Strategic Research Areas

The Strategic Research Areas (SFOs in Swedish) are investments initiated by the Swedish government in certain selected areas that has been ongoing since 2010. Karolinska Institutet has received funding for six fields: stem cells, diabetes, neuroscience, cancer, epidemiology, and health care science.

The facade of Aula Medica in Solna.
Aula Medica in Solna. Photo: Erik Flyg

KI also received funding for a joint application with Stockholm University, KTH, and Uppsala University in the molecular biosciences – what has now become the national research facility SciLifeLab.  In addition, the strategic research area in cancer has broadened its assignment in recent years.

About the six research areas

Cancer Research KI (originally StratCan) is an umbrella organisation for all cancer research at Karolinska Institutet and brings together researchers from different disciplines, from cancer biology to clinical cancer research. The overall goal is to generate new scientific discoveries that can ideally be transferred to clinical use.

Strategic Research Programme Diabetes (SRP Diabetes) brings together over 300 researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University. The programme forms an integrated research environment with both basic and clinical research. Researchers and experts from number of disciplines collaborate with the goal of improving care and treatment of patients with diabetes.

Strategic Research Area Epidemiology and Biostatistics (SFOepi) aims to improve human health by addressing the challenges posed by extensive demographic change at the global level. New epidemics, aging populations, climate change, altered lifestyles, and new technology are some of the issues that researchers in the programme are interested in.

Strategic Research Area Neuroscience (StratNeuro) is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, Umeå University and KTH and aims to integrate clinical and basic research and to pave the way for a new generation of leaders and researchers in translational neuroscience.

Strategic Research Area Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (StratRegen) aims to support projects and infrastructure within the field, with the vision to improve quality, significance, and clinical relevance of the research. Stem cells play an important role both in the development of tissues of the foetus and in the maintenance and regeneration of the body's tissues in adulthood. Stem cell therapies are established in clinical medicine for malignant as well as for non-malignant conditions and new therapies are constantly being developed.

Strategic Research Area Health Care Science (SFO-V) is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University. The aim is to strengthen and develop the connection between science and health care providers through high-quality research and activities that promote collaboration, knowledge exchange and social innovation.

Symbol SciLifeLab
Photo: SciLifeLab

About SciLifeLab

SciLifeLab started as one of 20 strategic research areas but has today developed into a national resource to give researchers access to unique technologies and expertise in the field of life sciences. SciLifeLab is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, KTH, Stockholm University and Uppsala University, which also serves as host universities for many of the core facilities and technology platforms that SciLifeLab offers.