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Annika Östman Wernerson, Dean of Higher Education

Annika Östman Wernerson

Professor/senior physician

About me

I am Dean of Higher Education since 1 January 2015, Professor of Renal and Transplantation Pathology at the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC) and Senior Consultant in Clinical Pathology at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge.

I perform research in both renal medicine and medical education. The medical research project is focused on studies of the underlying mechanisms of different kidney diseases. The medical education research project aims to understand how emotionally difficult situations affect learning for medical, nursing, and teacher students. I am a member of the Pedagogical Academy at Karolinska Institutet. I have received the KI Pedagogical Prize and a prize for clinical supervisors at Karolinska University Hospital. 

I have a deep, long-standing commitment to education, and have devoted myself to this vital area in my capacity a former member of the medical programme committee and director and coordinator of the Centre for Clinical Education. Today, I combine clinical work with research and education in pathology and other subjects. Working as a teacher, clinician and researcher is a privilege, and now that I am part of KI’s academic management I can help all areas to grow and develop even more.

Research description

I am the principal investigator of research in kidney diseases and in medical education and have published around 80 scientific articles.  I am currently principal supervisor for two PhD students and have supervised three who have completed a doctoral degree. I have also been co-supervisor for nine PhD students, of which eight have completed a doctoral degree, one is ongoing.

My current research in kidney diseases is mainly funded by ALF and Njurfonden. The project aims to gain a better understanding of the causes of different types of renal disease. By collaborating closely with several clinics, we carefully characterize patients undergoing renal biopsy. The aim of the project is to prevent disease and to improve methods for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. As part of this project I am collaborating with researchers in Central America and Asia to find out why young men working on plantations suffer from chronic renal failure.

My current educational research is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR). My colleagues and I are studying how emotionally stressful situations affect medical, nursing and teacher students in their studies. The project is performed in collaboration with Linköping University and aims to obtain a better understanding of the students' development and socialization into their professional roles and what the educational programmes can do to better support the students ahead of their future profession.

Selected publications Medicine:

1.   Ma X, Schwarz A, Zambrano Sevilla S, Levin A, Hultenby K et al: Deplettion of Gprc5a promotes development of diabetic nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol 29:1679-1689, 2018.

2.   Wijkström J, Jayasumana C, Dassanayake R, Priyawardane N, Godakanda N, Siribaddana S et al: Morphological and clinical findings in Sri Lankan patients with chronic kidney disease of   unknown cause (CKDu): Similarities and differences with Mesoamerican Nephropathy. PLoSOne 13:e0193056, 2018.

3.   Sun J, Hultenby K, Axelsson J, Nordström J, He B, Wernerson A et al: Proximal Tubular Expression Patterns of Megalin and Cubilin in Proteinuric Nephropathies. Kidney Int Rep 2:721-732, 2017.

4.   Wijkström J, González-Quiroz M, Hernandez M, Trujillo Z, Hultenby K, Ring A et al. Renal Morphology, Clinical Findings, and Progression Rate in Mesoamerican Nephropathy. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017; 69:626-636.

5.   Demetris AJ, Bellamy C, Hübscher SG, O'Leary J, Randhawa PS, Feng S et al:  2016 Comprehensive Update of the Banff Working Group on Liver Allograft Pathology: Introduction of Antibody-Mediated Rejection. Am J Transplant. 2016; 16: 2816-2835.

Seleced publications Pedagogics:

1.   Weurlander M, Lönn A, Seeberger A, Hult H, Wernerson A: How do medical and nursing students experience emotional challenges during clinical placements? Int J Med Ed 27: 74-82, 2018.

2.   Lindqvist H, Weurlander M, Wernerson A, Thornberg: Resolving feelings of professional inadequacy: Student teachers´ coping with distressful situations. Teaching and teacher ed. 2017: 64; 270-79.

3.   Weurlander M, Scheja M, Hult H, Wernerson A: The struggle to understand: Exploring students’ experiences of learning and understanding during a university course. Studies in higher education. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.930122, 2014.

4.   Turunen Olsson P, Weurlander M, Mattiasson A-C, Wärn Hede G, Panagiotidis G, Broberger B et al: “It´s all connected!” Nursing students´experiences of an integrated case seminar. Innov Educ Teach Int. DOI:10.1080/14703297.2014.943786, 2014.

5.   Weurlander M, Scheja M, Hult H, Wernerson A. Emotionally challenging learning situations: medical students’ experiences of autopsies. Int J Med Ed; 3; 63-70, 2012.

Education

  • MD, Karolinska Institutet, 1991
  • Dr Med Sc, Karolinska Institutet, 1990
  • “Teachers of the future”, Karolinska Institutet, 2000-2002
  • Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet, 2003
  • Senior Consultant in Clinical Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, 2004
  • IMEX - International Medical Educators Exchange 2011-2013
  • Professor, Karolinska Institutet, 2016

Teaching Experience

Since 1986, I have been teaching pathology in several educational programs and also been a director of studies and a course coordinator. For several years I was the director of studies (programstudierektor) at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge. I have developed courses and participated in the change of the medical program (LUT). Since several years,  I perform educational development and research where I,  among other things, have developed case seminars in pathology for students at several programs (medical- , dental- , nursing -, medical informatics and biomedical programs), and have also participated in the development of new examination forms. Regarding my research in medical education, see the description above.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • Huddinge Hospital Award for clinical supervisors 2003
  • Member of the Karolinska Institute's Pedagogical Academy since 2011
  • Karolinska Institutet's Pedagogical Prize 2012
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