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Cecilia Götherström Photo: Jacob Sjöman

Cecilia Götherström


About me

My overall aim is to evaluate the clinical potential and significance of stem and progenitor cells.

Research description

Cells derived from the fetal and perinatal tissues have more potential than cells derived from adult tissues. Promising candidates for clincial translation are multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC).

The interest in these cells is based on their multipotentiality, low immunogenicity and tissue repairing effects in combination with a minimal oncogeneic risk.

1. BOOSTB4 and BOOST2B: Developing MSC as a therapy for Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Boost Brittle Bones Before Birth (BOOSTB4) is a collaborative project lead by Dr Götherström aiming to develop fetal MSC as a therapy for severe types of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease). Previous case studies performed by KI have demonstrated a potential effect. The trial will investigate the safety and efficacy of this innovation in regenerative medicine in the treatment of Osteogenesis Imperfecta. The mesenchymal stem cells will be administered before and/or after birth. The consortium includes 12 partners in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. The phase I/II clinical trial will start end of 2018. See BOOSTB4.EU for more information. 

The Boost to Brittle Bones (BOOST2B) is a collaboratove project between KI and CMC in Vellore, India. In this project we will investigate the safety and efficacy of administration of fetal MSC for treatment of severe types of Osteogenesis Imperfecta in children. Different delivery routes will also be investigated in this phase I/II clinical trial. 

In both BOOSTB4 and BOOST2B, the effect and mechanism of fetal MSC will be further investigated in models in vitro and in vivo.

2. Characterizing and comparing MSC from different perinatal sources

We work with many fetal and perinatal sources: fetal tissues (first trimester), amniotic fluid, chorionic villus, biopsies of muscle and skin (second trimester), umbilical cord blood, placenta, Wharton´s Jelly (term).

These cells are evaluated for their potential in perinatal regenerative medicine in clinical application. We also evaluate how maternal and fetal microchimerism, pregnancy, and mode of delivery affect the isolated cells.

3. Developing new clinical treatment options using perinatal MSC for:

  • Prenatal och postnatal infusion for severe osteogenesis imperfecta (clincial trial soon to start)
  • Severe structural defects diagnosed before birth
  • Life threatening bronchopulmonary dysplasia and necrotizing enterocolitis in premature babies

4. MSC and endometriosis

In this project we examine the involvement of MSC in the chronic inflammatory disease endometriosis.

Teaching portfolio

  • Director of Studies, Doctoral Program in Regenerative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet 2008-2015
  • Organizer of 5 doctoral courses and 9 scientific conferences in the regenerative medicine field
  • 200+ hours of teaching on all levels


Associate Professor (Docent) 2014, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subject: Stem Cell Research.

PhD 2004, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subject: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation & transplantation research Thesis: Characterization of human fetal mesenchymal stem cells.

MSc 2001, Södertörns University College, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subject: Molecular Cell Biology Degree thesis: Clinical aspects on maternal cells in the fetus.

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