Medical genetics – Catharina Larsson's Group

Experimental, translational and clinical studies of sporadic and familial tumors in endocrine organs.

Our Research

The medical genetics group includes teams of researchers and research students lead by the Principal Investigators Weng-Onn Lui, Svetlana Bajalica Lagercrantz, Christopher Juhlin, and Catharina Larsson, respectively.

Catharina Larsson, Professor, Department of Oncology-Pathology. Photo: Erika Rindsjö

Experimental and translational studies of tumors in endocrine organs especially the adrenal and thyroid glands concerning telomere stabilization, genetic risk and ion channel aberrations.

Weng-Onn Lui, Senior Lecturer, Docent, Department of Oncology-Pathology. Photo: Private

Functional and translational studies of Merkel cell carcinoma concerning the Merkel cell polyoma virus, small RNA biology, autophagy and treatment targets.

Portrait of Svetlana Bajalica Lagercrantz
Svetlana Bajalica Lagercrantz, Adjunct Professor, Docent, Department of Oncology-Pathology (Senior consultant in clinical genetics, Karolinska University Hospital). Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Clinical, translational and experimental studies of inherited cancer predisposition syndromes focusing on TP53 mutation carriers and associated syndromes such as Li-Fraumeni. 

Christofer Juhlin
Christofer Juhlin, Docent, Department of Oncology-Pathology (Deputy Senior Consultant in surgical pathology, Karolinska University Hospital and Senior Clinical Investigator Award position from the Swedish Cancer Society). Photo: Cancerfonden

Experimental, translational and clinical studies in endocrine tumor pathology. Molecular profilings are combined with microscopical approaches to pinpoint mechanisms of tumor development and deliver improved diagnostics and prognostics. 

Catharina Larsson - our research profile

Endocrine tumors are found throughout the human body, with the most commonly known originating in the parathyroid glands, the thyroid, the adrenals or neuro-endocrine cells of the abdomen. The endocrine tumor entity encompasses the entire spectrum from indolent and benign to mankind's worst cancer forms. Recognition of malignancy, prognostication and treatment of potentially aggressive disease are clinical challenges. Furthermore, genetic predisposition is relatively common involving one or more tumor locations and other associated phenotypes.   In addition, many endocrine tumors produce hormones that give rise to severe symptoms, although the tumors themselves may not be a threat to the patient. Several principally different mechanisms and molecular events are involved in tumor risk, etiology and development. 

Telomerase related alterations have been found to be important for the development of aggressive disease and our studies aim to identify such telomerase activating alterations as well as how the TERT gene can be regulated in cancer for example by ETS transcription factors which may also affect the microRNA machinery. Other ongoing projects concern identification of new tumor driving genes and their function in genetic risk and tumor progression as well as changes in ion channel expression and impact on tumor growth and function. 

Publications and CV


The present research is generously supported by grants from:

  • The Swedish Cancer Society
  • The Swedish Research Council
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm County Council
  • The Cancer Research Foundations of Radiumhemmet

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group


Catharina Larsson
Department of Oncology-Pathology, KI, Karolinska University Hospital-Solna Bioclinicum J6:20; SE-171 64, Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-123 73930


PhD dissertations supervised within the group

Martin Harper Hysek
PhD May 12, 2023
Telomerase related studies in thyroid cancer

Meis Omran
PhD May 5, 2023
Heritable TP53-related cancer syndrome in Sweden: Characterisation of genotype-phenotype correlation and surveillance

Yaxuan Liu
PhD June 20, 2022
Evaluation of genetic cancer predisposition and potential cancer genes

Jiwei Gao
PhD May 6, 2022
Dissecting the roles of viral T-antigens in Merkel cell carcinoma

Ninni Mu
PhD December 16, 2021
Diagnostic and prognostic markers in thyroid carcinoma with focus on TERT activation

Johan Paulsson
PhD September 10, 2021
Genetic and molecular characterization of follicular thyroid tumors: diagnostic and prognostic aspects

Fredrika Svahn
PhD January 15, 2021
Tumors of the adrenal glands: genetic and diagnostic aspects

Hao Shi
PhD October 30, 2020
Regulation of cellular degradation pathways by viral oncoproteins and microRNAs

Wen-Kuan Huang
PhD September 30, 2020
microRNA and energy metabolism in gastrointestinal tumors

Patrick Scicluna
PhD March 26, 2020
Differential microRNA and metabolic expressions in neuroendocrine and cervical carcinomas 

Satendra Kumar
PhD August 30, 2019
Connecting viral oncoproteins to microRNA, autophagy and metabolism in Merkel cell carcinoma

Robin Fröbom
PhD December13, 2019
Translational investigations of novel and current antitumoral therapies in gastrointestinal stromal tumor

Goncalo Brito
PhD October 12, 2018
Molecular mechanisms of salamander limb regeneration

Yuanjun Ma
PhD 28 August, 2018
A study of two major challenges in prostate cancer : effective chemo-prevention and overcoming resistance to hormonal and chemotherapy

Roger Kae-Jia Chang
PhD January 26, 2018
MicroRNAs and their processing factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and human cancers

Linda Vidarsdóttir
PhD December 15, 2017
Functional analysis of long non-coding RNAs in cancer

Abdul Aleem Mohammad
PhD June 2, 2017
Human cytomegalovirus: from novel strain, miRNAs to interplay with breast cancer

Omid Fotouhi
PhD January 31st 2017
Molecular aspects of tumor development and treatment for small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors

Xinyan Miao
PhD December 9th 2016
Platelet angiogenic activities: a concert of multiple players

Limin Ma
PhD October 26th 2016
Activity and mechanism of action of histone deacetylase inhibitors in synovial sarcoma

Adam Stenman
PhD January 22nd 2016
Genetic and molecular background of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

Anna Kwiecinska
PhD November 13th 2015
Characterisation of molecular alterations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with respect to transformation, progression and prognostic markers

Na Wang
PhD October 15th 2015
Telomerase activation and its clinical implications in human thyroid tumors

Deniz Özata
PhD June 12th 2015
Genomic and functional analysis of microRNAs and PIWI-interacting RNAs in human cancers

Pinar Akcakaya
PhD January 9th 2015
Molecular mechanisms of imatinib resistance in gastrointestinal stromal tumor with focus on microRNAs

Cinzia Bersani
PhD November 14th 2014
The role of the RNA-binding protein Wig-1 in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression

Erik Berglund
PhD June 13th 2014
Novel aspects of the molecular biology of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Hong Xie
PhD January 17th 2014
microRNA expression and function in virus-associated human cancers

Felix Haglund
PhD October 18th 2013
Endocrine signaling and molecular aberrations in primary hyperparathyroidism

Andrii Dinets
PhD September 27th 2013
Molecular aspects of post-Chornobyl and sporadic papillary thyroid carcinoma

David Velázquez-Fernández
PhD September 6th 2013
Insights into the transcriptomic profiling of adrenocortical tumors

Jan Åhlén
PhD May 10th 2013
Markers for clinical outcome and therapy response in soft tissue sarcomas

Monira Akhtar
PhD April 30th 2013
Epigenetic mechanisms and regulatory aspects of human cancer and neural progenitor cells : implications for diagnosis and therapy

Luqman Sulaiman
PhD January 11th 2013
Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in primary hyperparathyroidism

Stefano Caramuta
PhD 2012 March 16th
Clinical and functional aspects of microRNA regulation in human cancers

Anastasios Sofiadis
PhD April 30th 2010
In search of diagnostic and prognostic markers for thyroid cancer: A proteomics approach

Nimrod B Kiss
PhD December 22nd 2009
DNA methylation and gene expression patterns in adrenal medullary tumors

Christofer C Juhlin
PhD November 20th 2009
Molecular aspects of parathyroid tumorigenesis : With focus on parafibromin and the Wnt pathway

Mohsen Karimi Arzenani
PhD February 13th 2009
Genomic DNA methylation in health and disease

JiaJing Lee
PhD December 14th 2007
Behind the scenes of thyroid tumors: Underlying genetic mechanisms

Janos Geli
PhD October 5th 2007
Further delineation of molecular alterations in adreno-medullary tumors

Emma Flordal Thelander
PhD April 27th 2007
Genetic characterization of hematological malignancies with focus on mantle cell lymphoma

Bying Zheng
PhD June 9th 2006
Improved human papillomavirus DNA typing methods and biology of cervival cancer

Theodoros Foukakis
PhD April 29th 2005
Basic and translational studies of follicular thyroid neoplasia

Wen-Hui Weng
PhD April 12th, 2005
Molecular cytogenetic studies of soft tissue sarcoma: with focus on prognosis and acquired events

Petra Kjellman
PhD May 28th, 2004
Clinical and molecular studies of papillary thyroid carcinoma, with an emphasis on prognostic factors

Mattias Berglund
PhD May 18th, 2004 at Uppsala University
"Molecular characterization of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and aspects of transformation"

Stina Välimäki
PhD December 12, 2003
Pathological growth of parathyroid glands-genetic and physiological aspects

Andrei Alimov
PhD May 16th 2003
Molecular genetic aspects of renal cell carcinoma development

Andrea Villablanca
PhD May 2nd 2003
Genetic background of familial hyperparathyroidism

Lars Forsberg
PhD April 11th 2003
Localization and characterization of genes involved in parathyroid tumor development

Weng-Onn Lui
PhD October 9th 2002
Approaches for the localizations and identifications of cancer genes

Brita Nord
PhD April 19th 2002
Endocrine tumor development: with special emphasis on the involvement of chromosomes 1 and 11

Elisabet Edström Elder
PhD January 18th 2002
Pheochromocytoma and abdominal paraganglioma: clinical and genetic aspects

Tony Frisk
PhD September 15th 2001
Molecular genetic studies of human thyroid tumors

Li Fang-Yuan
PhD March 30th 2001
Genetic studies of progressive external ophthalmoplegia and familial myasthenia gravis-linkage mapping candidate gene cloning and familial myasthenia gravis: linkage analysis, candidate gene cloning and mutation detection

Pan Yi
PhD September 15th 2000
Cytogenetic characterization of bladder and prostate cancer

Fung-Ki Wong
PhD March 13th 2000
Application of genetic analyses ion studies of syndromic and non-syndromic cleft lip and palate

Magnus Kjellman
PhD January 29th, 1999
Genetic characterization of adrenocortical tumors

Filip Farnebo
PhD October 9th 1998
Molecular mechanisms of tumor development in hyperparathyroidism

Bin Tean Teh
PhD November 16th 1997
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1-clinical and molecular characterization

Catherine Phelan
PhD April 4 1997
Molecular genetic analysis of human breast cancer

Jacob Lagercrantz
PhD September 27 1996
Isolation and characterization of genes within the region for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 on chromosome 11q13

Jan Zedenius
PhD September 8th 1995
"Molecular genetic alterations in human thyroid tumors"

Eitan Friedman
PhD December 13th 1993
"Molecular mechanisms of tumor development in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 related tumors"

Annika Lindblom
PhD November 26th 1993
"A molecular study on familial breast cancer"

Anna Karlbom
PhD February 1993
"Molecular studies of genetic alterations involved in initiation of tumorigenesis of meningioma and progression of glioma" (final year)

Licentiate dissertations supervised within the group
Leyla Roshani
April 23 1999


The Task Force on endocrine tumors (supported by Cancer research KI) with

The Task Force on Familial Cancer (supported by Cancer research KI)

The Task Force on Merkel Cell Carcinoma (supported by Cancer research KI)

Nordic Merkel Cell Carcinoma interest Group (supported by Swedish Cancer Society)