Anna Martling

Anna Martling

Professor/senior physician

Dean KI, Campus North

About me

Anna Martling is a Professor of Surgery at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She defended her thesis on rectal cancer in 2003, became a board certified surgeon in 2004 and an associate professor of surgery in 2009. In 2014 Martling became full professor of surgery. Since 2019 she holds the position as Dean at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.

Since 2008 she has been heading the research group and responsible for the research field of colorectal surgery with special focus on clinical, translational and epidemiological studies on colorectal cancer. A special interest of Martlings research group has been predictive and prognostic biomarkers, aspirin, radiotherapy, timing of surgery and development of new surgical techniques. Anna Martling has managed to fully integrate the work by the research group into the clinical department creating a unique creative and academic culture supporting high quality clinical research.

Her research has received numerous awards. In 2013, Anna Martling received the Swedish Surgical Society´s Great Research Prize. In year 2021 she received the prize “Cancer Researcher of the Year” from The Swedish Cancer Society.

She is considered to be a world leading expert in her field and is a frequent lecturer in Sweden and abroad. Professor Martling is Honorary Fellow of Royal College of Surgeon of England (FRCS), American Colleges of Surgeons (FACS) and American Society of Colorectal Surgeons (FASCRS). Professor Martling is chairman of the Swedish Colorectal Cancer Study Group, which is a national research network for colorectal cancer in Sweden. Between 2015-2018 she has been the Chairman of the Program Committee of ESCP and responsible for the scientific programme for the annual meeting. Since 2020 Professor Martling is coordinating chairman of the Task force for implementing Precision Medicine into healthcare in Region Stockholm.

Anna Martling's research is funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Cancer Society, Radiumhemmet's research funds, KI and the Region Stockholm. In 2014, she received the Swedish Research Council's largest grant to date for clinical treatment research of 25 million Swedish crowns.

Concerned questions

At Karolinska Institutet (KI), we must jointly create a stimulating and research-facilitating environment that enables world-leading basic scientific, translational and clinical research which together creates value by contributing knowledge about life and improving human health. An important component in this is the introduction of what has come to be known as precision medicine. By running this project in collaboration between KI, SciLifeLab, Karolinska University Hospital and the Stockholm Region, we hope to achieve that important medical advances, new findings and technologies can be implemented in healthcare and create more precise, individualized diagnostics and therapies at the forefront. Another important component to achieve this is that we jointly create conditions for storage, processing, integration and analysis of large amounts of complex data, which not just contributes to the development of precision medicine but also enables secondary use of health data for research.

At the same time, KI is facing new challenges but also significant opportunities with the major changes in the healthcare structure within the Stockholm Region. It is then of utmost importance that KI is active and deeply involved in the changes and seize the opportunity to build an excellent research and education environment for the future where research and education are integrated and natural parts of our healthcare system at all levels, regardless of mode of operation and care provider.

Research description

Research group leader of the group Colorectal Surgery

Five selected publications:

Effect of a surgical training programme on outcome of rectal cancer in the County of Stockholm. Stockholm Colorectal Cancer Study Group, Basingstoke Bowel Cancer Research Project. Martling AL, Holm T, Rutqvist LE, Moran BJ, Heald RJ, Cedemark B Lancet 2000 Jul;356(9224):93-6

The Stockholm II trial on preoperative radiotherapy in rectal carcinoma: long-term follow-up of a population-based study. Martling A, Holm T, Johansson H, Rutqvist LE, Cedermark B, Cancer 2001 Aug;92(4):896-902

Dissociation of EphB2 signaling pathways mediating progenitor cell proliferation and tumor suppression. Genander M, Halford MM, Xu NJ, Eriksson M, Yu Z, Qiu Z, et al Cell 2009 Nov;139(4):679-92

Optimal fractionation of preoperative radiotherapy and timing to surgery for rectal cancer (Stockholm III): a multicentre, randomised, non-blinded, phase 3, non-inferiority trial. Erlandsson J, Holm T, Pettersson D, Berglund Å, Cedermark B, Radu C, et al Lancet Oncol. 2017 03;18(3):336-346

CRCBaSe: a Swedish register-based resource for colorectal adenocarcinoma research. Weibull CE, Boman SE, Glimelius B, Syk I, Matthiessen P, Smedby KE, Nordenvall C, Martling A Acta Oncol 2023 Apr;62(4):342-349

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2023 Honorary Fellow of European Society of Coloproctology (FESCP)

2023 Honorary Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS)

2022 Honorary Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS)

2021 Årets Cancerforskare, Cancerfonden

2020 Honorary Fellowship of American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (FASCRC)

2019 Tarmcancerpriset, ILCO

2019 Med dr Axel Hirsch Pris, Karolinska Institutet

2018 Hilda and Alfred Eriksson's Prize, Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademin

2017 Marc-Claude Marti Lecture, Villars, Schweiz

2016 Årets Lennanderföreläsare, Svenska Läkaresällskapet

2015 The Edward Wilson Lecture, Sydney, Australia

2013 Swedish Surgical Society Major Research Prize