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Metabolic and Inflammatory Liver Disease (MILES)

Our group has a focus on metabolic and inflammatory liver diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, hereditary hemochromatosis, porphyric liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. As clinicians, we have a strong connection to the hospital and are uniquely positioned to study liver disease from several perspectives. We have been instrumental in constructing some of the largest cohorts of liver disease patients internationally.

Using data from large cohorts of patients with a very long follow-up and well characterized clinical data, we can combine findings from tissue analyses with outcome data from national registries. We perform systematic biobanking of liver tissue, DNA and serum, and have unique possibilities to study long-term prognosis, morbidity, mortality and pathogenetic mechanisms of liver diseases. We study endpoints such as survival, comorbidities, and development of cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Additionally, we perform several investigator-initiated clinical trials.

We have a large network of partners in basic science and have access to advanced techniques including single-cell sequencing and high-dimensional flow cytometry for translational studies. Our prospective studies aim at finding risk factors for development of severe liver-related endpoints and for liver cancer development. Ultimately, we aspire to improve care for liver disease patients globally.

Keywords: NAFLD; Metabolic and inflammatory liver diseases; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)


Per Stål

Per Stål, Group leader, Associate professor

Per Stål is a senior consultant at the Hepatology Unit and Assoc. Professor since 2000. His main research interest encompasses clinical and pathophysiological studies on NAFLD, iron metabolism and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Hannes Hagström

MD, PhD, Associate professor

Hannes received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2007 and is a specialist in gastroenterologist and gepatologist. He defended his thesis "The importance of fat and alcohol for progression and prognosis in chronic liver disease" in 2016. Current projects include epidemiology of NAFLD and other liver diseases, aspects of liver immunology and clinical trials.

Karl Björkström

PhD student, MD student

Karl is currently a MD student at Karolinska Institute and he will graduate in January of 2018. His main research interest is in diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome, specifically Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. The focus of his PhD studies is to investigate the link between these conditions with aspect on epidemiology and pathophysiological interplay.

Catarina Lindqvist

PhD student

Catarina received her RD degree from Uppsala University in 2008. She is a Registered Specialist Dietitian at the Medical Unit Clinical Nutrition at Karolinska University Hospital. She is working with patients suffering from chronic liver diseases and undergoing liver transplantation. Her main research focus during her PhD studies is nutritional assessment, body composition and nutrition impact symptoms in patients with chronic liver disease.

Mattias Lissing

MD, PhD student

Mattias received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet 1997 and is a specialist in internal medicine, gastroenterology and hepatology since 2008. He is working as a hepatologist at Karolinska University Hospital. His main research focus during the PhD studies is on hepatological aspects of acute hepatic porphyria such as comorbidity, risk of primary liver cancer and liver transplantation for acute hepatic porphyria.

Magnus Holmer

Medical Doctor, PhD student

Magnus received his MD degree from Karolinska Institute in 2005 and is a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology and hepatology since 2015. He is currently working as a gastroenterologist at Karolinska University Hospital mainly in the field of Hepatology. His main research focus during his PhD studies is the study of Non Alcoholic Liver Disease (NAFLD) with aspect on epidemiology, prognosis and treatment of the disease.

Robin Zenlander

Medical Doctor, PhD student

Robin received his MD degree from the Sahlgrenska Academy in 2012. He is currently working as a resident physician in the Clinical Chemistry department at the Karolinska University Laboratory. His PhD Project will focus on new biomarkers and genetic polymorphisms in liver diseases, mainly NAFLD, hepatic iron overload and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Pia Loquist


Registered Nurse, 2006 Karolinska Institutet. Clinical work as a research nurse since 2008 at Karolinska University Hospital within Hepatology. Pia is trained in Good Clinical Practice and Clinical Trials at The Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Since 2008, Pia has been a study coordinator for clinical trials at the Department of Upper GI Diseases, ranging from Phase 2 to Phase 4 in Hepatology, Gastroenterology and IBD. Pia also has a special assignment to develop nursing for patients with liver diseases, and in 2019 started a nursing led outpatient clinic for patients with compensated liver cirrhosis."

Bonnie Bengtsson

MD, PhD student

Bonnie received her MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2008 and is a specialist in internal medicine since 2018. She is currently doing her residency in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Karolinska University Hospital. Her main interest and research focus lie on liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Rupesh Rajani


Rupesh received his MD 1999 and PhD 2011 from Linköping University. He is a  a senior consultant at the Hepatology Unit. His main research interests are in vascular liver diseases, especially portal vein thrombosis and Budd-Chiari syndrome.

Patrik Nasr

MD, Postdoc

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. His 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.

Staffan Wahlin

Forskare, CO-group leader

Staffan Wahlin is senior clinical consultant in the Hepatology Division, Department of Upper GI Diseases and since 2015 associate professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. His main research interests are porphyria, autoimmune liver disease and transplant hepatology.

Stefan Gilg

MD, PhD, postdoc

Stefan is a senior consultant HPB surgeon at the Department of HPB surgery, Karolinska Huddinge and defended his thesis about post-hepatectomy liver failure in 2018. Since June 2019 he is a post doc in the research group under supervision of Per Stål. The main focus of his research is to continue with projects about liver regeneration and failure and the improvement of diagnosis, treatment and outcome of patients with HCC.