Funding from SSF

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, is a free and independent research funding body within the public research funding system that contributes substantial funding for research at Karolinska Institutet. Some of the larger allocations and researchers who have received funding are listed below.

Ingvar Carlsson Award

The aim of this programme is to identify and support young, well-qualified researchers who, after their postdoc in another country, intend to start an independent, lasting and creative research career in Sweden. Each project receives a three-year grant of SEK 3 or 4 million. The grant also includes a personal scholarship of SEK 60 000 that will be awarded to each recipient. The programme is named after former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson, in recognition of his contribution as Chairman of the SSF during the period 1997-2002.

Ingvar Carlsson Award ceremony.

Awardees from Karolinska Institutet

  • Michael Landreh – Structural proteomics to map instable proteins in cancer (2017-2020)
  • Juan Du – Microbioma in HPV-related infections and cancers (2017-2020)
  • Maria Genander – Regeneration, specialisation and cancer development in skin. (2015-2018)
  • Edmund Loh – Bidrar RNA-reglering till dödlig Neisseria infection? (2015-2018)
  • Katja Petzold – How microRNA move; significance of regulating RNA function. (2015-2018)
  • Kristiina Tammimies – Towards personalised medicine in neuropsychiatric diagnoses. (2015-2018)
  • Caroline Palm Apergi – Development of siRNN, a tailor-made cancer drug. (2013-2016)
  • Fredrik Lanner – Exploring of early embryonic development and pluripotency. (2013-2016)
  • Anna Wredenberg – Studies of mitochondrial genomics and pathogen mechanisms. (2013-2016)
  • Fredrik Wermeling – Homeostatic inflammation regulation. (2013-2016)
  • Jenny Mjösberg – The role of innate lymphoid cells in intestinal inflammation and cancer. (2013-2016)
  • Andreas Sigfridsson – Imaging of metabolism in the beating heart. (2013-2016)
  • Roland Nilsson – System metabolism in normal and transformed cells. (2012-2016)
  • Olov Andersson - Drug discovery in zebrafish for novel treatments of diabetes. (2012-2015)
  • Pontus Almer Boström – Molecular mechanisms behind the protective effect of exercise in diabetes (2012-2015)
  • Erik Ingelsson – The genetic architecture of cardiovascular disease. (2009-2013)
  • Rickard Sandberg – Biotechnology, medical technology and the technology of life sciences. (2007-2010)
  • Henrik Ehrsson – The neurophysiology of bodily Bodily Self-Consciousness. (2006-2010)
  • Maria Lindskog – Effects of the rewarding system on memory. (2006-2010)
  • Silvia Paddock – Genetic studies of bipolar diseases. (2006-2010)

Research Infrastructure Fellows

The aim of the support to the Research Infrastructure Fellows is to improve and increase the availability of Swedish infrastructure, promote interdisciplinary research and collaboration between institutions and disciplines, and engage new user groups, including industry. Each project in the program receives a grant of SEK 15 million for a period of 5 years (2015-2020).

Industrial Research Centres (IRC)

The aim is to contribute to industrial competitiveness, a sustainable society and more effective treatments for diseases. Each research centre receives SEK 100 million, and duration is between six and eight years.

Personalized medicine – functional delivery of drugs nukleotidbaserade

Project leader: Fredrik Höök, Chalmers
Participants from KI: Molly Stevens and Samir El-Andaloussi
Other partners: AstraZeneca, Camurus, Vironova, Gothenburg Sensor Devices and Gothenburg University.
Grant year: 2017

Framework grants

Framework grants for problem- or application-driven research projects of the highest international scientific standard with the aim of stimulating interdisciplinary research collaboration in areas of strategic relevance.


Within the Med-X research programme, SSF finances six different projects, of which two are from KI, that receive between 24 and 35 million each over a 5-year period (in all SEK 200 million). The aim is to strengthen research and development in the interface between medicine and technology. The projects will provide new solutions for clinical needs.

Development of instruments, technologies and methods

This funding is awarded to different projects in order to promote the development of instruments, technologies and methods, facilitating future advanced research and innovation. In 2018, SEK 236 million were allocated to 33 projects, of which two from Karolinska Institutet.

Systems biology

This is a multidisciplinary grant that requires collaboration between biologists, clinicians, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, physicists, chemists and others. Projects are funded with SEK 29-35 million during a five-year period (2017-2021).

  • Jonas Frisén – Nervcells Development and Networking in the Adult Brain (KI together with KTH and SciLifeLab)
  • Olli Kallioniemi – Precision medicine for optimization of therapies in AML
  • Sten Linnarsson – Cellular reprogramming for stem cell therapy
  • Staffan Strömblad – Microbased system biologic analysis of cell migration (KI together with Uppsala and Lund University)

In addition, KI is part of a project concerning new treatment strategies for brain cancer led by Uppsala University.

"Big Data" and Computational Science

The aim is to stimulate collaborative interdisciplinary research within the area of Big Data and Computational Science, of relevance to present or future Swedish-based industry and to society. Projects are funded with between 20 and 35 million SEK över a period of five years (2017-2021).

  • Nicola Crosetto – Integrated visualization of intratumour heterogeneity


The framework grants within the area of novel biomarkers are SEK 32-35 million each for a period of five years (2015-2019).


Synergy grants for research in molecular imaging, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, implanted sensors, portable sensors, lab-on-a-chip, and new biomaterials of SEK 24-30 million each for five years (2014-2019).

Infection biology

Synergy grants for research in infection biology of SEK 24-30 million each for five years (2013-2018).

Clinical Research

Clinical research projects aimed at making better use of the national quality registers are assigned 20 million per year over five years (2011-2016)

  • Johan Askling – Quality registries for prediction of inflammatory diseases
  • Pär Sparén – Registry-based optimization of the prevention of cervix cancer

Predictive models and Biomarkers

The framework grants within the area of predictive models and biomarkers are SEK 20-35 million each for a period of six years (2010-2015).


The framework grants within the area of epigenetics are SEK 20 million each for a period of five years (2010-2015).

  • Herwig Schuler – Chemical tools for studying epigenetic signaling
  • Juha Kere – Epigenetic mechanisms in asthma and allergy

Innate immunity

The framework grants within the area of innate immunity are SEK 20 million each for a period of five years (2010-2015).


Future research leaders

The aim of this programme is to support and promote young scientists who have the potential and the ambition to become future leaders of academic and/or industrial research in Sweden. The funding is 10 to 12 million SEK for five years.

KI researchers receiving funding 2022-2027

KI researchers who have received funding 2020-2025

KI researchers who have received funding 2016-2021

  • Niklas Björkström – Immune cells in tissue during chronic liver disease in human
  • Jenny Mjösberg – Intestinal lymphocytes; functional dynamics in inflammation
  • Katja Petzold – How microRNA regulates an organism based on structure

KI researchers who have received funding for 2013-2018

  • Fanie Barnabé-Heider – Stem cells of the bone marrow, from development to injury and cancer
  • Yenan Bryceson – Epigenetic regulation of cytotoxic functions in the lymphocytes
  • Björn Högberg – Molecular DNA-tools for neuroscience and cancer biology
  • Maria Kasper – Stem cells of the skin, role in wound healing and influence on skin cancer.
  • Konstantinos Meletis – Optogenetic characterization of the limbic network
  • Robert Månsson – Effect and function of distal gene-regulatory elements
  • Roland Nilsson – New techniques for mapping the metabolism of the cell

KI researchers who have received funding for 2012-2016

KI researchers who have received funding for 2011-2015


Other grants from SSF

  • Myriam Aouadi – The cannabinoid-1 receptor as therapy for fatty liver disease, awarded in 2022.
  • Rolf Lewensohn – Exosome analysis - prediction of brain metastases in lung cancer, awarded in 2022.
  • Sophie Erhardt – Nerve protective characteristics in proteasome activator PA28a. Industrial doctoral student in collaboration with AstraZeneca, awarded in 2021.
  • Julian Walfridsson – Identification of novel pharmaceutical targets for acute myeloid leukemia. Industrial doctoral student in collaboration with Sprint Bioscience, awarded in 2021.
  • Ina Schuppe Koistinen – A microbiome free from antibiotics and bacterial vaginosis. Industrial doctoral student in collaboration with Gedea Biotech AB, awarded in 2021.
  • Ali Mirazimi – CRISPR based antiviral pharmaceuticals against pathogen viruses. Industrial doctoral student in collaboration with BIOMEDREX AB, awarded in 2021.
  • Victoria Menendez Benito – Primary cilia-centrosom cycle in kidney disease. Strategic mobility grant in collaboration with AstraZeneca, awarded in 2020.
  • Sara Straniero – Modulation of bile acid metabolism in liver disease. Strategic mobility grant in collaboration with Albiero AB, awarded in 2019. 
  • Malgorzata Honcharenko – Modifying exosomes for targeted delivery of pharmaceuticals. Strategic mobility grant in collaboration with Evox Therapeutics, awarded in 2019. 
  • Dan Grandér – Autophagy in cancer therapy. Industrial doctoral student in collaboration with Sprint Bioscience AB 2016-2021.
  • Per-Olof Berggren – In vivo screening of aptamers for the treatment of Diabetes. Scientific collaboration with Korea 2015-2017.
  • Anna Falk – The role of neural stem cells in psychiatric disease. Individual grant for gender equality 2014-2019.
  • Johan Raud – Development of a new asthma drug. Strategic mobility grant 2014-2016.