Molecular neurodevelopment and neuro-oncology – Ola Hermanson group

We are interested in the development of the brain in health and disease, in particular brain regions involved in social and cognitive processes. Specifically neural and cancer stem cell characteristics and differentiation with implications for neurodevelopmental disorders, innate repair after damage, and susceptibility to disease. We use cutting edge molecular technologies in combination with imaging, biomaterials, bioelectronics, and bioprinting, and collaborate extensively with physicians.

Illustration of a brain built out of Lego blocks.

Our research

We are specifically interested in molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of stem cell and progenitor characteristics and differentiation into functional neurons and other cell types, with implications for innate repair after damage, neurodevelopmental disorders, and susceptibility to psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease.

To investigate these topics, we use advanced molecular techniques, including genome-wide analyses of chromatin and biomedical engineering, and the most relevant cell types, as well as  translational collaborations with clinicians. 

Our activities can be divided into three main, overlapping branches:

  1. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of stem cell state and fate to generate functional systems for repair of a damaged nervous system, for example after surgery or irradiation, and increased understanding of psychiatric disease.
  2. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of tumor cell and cancer-derived stem cell state and fate, especially in adult glioblastoma and pediatric high-grade gliomas (e.g., DIPG/DMG) and medulloblastoma.
  3. Biomedical engineering, biomaterials, bioelectronics,  and studies of microenvironment to provide novel and improved approaches for stem and cancer cell biology and novel tools for clinical applications in neurological disorders and brain tumors.

We participate actively in several networks of neuroscience, cancer, bioengineering, stem cells, and regenerative medicine. In addition, we are dedicated fans of basic science and are involved in many outreach activities.


Selected publications

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Group members outside in front of a yellow house.
Group members of the Hermanson Laboratory. From left to right: Jacob Shot, Clémence Deborgies, Adrian Press, Samuel Dominguez-Garcia, Ola Hermanson, Christina Neofytou. Photo: Hermanson Lab.

Contact and visit us

Postal address

Department of Neuroscience
Attn: Ola Hermanson
Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm

Visiting address (visitors, couriers, etc.)

Karolinska Institutet, Biomedicum, D7
Solnavägen 9, SE-171 65 Solna

Delivery address (goods, parcels, etc.)

Tomtebodavägen 16, SE-171 65 Solna

Biomedicum, Solnavägen 9, Solna

Former group members


PhD students

  • Therese Andersson – 2007-10-26
  • Karolina Wallenborg – 2008-06-05
  • Erik Södersten – 2009-09-04
  • Shirin Ilkhanizadeh – 2010-06-11
  • Amilcar Reis – 2012-06-15
  • Frida Holm – 2012-11-16
  • Michalina Lewicka – 2013-12-05
  • Esra Karaca – 2014-12-12
  • Aileen Gracias – 2017-03-03
  • Giulia Gaudenzi – 2018-03-29
  • Bianca Migliori – 2018-12-20
  • Jakub Lewicki – 2019-11-01

News archive

Biomaterials Science Cancer and Oncology Medical Biotechnology (focus on Cell Biology (incl. Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy) Neurosciences Neurosciences
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