About SFO-V

Research in health care science is essential to advance knowledge of health promotion, prevention, nursing and rehabilitation as well as organization and management of care.

Today, more people survive injuries and conditions that were previously fatal, people are living longer, and new methodologies are raising hopes for improved quality of life - yet the individual and societal costs of care remain high.

SFO-V's vision

The overall vision for the Strategic Research Area Health Care Science is to ensure that the development and provision of healthcare services is based upon high quality research. The program presents a strategy for a new organization of health care science research at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University, increased collaboration with healthcare providers and the business sector, and the renewal and expansion of advanced education (Masters/PhD).

SFO-V at Umeå Universitet

SFO-V promotes collaboration and invites stakeholders to take an active role in its work. The research area is strengthened and supported by the active engagement of the two universities' partner organizations: Stockholm and Västerbotten County Councils. It is governed by a board that includes representatives from the community, academia, and from national bodies related to health and welfare.

Our 4 core research areas

Research within SFO-V is focused on four main areas:

  • Co-creation - of services, processes and products refers to collaborative activities and approaches that strive to facilitate users, i.e. any stakeholder in issues related to health, disease and illness, working together on equal terms to create value, based on their different types of knowledge and experience.
  • Self-management - refers to a person’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical and psychological consequences, and life-style changes inherent in living with a health condition.
  • eHealth - refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health and health-related fields, including health care services, health surveillance, health communication, health education and research.
  • Bio-behavioural health care science - refers to the intercept of health care sciences with biological and behavioural sciences, to study the complex interactions among biological, social, behavioural and environmental factors and their effects on outcome to address issues of relevance for health care sciences.


Executive management and coordinator

The members in the executive management represent the surrounding society, academia and national organisations in the field of health care service, as well as Stockholm and Västerbotten county council.


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Staffan Josephsson

Professor / Director SFO-V

In short

Staffan Josephsson has been a professor of occupational therapy at Karolinska Institutet (KI) since 2011. He received his undergraduate education in occupational therapy at the then Stockholm School of Health Sciences and the education in pedagogy and theater studies is from Stockholm University. Staffan's dissertation on "Everyday activities as meeting places for dementia" he defended at Karolinska Institutet in 1994.


The starting point in Staffan's work is the research group Activity and participation when aging (APEL), which focuses on how participation is established together with older people in different circumstances and with different conditions.

Another node in Staffan's work is the group Health in Context at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, with which he has a long-term collaboration on issues concerning participation in everyday life.

In his role as a teacher, he has the ambition to challenge elitist pedagogy and work for relevant forms of teaching that include student participation and creativity. Staffan has learned a lot from working with European colleagues in The European Master in Occupational Therapy and from his Chilean colleagues at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile.


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Lars E Eriksson

Professor / Deputy Director SFO-V

In short

Lars E. Eriksson has a background as a registered nurse, master of science in chemistry and doctor of medicine in nursing and is an associate professor in care sciences and senior lecturer in nursing at Karolinska Institutet where he is division and research group lead at the Division of Innovative Care Research at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Lars has a clinical affiliation to the Medical Unit Infectious Diseases at Karolinska University Hospital and he also has a part-time position as a professor at the School of Health Sciences at the City, University of London, United Kingdom.



Lars' scientific profile has developed towards the branch of healthcare science that is established as biobehavioural or translational healthcare science. Early in his research career, he combined scientific work in nursing and biomedicine, mainly in HIV and sexual health. After the dissertation, his research line has expanded to also include studies on populations with other long-lasting or chronic conditions. He is PI of studies that explore quality of life, stigma and illness perception in people living with HIV. In addition, he is the PI of a translational research project on early signs and symptoms and biomarkers as predictors of lung cancer and is the PI for the Swedish part of an EU-funded intervention project, Magnet4Europe, which aims to improve mental health and well-being for healthcare staff in acute care hospitals.

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Ing-Mari Dohrn

Board member SFO-V

In short

Ing-Mari Dohrn is a licensed physiotherapist / physiotherapist and doctor of medicine in physiotherapy at KI. She has been an SFO-V Fellow and postdoctoral fellow at the Aging Research Center, KI, and at the University of Queensland. Ing-Mari conducts research at the Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society with a focus on physical activity and sedentary life in the elderly, as well as measurement methods for physical activity.


In her research, Ing-Mari has studied the relationship between health and physical activity or sedentary with the help of movement meters, so-called accelerometers, in two large Swedish observational studies, Attitude, Behavior and Change study (ABC) and Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). She has also evaluated physical activity and health-related quality of life in the elderly who have participated in challenging balance training. Through her research, Ing-Mari wants to contribute to increased knowledge about the interplay between biological and behavioral factors. Knowledge that can form the basis for health-promoting recommendations on physical activity for both patients and the general public.

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Mia Von Knorring

Principal Researcher

Research Description

In my research, I investigate in various ways the relationship between the role of managers and the leadership of professions, and how the different actors in healthcare can best contribute together to the overarching purpose of health and medical care - to offer good, safe, and equitable care to the population. For example, I was the main supervisor for Håkan Uvhagen, who in his doctoral project studied among other things the different roles of healthcare and academia in the introduction of academic primary care centers in the Stockholm County Council. In recent times, in collaboration with practitioners and research colleagues in Sweden and abroad, I have been involved in projects in the following areas: leading healthcare based on scientific foundation; how we can organize and lead care across organizational boundaries for the most fragile elderly; multipart leadership in healthcare; managers' role-taking in hospital management groups; importance of purpose and meaning for healthcare managers and employees; younger doctors' view on leadership and management; the significance of gender and profession in academic leadership; organizational prerequisites for doctors and doctor managers' work environment; collaboration between doctors and nurses.

Educational Merits

Over the past 20 years, I have lectured, taught, and mentored in subjects related to leadership and organization in several different courses and programs (undergraduate, advanced, and research level) both at KI and at other universities, as well as in health and medical care, for both managers and employees.

For several years I was course responsible and am now examiner for the master's program in Medical Management at Karolinska Institutet (the program received the assessment "high quality" in the Swedish Higher Education Authority's review 2014) which is aimed at managers and future managers in healthcare, dental care, and care. I am also the examiner for the leadership courses within the nursing program, radiology nursing program, as well as within the Supplementary Education for Nurses from countries outside the EU (KUSSK).

For several years, in collaboration with Karolinska University Hospital, I have provided a leadership training for AT-doctors where we together with young doctors examine and highlight what happens in the meeting between the medical profession and the organizational context, the difference between managers' leadership and the leadership practiced in clinical roles, what we know about doctors' working environment, and how the links between medicine and management can be developed.

I have also been working for many years with supervision for managers in healthcare and academia. I have also mentored several managers in healthcare on their thesis work in Medical Management up to an approved master's degree.

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Susanne Rautiainen Lagerström

Medical doctor / Board member SFO-V

About me

Susanne is a researcher at the Global and Sexual Health (GloSH) Research Group and research fellow at the Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA. 

Susanne has research experience in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and clinical- and lifestyle-related risk factors from small- and large-scale clinical trials and obsevational studies gained from her PhD training at Karolinska Institutet and 4-year postdoc at Harvard Medical School.  

Susanne's main research goal is to identify new strategies to tackle malnutrition, infectious, and NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. 


Research description

Current project:

The open population-based Rakai Community Cohort in Uganda: Understand the interplay between nutrition and microbiome in NCDs and infectious diseases

WelTel study: Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), HIV/AIDS care in Kenya - mobile phone intervention

The Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) trial http://www.cosmostrial.org  

Physicians' Health Study (PHS) II

the Vitamin D and Omega-3 TriaL (VITAL)-HT trial https://www.vitalstudy.org/index.html

Aterenon trial: Testing lycopene supplementation on changes in key cardiovascular biomarkers


More here

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Wibke Jonas

Senior Lecturer
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Maria Ankarcrona

Professor / Adjunct board member SFO-V

About me

I am Professor of Experimental Neurogeriatics and study cellular mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease. I am head of the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS). I was the director of doctoral studies at NVS between 2012-2017. During the 2015-2018, I was faculty representative on the Board of Doctoral Education (FUS) and during 2019 faculty representative on the Faculty Board. These were very interesting, stimulating and important assignments. To pursue issues that I am passionate about and to be a part of developing KI is both interesting and fun. This is something that I bring with me when I now take over as head of one of KI's largest departments with large assignments in research and education.

Research description

My research focuses on mitochondrial function in Alzheimer's disease with the long-term goal of identifying new drug candidates. Of particular interest is the interaction between the endoplasmic network (ER) and the mitochondria. Until recently, I was the coordinator of an EU project (JPND / VR) where a consortium of five partners aimed to identify common and distinct disease mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease with a focus on regulation of mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergtics. As part of project, we have identified a molecule that positively affects mitochondrial function and which we are now developing further.

Chris Bengtsson


Department: H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society