finland
  • Nordic PCOS Network: Dorte Glintborg and Marianne Andersen, Odense University, DK; Eszter Vanky, NTNU Trondheim, Norway; Terhi Piltonen and Laure Morin Papunen, University of Oulu, Finland; Juha Tapanainen, University of Helsinki