Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo group

The Fernández-Capetillo laboratory focuses on the use of cell-based phenotypic screens for the development of new medicines. Neglected until rather recently, due to a focus on target-oriented drug development, phenotypic screens have yielded some of the most important medical advances to our societies. With the help of automatized microscopes, the laboratory designs phenotypic screens that aim to mimic a disease condition.

Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo group at Sigtundahöjden. Photo: N/A

The Fernández-Capetillo laboratory focuses on the use of cell-based phenotypic screens for the development of new medicines or molecules of biomedical interest.


Our current interests are spread among a variety of topics, where we believe that the use of automatized microscopy and phenotypic screens can contribute. Examples include the search for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Huntington disease (HD); investigating ways of potentiating the immune response; identifying molecules that modulate RNA translation or exploring the links between female hormones in the context of inflammatory diseases. To do so, we capitalize on our expertise in chemical screens, and we seek collaborations with national and international groups that help us bring our discoveries as far as possible.

Besides our own work, and together with Prof. Karin Forsberg, we coordinate a research community program named PHENOTARGET, supported by SciLifeLab, which brings together more than 30 Swedish research groups with a common interest on Phenotype Drug Discovery in Human disease.

Group members


The lab is looking for talented and highly motivated postdoctoral fellows. We seek candidates that have a strong expertise in molecular and cell biology, preferably with expertise in cancer biology or neurodegenerative diseases. Preference will be given to applicants with skills in high-content imaging, automated image processing and gene knockout (CRISPR/Cas9) strategies. The successful candidate should have a strong publication record. Complete fluency in both written and spoken English is a request. The candidate´s personal skills will be highly valued.

Please contact Per Moberg at per.moberg@ki.se directly if you are interested. Postdocs are asked to send a motivation letter and their CV.


Selected publications

A chemical screen underscores the essential role of STAT1-dependent IFNγ signaling to regulate HLA-I expression in cancer cells.
Barz M, Porebski B, Panshikar P, Häggbladd M, Hühn D, Fernandez-Capetillo O
MicroPubl Biol 2023 ;2023():

Prolonged estrogen deprivation triggers a broad immunosuppressive phenotype in breast cancer cells.
Hühn D, Martí-Rodrigo P, Mouron S, Hansel C, Tschapalda K, Porebski B, Häggblad M, Lidemalm L, Quintela-Fandino M, Carreras-Puigvert J, Fernandez-Capetillo O.
Mol Oncol. Jan;16(1):148-165. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.13083, 2022.

A chemical screen for modulators of mRNA translation identifies a distinct mechanism of toxicity for sphingosine kinase inhibitors.
Corman A, Kanellis DC, Michalska P, Häggblad M, Lafarga V, Bartek J, Carreras-Puigvert J, Fernandez-Capetillo O.
PLoS Biol. May 25;19(5):e3001263. 2021.

A Chemical Screen Identifies Compounds Limiting the Toxicity of C9ORF72 Dipeptide Repeats.
Corman A, Jung B, Häggblad M, Bräutigam L, Lafarga V, Lidemalm L, et al
Cell Chem Biol 2019 Feb;26(2):235-243.e5

A Genome-wide CRISPR Screen Identifies CDC25A as a Determinant of Sensitivity to ATR Inhibitors.
Ruiz S, Mayor-Ruiz C, Lafarga V, Murga M, Vega-Sendino M, Ortega S, et al
Mol. Cell 2016 04;62(2):307-313

USP7 is a SUMO deubiquitinase essential for DNA replication.
Lecona E, Rodriguez-Acebes S, Specks J, Lopez-Contreras AJ, Ruppen I, Murga M, et al
Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2016 Apr;23(4):270-7

NSMCE2 suppresses cancer and aging in mice independently of its SUMO ligase activity.
Jacome A, Gutierrez-Martinez P, Schiavoni F, Tenaglia E, Martinez P, Rodríguez-Acebes S, et al
EMBO J. 2015 Nov;34(21):2604-19



  • Wareed Ahmed, postdoctoral researcher, 2020-2022
  • Alba Corman, PhD student, 2017-2022
  • Patrycia Michalska Dziama, postdoctoral researcher, 2020-2021
  • Pranauti Rajesh Panshikar, master student, 2020-2021
  • Valeria Colicchia, postdoctoral researcher, 2018-2021
  • Mimmi Olofsson, master student, 2021
  • Jordi Carreras-Puigvert, project leader and assistant professor, 2015-2020
  • Marlene Wolfsgruber, Bachelor student, 2020
  • Catherine Hansel, postdoctoral researcher, 2018-2020
  • Schayan Yousefian, master student, 2018-2019
  • Mirela Balan, postdoctoral researcher, 2018
  • Alba González, bachelor student Erasmus+, 2017-2018
  • Melania Zauri, postdoctoral researcher, 2017-2018
  • Pablo Marti Rodrigo, graduate research fellow, 2017-2018
  • Pournima Prabhakaran, master student, 2017
  • Kirsten Tschapalda, postdoctoral researcher, 2016-2017
  • Bomi Jung, postdoctoral researcher, 2016-2017
  • Jon Vallejo, visiting PhD student, 2016

External funding

V-like icon with the Text "Swedish Research Council".
Icon and text "Cancerfonden"
"Neuro" in red letters.
Neuro. Photo: Neuroförbundet
Logo SciLifeLab
SciLifeLab. Photo: SciLifeLab
Content reviewer:
Sara Lidman