Facts, organisation and resources in circulation and respiration

Research into circulation and respiration deals principally with the heart, blood vessels and lungs. It spans several important medical fields and diseases which impact significantly on both individuals and society.

Karolinska Institutet has a long tradition of strong clinical research in these fields. In recent decades, this has been strengthened further through additional elements of strong basic research, which have resulted in a clear orientation towards translational research. Almost all of Karolinska Institutets departments perform research relating to circulation and respiration.


Research into atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is carried out in a variety of areas, including molecular medicine, genetics, epidemiology and patient-based clinical research. Quality is very high, including by international standards. Close collaboration with specialists looking after patients with diseases which increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis, such as diabetes or metabolic disorders, is another strength.

Heart diseases

When it comes to heart disease, successful research is being conducted in areas from molecular mechanisms and stem cells right through to therapies.

Pulmonary medicine

In pulmonary medicine, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and lung cancer are major diseases and fields of research. Internationally successful research is also ongoing into less common but serious diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis. Environmental impact on lung health is also of interest to research at KI.