Lena Ekström

Lena Ekström

Adjunct Professor | Docent
Visiting address: Avd.För klinisk Farmakologi C1:68, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, 14186 Stockholm
Postal address: H5 Laboratoriemedicin, H5 Klin Farmakologi, 141 52 Huddinge

About me

  • Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology specialising in Doping Research at the
    Department of Laboratory Medicine as of 1 June 2022.
    Primary position: Hospital Chemist at Karolinska University Hospital.


  • Lena Ekström researches how doping tests can be improved. Her regular work
    is at Karolinska University Hospital’s unit for clinical pharmacology,
    which is where the Swedish Doping Control Laboratory is located. Her research
    focuses on testosterone, other anabolic steroids and growth hormone, and
    erythropoietin (EPO)/./
    In clinical studies of healthy study participants given doping classified
    drugs, Ekström studies how indicators for doping substances vary in urine or
    blood samples over time and between individuals. Sex differences and
    fluctuations in women during menstruation are also important aspects of her
    As a postdoc researcher, Ekström discovered that a common genetic variation
    – the lack of the enzyme UGT2B17 – enables athletes to take
    performance-enhancing testosterone without overstepping the general threshold
    value in force at the time. The discovery was one reason for the introduction
    of personalized threshold limits in international elite sport, based on long
    data series.


All other publications


  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 2022-2026

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2006
  • Doctor Of Philosophy, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 2000

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