Lars Jakobsson, new Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Lars Jakobsson, who studies blood and lymph vessels, has been appointed as Associate Professor at the Research Division of Vascular Biology.
Congratulations Lars! What does the appointment as Associate Professor mean to you?
Because my research and my dedication for teaching are the foundation for the promotion, I see it as recognition of my professional role.
Does it involve any changes for your work?
Actually not many. A direct difference is that I can be part of the Dissertation Examination Committees at KI without having to specifically account for my teaching skills.
What is your research about?
We want to understand the processes of the formation of blood and lymph vessels, from molecular interactions, via cell behavior, to organ structure. Our aim is to use this knowledge to create new ways to control the vessels’ properties in the treatment of a variety of vascular diseases.
In recent years, we have focused on a hereditary disease called HHT or Osler-Weber-Rendu, which causes vessel malformation and frequent bleeding. Since the disease is generally caused by mutations in either of two genes, we have been able to learn a lot from genetic mouse models.
Why are you researching vessels?
First of all, the vascular tree is simply incredibly fascinating – an intricate tubular transportation network connecting all parts of our body, and through whose walls everything that goes to and from the body's cells must pass, in a controlled manner.
Because vessels are everywhere, they are also intimately involved in most diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, atherosclerosis, inflammation, wound healing, neurodegenerative diseases and HHT. This allows our research results to contribute to improve treatment for very large patient groups.