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.


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

Group leader

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.

Group members

Staffan Wahlin

MD, PhD, Associate professor, 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.

Karl Björkström

MD, PhD student

Karl received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2018. His main research interest is in diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome, specifically NAFLD and type 2 diabetes. In his PhD studies he uses epidemiological data as well as data from patients in the clinic to investigate the link between these conditions. He also uses population-based registers to examine associations between NAFLD, type 2 diabetes and cancer. 

Catarina Lindqvist


Catarina received her RD degree from Uppsala University in 2008 and is a Specialist Dietitian in Hepatology working at the Medical Unit Clinical Nutrition at Karolinska University Hospital. She defended her thesis “Assessment and prognostic importance of nutritional status and body composition in liver transplantation” in 2020. 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.  

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

MD, PhD student

Magnus received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2005 and is a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology and hepatology since 2015. He is currently working as the Head of the Hepatology Unit at Karolinska University Hospital. His main research focus during his PhD studies is the study of non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) with aspects on epidemiology, prognosis and treatment.   

Robin Zenlander

MD, 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

Research nurse

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.

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.

Åsa Lindé

Research nurse

Åsa has a long experience as a research nurse especially in nephrology, and is working in the MILES group since 2020, with a focus on clinical studies in NAFLD and cirrhosis.   

Andrea Lindfors

MD, PhD-student

MD degree 2006 from Uppsala University. Specialist in internal medicine since 2014 and in gastroenterology and hepatology since 2015. Has a special interest in liver cirrhosis and decompensating symptoms along with disease progression. PhD-student since 2021, focusing primarily on sarcopenia in patients with chronic liver disease and its role in disease progression and prognosis.   

Hannes Hegmar

MD, PhD-student

Hannes Hegmar received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 2017 and is currently a resident physician in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Karolinska University Hospital. His research interest is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). His PhD studies with dr Hagström as main supervisor focus on non-invasive prognostic markers in in chronic liver disease with a main focus on NAFLD.