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Stål and Wahlin group

Metabolic and Inflammatory Liver Disease (MILES)

We study epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of various metabolic and inflammatory liver diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), porphyric liver disease, hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Using big cohorts of patients with a very long follow-up and well characterized clinical data, we combine our findings with data from national registries and tissue analyses. 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 these liver diseases. We look end points such as survival, co-morbidity, or development of cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma.

In collaboration with others, we use histology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular biology for translational studies. Our prospective studies aim at finding risk factors for fibrosis progression and for liver cancer development.

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


Per Stål, Group leader, Associate professor, Senior Consultant at the Clinical Department of Digestive Diseases, Phone: +46-704-255 288. E-mail:

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.

Soo Aleman, MD, PhD, Associate professor
Soo Aleman received her MD degree in 1999 from Karolinska Institutet. In 2001, Soo finished the PhD study within Clinical Virology about human immunodeficiency virus infection and antiviral treatment, and became associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in 2012. Soo is working as senior physician 50% at the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and 50% at the department of Infectious Diseases at Karolinska University Hospital. The main current research focus is on hepatitis C associated liver cirrhosis and the effect of antiviral treatment on the risks for hepatocellular cancer and liver complications. Soo Aleman is currently main supervisor of Magnus Hedenstierna, MD and co-supervisor of Loa Davidsdottir, MD.
Hannes Hagström, MD, PhD
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.

Rolf Hultcrantz, Professor, +46 (0)70-484 1433
Research in gastroenterology and hepatology focuses on diseases that affect the stomach, intestines and liver. The field covers many common diseases including gallstones, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, liver diseases such as hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease and "stomach ache" in general.

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 clinical dietitian at the department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at Karolinska University Hospital. She is working with patients suffering from chronic liver diseases and undergoing liver transplantation at the liver center. 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.

Knut Stokkeland, MD, PhD
Knut Stokkeland received his MD degree in 1990 from The University of Bergen. He works as a Senior Consultant at the Department of Medicine at Visby Hospital. In 2006, His PhD theses was Studies on alcoholic liver disease. His research focus after the PhD has been on the epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease, the effect on children born of women with alcoholic liver disease and other chronic liver diseases. His main current research focus is on the effects of alcohol on patients with who have undergone liver transplants and on patients with esophageal varices and on medication that may reduce liver fibrosis. He collaborates with collegues at Capio S:t Goran, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and several Departments at the Karolinska Institutet.

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.

Staffan Wahlin, Associate Professor, Senior Consultant at the Hepatology Division, Centre for Digestive Disease, Phone +46 709 129810, E-mail:
Staffan Wahlin received his MD degree from Karolinska Institutet in 1994 and his PhD degree in 2010 with a thesis on Erythropoietic Protoporphyria. His research interest follows three main themes: porphyria liver disease, autoimmune liver disease and epidemiological studies within hepatology, but also encompasses projects within transplant hepatology.