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Researchers at NVS awarded more than 10 MSEK in ALF funding

Monday November 20th, 2017 04:20:38 PM
Selma Wolofsky

Researchers at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) have been awarded grants in several categories in the call from the collaboration between the Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet through the agreement called ALF. In total 10 295 000 MSEK has been awarded in five categories.

Core facilities 2018

Caroline Graff
500 000 SEK
Facility: Hjärnbanken vid Karolinska Institutet // The Brain Bank at Karolinska Institutet

ALF medicine projects 2018

Erika Franzén 
600 000 SEK
Project title: Neuroplasticity in Parkinson’s disease after training

Laura Fratiglioni
300 000 SEK
Project title: Identifying common mechanisms and pathways in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease

Maria Hagströmer 
950 000 SEK
Project title: The effect of early and structured mobilisation and rehabilitation, among patients undergoing major abdominal surgery due to cancer - the AbdMoRe study

Agneta Nordberg
800 000 SEK
Project title: Molekylär PET imaging vid Alzheimers sjukdom och andra demenssjukdomar - betydelsen för tidig upptäckt, diagnostik och sjukdomsmodifierande behandling

Dorota Religa
300 000 SEK
Project title: Att minska bördan av beteendestörningar vid demens för såväl patienter, anhöriga som vårdgivare – register- och interventionsstudier

Alina Solomon
800 000 SEK
Project title: Swedish European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (Sweden-EPAD): sustainable scientific, analytical and adaptive trial delivery platform

Lars-Olof Wahlund
500 000 SEK
Project title: Tidig och säker diagnostik av Alzheimers sjukdom-Utveckling och implementering av moderna MR tekniker. Fortsatta studier.

Yvonne Wengström
900 000 SEK
Project title: OptiTrain - optimering av träning för kvinnor med bröstcancer - en randomiserad studie. 

Network health care

Maria Eriksdotter 
1 500 000 SEK
Project title: Förbättrad behandling av hjärtsviktspatienter genom utveckling av geriatrikens koordinator-roll i livslång uppföljning: från kardiologi till primärvård (GERTSVIKT)

Erika Franzén
500 000 SEK 
Project title: Exercise for Parkinson’s disease: From clinical effectiveness and implementation in outpatien care to supported exercise in everyday life.

Elisabeth Rydwik
450 000 SEK 
Project title: Riskfaktorer för återinskrivning efter geriatrisk slutenvård

Helena Salminen
995 000 SEK 
Project title: Effekter av utbildade team i primärvården för uppföljning av patienter med benskörhetsfrakturer; en randomiserad kontrollerad studie

Elisabet Åkesson 
450 000 SEK 
Project title: An interactive distance solution for stroke rehabilitation in the home setting

ALF pedagogy project 2018

Staffan Josephsson
300 000 SEK
Project title: Supporting students in higher education to learn to translate knowledge for use in everyday nursing home care

Pedagogical project grant within KI 2018

Susanne Andermo
250 000 SEK
Project title: Översättning av bedömningsinstrument för interprofessionell samverkan

Gunnar Nilsson
200 000 SEK
Project title: Återkoppling- påverkas studentens professionsutveckling olika, beroende på vem som ger återkoppling?

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New thesis on the use of technology in everyday life when getting older

Monday November 20th, 2017 01:21:13 PM
Selma Wolofsky

Hi Charlotta Ryd, PhD student at the Division of Occupational Therapy. You are about to defend your thesis on 30 November, what is the main focus of your research?

My thesis is about how the use of everyday technology relates to daily life occupations and need of support among older adults with or without cognitive impairments. Within the thesis, the concept of everyday technology refers to the technological objects and systems a person normally encounters in daily life, such as coffee machines, smartphones or ticket vending machines.

Which are the most important results?

One of the most important findings is that relations between the use of everyday technology and daily life occupations, that has not previously been sufficiently explored, now have been confirmed. We have also achieved in-depth knowledge of the relationships between technology use and daily life occupations. We have for example explored possible driving forces as well as hinders when incorporating new technologies into daily life. My research have also shown that measures of technology use can predict the needed support in daily life, and that utilization of support from others often is decisive for older adults technology use. 

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

By establishing better prerequisites for older adults with and without cognitive impairment, so that they can stay active and engaged in their daily lives in our increasingly technology dependent society.

What´s in the future for you? Will you keep on conducting research?

I will stay at KI and teach at the occupational therapy programme. I will also be engaged in a research project at KI concerning people with dementia.


Technology use among older adults with and without cognitive impairment: exploring relations with daily life occupations and need of support


PhD student

Charlotta Ryd

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 837 52
Organizational unit: Division of Occupational Therapy

Charlotta Ryd. Photo: Selma Wolofsky

Charlotta Ryd. Foto: Selma WolofskyCharlotta Ryd. Photo: Selma Wolofsky 

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Enterovirus vaccine prevented type 1 diabetes in mice

Monday November 20th, 2017 12:00:00 PM

In a study published in Diabetologia, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Tampere, Finland, report that an enterovirus vaccine can protect against virus-induced diabetes in a mouse model for type 1 diabetes. A vaccine for human use is now under development by the Finnish company Vactech Ltd. and its American collaborator Provention Bio.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common, chronic, life-threatening disease in children, and continues to increase worldwide. Finland and Sweden have the highest incidence of type 1 diabetes in the world with more than 1 in 200 sufferers in Sweden. To date, the exact causes of the disease are not known. One of the environmental factors that has been touted as a potential cause is infection with common cold viruses known as enteroviruses. However, no firm evidence exists proving their role.

No severe side effects

In this study, the researchers have used an experimental mouse model to determine the involvement of these viruses through testing of the efficacy of a novel prototype vaccine in preventing type 1 diabetes after enterovirus infection. The vaccine prevented virus-induced type 1 diabetes and protected against other signs of virus infection without any severe adverse effects.

“These results indicate the potential that such a vaccine has for elucidating the role of enteroviruses in human type 1 diabetes. If they prove to be involved, vaccination with an enterovirus vaccine would provide a viable preventative treatment for virus-induced type 1 diabetes”, says Professor Malin Flodström-Tullberg at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine, Huddinge, whose research group was responsible for the preclinical studies.

Important step before studies in humans

The study was done in collaboration with researchers at the University of Tampere who produced the prototype vaccine. Work is currently ongoing at the University of Tampere to develop a vaccine that targets a greater number of viruses, all of which have been implicated in causing type 1 diabetes. The model that was established together with researchers at Karolinska Institutet will be used as a platform to test further enterovirus vaccines in so-called proof-of-concept studies. These studies are necessary before progress to a clinical set-up in humans.

Novel enterovirus vaccines for clinical use in humans is currently under development by Vactech Ltd., Finland, and its collaborator Provention Bio, USA.

The research was supported by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) and by Barndiabetesfonden (the Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation). The Tekes-funded consortium Therdiab includes, besides University of Tampere and Karolinska Institutet, several Finnish Biotech companies including Vactech Ltd.

This news article is based on a press release from the University of Tampere.


“A Coxsackievirus B vaccine protects against virus-induced diabetes in an experimental mouse model of type 1 diabetes”
Virginia M. Stone, Minna M. Hankaniemi, Emma Svedin, Amirbabak Sioofy-Khojine, Sami Oikarinen, Heikki Hyöty, Olli H. Laitinen, Vesa P. Hytönen, Malin Flodström-Tullberg
Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]), online 18 November 2017

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The new Ladok-system introduced at KI

Monday November 20th, 2017 11:53:23 AM
Ida Rutström

From today Monday 20 November, the new Ladok-system is open for users at KI, who now may login and start working in the new web based system. During tomorrow Tuesday, the system will also open for all students at KI, undergraduate as well as doctoral students.

"The new Ladok-system is now introduced at KI. The implementation went well and according to plan. A big and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped”, says Juni Francén Engdahl, project manager for the introduction of the new system at KI.

“As of this week, Ladok-users at KI will be working in the new system. I hope you who will be using the system get the impression that it works well, but if you have any problems to find what you are looking for in the system, we are more than happy to help, says Juni Francén Engdahl.

Manuals and support for the new system

If you need support for system, you can find manuals or contact the Ladok support (page in Swedish).

E-learning course for teachers and examiners

Teachers and examiners, who will report and attest grades in the new system, can get access to the e-learning course for the new Ladok-system from the Head of Administration at your department. 


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SOLVED: Problems with Kimkat

Friday November 17th, 2017 10:21:10 AM
KI IT-support

The problem is solved.

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Call for funding - SFO Stem cells and Regenerative medicine 2016-2019

Friday November 17th, 2017 10:02:41 AM
Emma Karlsson

Areas of support

The vision of the SFO Stem cells and Regenerative medicine 2016 – 2020 is to support research and infrastructure within the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine with the aim to enhance quality and significance, as well as clinical value of this program.

The SFO will support researchers, research programs and infrastructure at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) with or without collaboration with the health care system based on scope, quality, and the potential to strengthen and develop the field.

Apply for research grants at the website for Strategic research area (SRA) in stem cells and regenerative medicine

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On 22 November, we will upgrade our phone register.

Thursday November 16th, 2017 02:05:38 PM
KI IT-support

On 22 November, we will upgrade our phone register. 

This may cause interruptions if you refer a telephone call during the time of the upgrade. The upgrade will be done after office hours. 

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Mapping biological functions of NUDIX enzymes

Thursday November 16th, 2017 01:42:38 PM

In a large multidisciplinary project, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have explored different properties of an enzyme family called NUDIX hydrolases. The study, published in Nature Communications, reveals novel insights into their biological functions in human cells.

The NUDIX enzymes are involved in several important cellular processes such as cellular metabolism, homeostasis and mRNA processing. Although highly conserved throughout all organisms, their individual structural, biochemical and biological properties remain largely unclear.

To address this, Professor Thomas Helleday and Assistant professor Jordi Carreras-Puigvert at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics and Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) initiated a collaborative study with researchers at Uppsala University, Stockholm University, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and members of the Human Protein Atlas.

Comprehensive enzyme profile map

The collaboration has resulted in comprehensive data on individual properties and interrelationships of 18 human NUDIX enzymes, revealing four major structural classes. Using a novel algorithm, the researchers integrated all data creating a comprehensive NUDIX enzyme profile map.

“This map reveals novel insights into substrate selectivity and biological functions of NUDIX hydrolases and poses a platform for expanding their use as biomarkers and potential novel cancer drug targets”, says Jordi Carreras-Puigvert.

The multidisciplinary project included analyses in biochemistry, structural biology, functional genomics, gene expression, protein expression and bioinformatics. It was supported by the European Union–Marie Curie-FP7-People programme, the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, among others.


“A comprehensive structural, biochemical and biological profiling of the human NUDIX hydrolase family”
Jordi Carreras-Puigvert, Marinka Zitnik, Ann-Sofie Jemth, Megan Carter, Judith E. Unterlass, Björn Hallström, Olga Loseva, Zhir Karem, José Manuel Calderón-Montaño, Cecilia Lindskog, Per-Henrik Edqvist, Damian J. Matuszewski, Hammou Ait Blal, Ronnie P.A. Berntsson, Maria Häggblad, Ulf Martens, Matthew Studham, Bo Lundgren, Carolina Wählby, Erik L.L. Sonnhammer, Emma Lundberg, Pål Stenmark, Blaz Zupan & Thomas Helleday
Nature Communications, online 16 November 2017

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"Green Light" introduced to ensure quality in doctoral education

Thursday November 16th, 2017 09:53:03 AM

The doctoral supervision training programme introduced at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in 2008 has proved successful. A comparison of exit polls conducted since 2008 shows that doctoral candidates are increasingly satisfied with their education. Now, directors of doctoral studies are to provided with their next quality-assurance tool: At the turn of the year, Green Light will be introduced.

“Our work is ongoing and we leave no stone unturned. Exit polls have been of great help,” says Marianne Schultzberg, Dean of Doctoral Education at KI.

In June, a longitudinal study was presented comparing exit polls conducted on doctoral students between 2013-2016 with those from 2008-2012. The study clearly shows increased satisfaction among doctoral students. Of those responding between 2013-2016, 93 per cent agreed entirely or in part that overall they had received a good education. This compares with 89 per cent between 2008-2012. Dissatisfaction decreased from 12.8 per cent in the earlier period to 8.6 per cent. The response frequency to exit polls has increased to 83 per cent (from 75 per cent).

“It is most gratifying to find that our work is paying off. Both with regard to how doctoral candidates assess their supervisors and the support they receive from study directors, supervisors and others, as well as the quality of doctoral education courses,” says Marianne Schultzberg.

At the turn of the year, a new structural initiative will be introduced to ensure the quality of doctoral education throughout KI; Green Light. This means that, prior to recruiting new doctoral candidates, every department must assess whether the preconditions exist for a high quality doctoral education – including sufficient time and expertise for supervision, as well as adequate financing.

“Even if in the vast majority of cases these preconditions exist, we believe that the simple fact of raising the issue will have an effect. Departments have had the autumn to prepare their Green Light procedure,” says Marianne Schultzberg.

Obligatory supervisor course

It is currently obligatory for those researchers wishing to recruit and supervise doctoral students to take either KI’s Introductory Doctoral Supervision Course, introduced in 2008, or an equivalent course.

“This has proved to be an excellent initiative. KI’s supervisor course is in great demand and always fully subscribed,” Marianne Schultzberg says.

According to Marianne Schultzberg, KI’s researchers demonstrate enormous enthusiasm and commitment when it comes to doctoral supervision.

“This represents four years of collaboration. It is a rewarding process to see someone develop,” she says.

Doctoral students also confirm that expertise and dedication among supervisors have increased since the introduction of the course. According to the exit-poll study, 80 per cent would recommend their own supervisor to prospective doctoral candidates – an increase from 74 per cent between 2008-2012.

The supervision problems demonstrated by the exit polls – the lack of discussion at theoretical level and about the candidate’s postdoctoral future – have also seen improvement since the last measurement.

Equal treatment remains a problem

Another area that has improved marginally is inequality, discrimination and harassment, although management still feels that there remains much work to do. Last year, 2016, 14.3 per cent of respondents to the survey stated that they had been subjected to such treatment at sometime during their doctoral studies (compared to 16.5 per cent during the period 2008-2012). However, considerably fewer experienced any such behaviour on the part of their own supervisor.

“Green Light is a further initiative to come to grips with this,” explains Marianne Schultzberg.

Equal treatment is one of the factors that Matti Nikkola, study director at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, would also like to see improved going forward.

“KI is a university that works to improve health. We must be good at this,” Matti Nikkola says.

Just like Marianne Schultzberg, Matti Nikkola considers exit polls to be a great help in this work:

“KI has developed an entire toolbox to provide us with excellent support and metrics,” he says.

The adoption of a four-year period allows the anonymized breakdown of the information to departmental level, so that study directors can use it to develop their own doctoral courses. Michael Fored, study director at the Department of Medicine, Solna, and a member of the Board of Research Education, sees this as an important activity.

 “Educating researchers is an important task for KI. A great deal of KI’s research is carried out by doctoral candidates and sometimes a supervisor may be driven by something other than simply educating their future colleagues. For example, one can’t become a professor without first having doctoral students,” Michael Fored says.

He feels that it is important to safeguard the educational component of any doctoral course, rather than viewing it as primarily a staffing issue.

“We need to create a common culture and research morality for KI. Doctoral education is a good place to do so.”

Text: Ulrika Fjällborg

Forskarutbildning på institutionen för cell- och molekylärbiologi. Foto: Linda LindellDoctoral education at the Department of cell and molecular biology. Photo: Linda Lindell  
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The Swedish Cancer Society grants KI researchers SEK 180 million

Thursday November 16th, 2017 09:48:32 AM

Three researchers at Karolinska Institutet receive the maximum grant as the Swedish Cancer Society distributes 454 million kronor in research funding. In total, 83 researchers at KI receive more than SEK 180 million, of which almost SEK 73 million in new grants.

Yihai Cao, professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, researches in tumours’ blood vessels with the aim of improving the effect of drugs that inhibit the formation of new vessels that tumours need to be able to grow. He is granted 2.25 million kronor a year for three years.

Joakim Dillner, professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, researches in human papilloma virus, HPV, with the aim of preventing those forms of cancer that are caused by HPV by among other things optimising screening for cervical cancer. He is granted 2.25 million a year for three years.  

Jussi Taipale, professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, researches in processes that control the growth of cancer cells, knowledge that in the long term might be able to be used to develop new drugs. He is granted 2.25 million a year for three years.

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