The group has a strong focus on fatty liver disease (NAFLD) from an epidemiological and clinical perspective and conduct high-quality studies on the progression and outcomes of NAFLD. Other research interests include the epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma, alcohol-related liver disease, cirrhosis and aspects of public health.
About our research
The group has a strong focus on fatty liver disease (NAFLD) from an epidemiological and clinical perspective. Our main focus is on identifying risk factors and subgroups of patients with a particularly high risk of severe liver disease outcomes, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. With access to both detailed long-term follow-up studies including histology data, as well as population-based register studies, we are uniquely positioned to conduct high-quality studies on the progression and outcomes of NAFLD. Other research interests include the epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma, alcohol-related liver disease, cirrhosis and aspects of public health. The group is composed of clinicians, epidemiologists and research nurses. We have several collaborations with other groups at KI, as well as a large national and international network.
Ongoing studies on NAFLD and a register-based cohort of patients
Some ongoing studies include a large-scale screening initiative for liver disease in type 2 diabetes, development of new methods to predict progression of fibrosis in NAFLD and a national, longitudinal multi-center study in Sweden evaluating new biomarkers of disease severity in NAFLD. We have also recently built a register-based cohort consisting of all patients in Sweden with a liver disease diagnosis, and several ongoing projects are using this database.
Hannes Hagström's current projects focus on the epidemiology of NAFLD, where he has been instrumental in creating some of the globally largest cohorts and has a wide international network. Hannes is currently the Main Supervisor of five PhD students. He is also responsible for the Swedish guidelines for NAFLD and is the Scientific Secretary of the Swedish Society of Gastroenterology between 2021 and 2024.
Hannes Hagström received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2007 and is a consultant in hepatology at the Karolinska University Hospital. He defended his thesis in 2016 and is an Associate Professor in hepatology since 2019.
Patrik Nasr's main interests are epidemiology and non-invasive diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as well as delineating the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and NAFLD.
Patrik received his medical degree from Linköping University in 2013 and is doing a residency in internal medicine and in gastroenterology and hepatology at Linköping University Hospital. He defended his thesis "Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Aspects on Diagnosis and Long-term Prognosis" in 2019.
Bonnie Bengtsson's main interest and research focus lie on liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Bonnie received her MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2008 and she is a specialist in internal medicine since 2018. Bonnie is currently doing her residency in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Hannes Hegmar's research interest is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). His PhD studies with Dr. Hannes Hagström as Main supervisor, focus on non-invasive prognostic markers in in chronic liver disease with a main focus on NAFLD.
Hannes received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2017 and he is currently a resident physician in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Andrea Lindfors has a special interest in liver cirrhosis and decompensating symptoms along with disease progression. Andrea is a PhD-student since 2021, focusing primarily on sarcopenia in patients with chronic liver disease and its role in disease progression and prognosis.
Andrea has a MD degree 2006 from Uppsala University. She is specialist in internal medicine since 2014 and in gastroenterology and hepatology since 2015.
Gustav Jakobsson is presently residency in internal medicine at S:t Görans hospital in Stockholm. His research focus lies in medical epidemiology with a focus and alcohol and severe liver disease.
Gustav received his MD degree in 2017 from Karolinska Institutet. Parallel to medical studies he received a BSc in mathematical analysis from Lund University in 2013.
Emilie Toresson Grip, holds a MSc in Economics with special focus on Health Economics from Lund University, Sweden. Emelie is currently Associate Director at Quantify Research, where she's responsible for the RWE and Analytics unit and leading retrospective Nordic register studies.
As part of her employment at Quantify Research she is an industrial PhD student at Karolinska Institutet. Her research focus lies on the epidemiology and economic burden of chronic liver disease in general and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in particular. She has a special focus on risk factors and non-invasive prognostic scores for developing severe liver disease.
Axel Wester is currently doing a postdoc, where he uses national population-based registries to study the epidemiology of liver disease. Axel received his MD degree in 2018 and defended his thesis in clinical medicine in 2021 at Lund University.
Ying Shang's current work involves the risk factors and prognosis of liver disease. Ying's previous work focused on the impact of type 2 diabetes in older adults, with a special interest in cognitive impairment and dementia, physical function and survival.
Ying received her medical degree in 2014 and PhD in geriatric medicine in 2021.
Christian LewinterAffiliated to research
Christian Lewinter's main interests are heart failure and ischemic heart disease, examined through epidemiological and biostatistical methods.
Christian defended his PHD thesis at the University of York, UK in 2013. From 2014-2015 he was a postdoc at the Center for basic metabolic research (Novo Nordic Foundation) at Københavns Universitet. He received his MD degree from Københavns Universitet in 2006 and is a cardiologist at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Hanne Åström joined the Hannes Hagström group in 2021. Hanne’s research interest includes epidemiological aspects of chronic liver disease, with a focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Hanne received her medical degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2021 and is currently working as a Junior Doctor in internal medicine at Södersjukhuset.
Catarina LindqvistPostdoctoral studies
Catarina Lindqvist's current projects include research of the importance of nutrition for disease progression in chronic liver disease, both in patients with NAFLD, PSC and in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Catarina received her RD degree from Uppsala University in 2008. She is a Specialist Dietitian in Hepatology working at the Medical Unit Clinical Nutrition at the Karolinska University Hospital. She defended her thesis “Assessment and prognostic importance of nutritional status and body composition in liver transplantation” in 2020.
Linnea Widman has been working part time as a Statistician for Hannes Hagström group since 2019. She joined the group full time in 2022.
Linnea got her BSc main field Mathematics 2009 and MSc in Mathematical Statistics 2011 from Umeå University.
Laura conducts epidemiological analyses for various research groups within the Gastroenterology and Rheumatology Unit, including the Hagström Group. Laura is also part-time employed at the KI Center for Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (CBB), where she is involved in teaching biostatistics, both on an individual basis as well as in doctoral courses.
Laura has a PhD in Biomedicine from Uppsala University (2019).
Rickard StrandbergPostdoctoral researcher
Rickard Strandberg is developing and validating clinical prediction models for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and liver fibrosis. He also works part-time at the Karolinska Institutet Centre for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (CBB).
Rickard has a PhD in Biostatistics from Karolinska Institutet, which he defended in 2022.
Wen Yang is working as research assistant in Hagström group since 2023. Her project is about the association between NAFLD and its prognosis, applying clinical data linked with multiple Swedish registers.
Wen received her MSc in Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in 2022.
Sixian Zhao’s main research interests are in how different metabolic states influence neurodevelopment and degeneration. He is currently a research affiliate working on a project investigating the relationship between alcohol-related liver disease and dementia.
Sixian received his MB BChir from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in 2021 and currently works as a foundation doctor in Oxford, UK.
We are always looking for talented postdocs or tentative PhD candidates with previous experience in epidemiology and biostatistics to help us improve our understanding of liver diseases.
If you are interested, contact Group Leader Hannes Hagström
We are currently involved in >40 scientific projects. A few of the major projects are briefly outlined below.
Screening for Advanced Fibrosis due to NAFLD in persons with type 2 diabetes (SCANDIA)
This is a screening initiative where persons with type 2 diabetes that undergo retinopathy screening are also offered an examination of their liver using transient elastography. The study will examine the prevalence of NAFLD and advanced fibrosis in T2D, and study if this is a feasible way to identify patients that risk development of cirrhosis early on.
Long-term follow-up of patients with NAFLD
We have access to one of the largest cohorts globally (n>1100) of patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD. The cohort is linked to national registers, allowing for investigation of long-term outcomes. Several sub-studies are ongoing.
Fatty liver in Sweden (FLIS):
This is a multi-center cohort study at several Swedish university hospitals led by us. Patients with NAFLD are followed longitudinally for up to five years with elastography and detailed biobanking of samples.
Epidemiology of liver disease in Sweden
We have obtained register-level data on all patients with a liver disease in Sweden since 1969 and matched controls. We can thus investigate a large number of outcomes in patients with a diagnosis of any liver disease compared to the general population. A large number of projects are ongoing.
Health Outcomes and Risk Assessment in Chronic Liver Disease (HERALD)
Here we are obtaining detailed register-level data, including results from laboratory tests from all persons in Stockholm county, including detailed data from liver biopsies and elastography in a subgroup. The project will cross-link data from a large number of sources to build an extensive and detailed database on liver disease outcomes in a population-based cohort study.
We are supported by grants from several sources, including independent research grants from partners in the industry and:
- The Swedish Research Council
- Swedish Cancer Society
- Radiumhemmets Research Foundation
- Region Stockholm