About me

Alicja Wolk is a Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology and Principal Investigator of two population-based cohorts including 110,000 participants. Alicja Wolk is Head of the Nutritional Epidemiology Unit and Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.

Research description

Alicja Wolk´s research is focused on modifiable lifestyle factors (mainly diet) related to chronic diseases and healthy aging. This kind of studies is of great importance for public health promotion and disease prevention. Alicja Wolk has established and systematically developed nutritional epidemiology in Sweden and became the first Swedish professor (2001) in this field. She is Principle Investigator and Director of two population-based prospective longitudinal cohorts including 110,000 participants. The cohorts, with extensive information about diet and lifestyle, are annually linked to health registers to investigate associations between diet, lifestyle and development of cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Collected DNA enables studies of genes and gene-diet/environment interactions of importance for disease development. Many novel and important findings based on the cohorts have been reported; e.g., that 4 of 5 myocardial infarctions in women may be preventable by healthy diet and lifestyle.

The research is conducted in a close collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School via “pooling projects”, joint supervision of PhD students and exchange of postdocs. International collaboration has been extended to include University of Cambridge and of Oxford.

She has supervised 26 PhD students and 23 postdocs. Two of her PhDs have received prizes for a) the best Swedish PhD thesis in epidemiology (2009) and b) Chorafas prize, the best PhD thesis at KI (2006).

Alicja Wolk is engaged in dissemination of research findings. According to Karolinska Institutet’s quantitative analysis of mass media, she was the second most quoted professor at KI in 2012 (after the KI´s president), which illustrates the great interest in and importance of preventive medicine.  She is giving popular scientific lectures to patients´ organizations, the general public and to members of the Swedish government.


Alicja Wolk has published 500 scientific papers (1989-1993 as KuskowskaWolk A) and 20 book chapters; cited 22 000 times, H-index=77 (ISI/Web of Science); cited 33 000 times,   H-index=96 (Google Scholar).

Five selected publications 

Fruit and vegetable consumption with risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Stackelberg O, Björck M, Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A.

Circulation. 2013 Aug 20;128(8):795-802.


Long term alcohol intake and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women: a population based cohort study.

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Di Giuseppe D, Alfredsson L, Bottai M, Askling J, Wolk A.

BMJ. 2012 Jul 10;345:e4230


Long-term fatty fish consumption and renal cell carcinoma incidence in women.

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Wolk A, Larsson SC, Johansson JE, Ekman P.

JAMA. 2006 Sep 20;296(11):1371-6


Magnesium intake in relation to risk of colorectal cancer in women.

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Larsson SC, Bergkvist L, Wolk A.

JAMA. 2005 Jan 5;293(1):86-9.


Can measurements of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 improve the sensitivity of prostate-cancer screening?

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Wolk A, Andersson SO, Mantzoros CS, Trichopoulos D, Adami HO.

Lancet. 2000 Dec 2;356(9245):1902-3


Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of coronary heart disease among women.

Link to Abstract in PubMed

Wolk A, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Hu FB, Speizer FE, Hennekens CH, Willett WC.

JAMA. 1999 Jun 2;281(21):1998-2004


  • Visiting scholar, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (USA), 1995-1997
  • Post-doc/ guest researcher, Karolinska Institutet, 1987
  • Dr Med Sci/PhD in Human Nutrition/Clinical Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland, 1987
  • MSc in Human Nutrition (5-y program, incl. toxicology and biochemistry),  Warsaw University, Poland, 1974

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • Member of AcademiaNet- Outstanding Female Academics (nominated by the Swedish Research Council), 2014
  • Distinguished Professor Award at Karolinska Institutet, 2010
  • Strategic Research Award, Karolinska Institutet, 2007-2012
  • Senior Cancer Investigator Award, the Swedish Cancer Foundation, 1999-2005
  • Cancer Investigator Award, the Swedish Cancer Foundation, 1993-1999
  • Junior Cancer Investigator Award (2-y Expert Position), the Swedish Cancer Foundation, 1991-1992