About me

I was born in 1967, grew up in Värmland Sweden, started studying in Stockholm in 1986, am since 2003 an Associate Professor of medical genetics at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and lead the research group Translational Psychiatry with activities in the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) at Karolinska University Hospital, Solna. My research focus is on early risk factors and treatment effects in psychiatric disorder. We have a particular focus on the connection between psychiatric disorder and metabolic factors. Both epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies are used. I have been the main supervisor of 10 PhD students now graduated, most of have embarked on a research career, and she has authored ~155 international original peer-reviewed articles, being first or senior author on more than half of those (h-index 35 [Web of science]). The research group Translational Psychiatry has 28 members. I am currently supervising 8 PhD students (main supervisor of 3) and 2 postdoctoral fellows. 

I am member of the Steering groups of Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) and Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, as well as Director of postgraduate studies at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery.

Research description

Research group leader for Translational Psychiatry

My research is focused on early risk factors and treatment response particularly studying the link between psychiatric disorders and metabolic risk using clinical and population-based naturalistic cohorts and experimental models. In nation-wide registries we study pre- and perinatal metabolic risk factors, and possible protective factors, for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. In clinical studies we test adjuvant treatments, i.e. probiotics and physical exercise, to improve symptoms and reduce comorbidity in ADHD and psychosis. For example, I led a large RCT in ADHD with 182 patients fulfilling 9 weeks daily intake of a probiotic. We also look for early biomarkers of lithium response, and lithium’s longterm effects on metabolic comorbidity, and plasma markers of metabolic risk in relation to psychiatric profile, pharmacological treatment and metabolic comorbidity in psychosis. We collaborate within large international consortia for genome-wide genetic association studies.

I am also responsible for molecular studies in clinical or naturalistic population-based studies of primarily mood and anxiety  (www.REGASSA.se, www.kupolstudien.se, PART).

Teaching portfolio

Organization of KI-courses at advanced and research level: Several week-long courses on master and doctoral levels run annually in genetics.

Lecturing at advanced and research level courses mainly in psychiatric genetics.

Supervisorship of PhD students: Main supervisor of 9 graduated and 3 current. Co-supervisor of 7 graduated and 5 current.

Supervision of 25 master student theses.   

Own education in teaching in higher education, corresponding to 10 full-time weeks.

Director of postgraduate studies at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery.




Catharina, with a MSc degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, received her PhD degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from KTH in 1996. She was a Swedish Research Council Medicine-postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, Canada, and thereafter a Swedish Research Council Medicine-Junior researcher (Forskarassistent) at Karolinska Institutet until 2006, and has since then a senior researcher position at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet. She became docent (Associate professor) at Karolinska Institutet in 2003. 

Academic honours, awards and prizes

- Alvarengas Award (best medical publication) Swedish Soc. Med. 2002 - Young Promising Researcher award from KI Foundations 2001 - Junior Researcher position from Swedish Research Council (VR) 2001 - Postdoc Fellowship from the Swedish Soc for Med Res (SSMF) 2000 - Innovation stipend from the Foundation Innovationscentrum 1999