Research Division of Physiological Chemistry II

The division employs a range of techniques in cellular, molecular, and structural biology together with animal models and LC-MS based lipid profiling with the goal to understand the role of eicosanoids and other lipid mediators in host defense and human diseases.

Research interests

Our division is focused on bioactive lipids, in particular the eicosanoids, a family of oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic acid encompassing prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, and lipoxins. These paracrine hormones play both physiological and pathogenic roles in man, in particular as signaling molecules in innate immune responses and inflammation within the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. We study all aspects of these mediators including chemical and structural identification of metabolites, cellular activation and regulation of eicosanoid biosynthesis, as well as biochemical and structural characterization of the enzymes and regulatory proteins of the biosynthetic pathways. In recent years, we have put special efforts into translation of our basic knowledge into clinical and applied projects, using collections of patient samples and animal models, in collaboration with clinical teams.

The eicosanoid cascade has generated a number of successful drugs such as NSAIDs, coxibs, latanoprost, and lukasts for treatment of pain, fever, arthritis, glaucoma, and asthma. As a consequence, part of our work is carried out in alliance with pharmaceutical industry.

An overview of eicosanoid synthesis pathways.
An overview of eicosanoid synthesis pathways. Nature Reviews Cancer 10, 181-193 (2010).

Research groups

Jesper Z. Haeggström Group
The eicosanoids, a family of lipid mediators in health and disease

Bengt Samuelsson and Olof Rådmark Group
5-lipoxygenase, a key enzyme in the leukotriene cascade


Cardiovascular program (CVP) at KI


Jesper Z. Haeggström

Head of Division, Professor

Michaela Mårback

Biomedical scientist

Visiting address

Division of Physiological Chemistry II
Biomedicum, 9A, floor 9
Solnavägen 9
171 65 Solna