About me

Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer

Researh Group: https://ki.se/en/kisos/the-neurocardiometabol-group

In February 2009 I was recruited to Karolinska Institutet to start up a research group about the neurological complications of type 2 diabetes, with main focus on stroke. I am responsible for planning, coordinating and executing work in the area of experimental stroke in diabetes.


2001-2009: Senior Researcher and Manager at Neuronova AB, Stockholm, Sweden

2000-2001: Postdoctoral Fellow, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

1998-2000: Postdoctoral Fellow, Uppsala University, Sweden

1998: PhD in Neurobiology, Milano University, Italy


Research description

Stroke and Diabetes

The focus is along two research lines, see also the Research Group at:  https://ki.se/en/kisos/the-neurocardiometabol-group

  • The identification of efficacious preclinical therapies for the treatment of stroke in diabetes.
  • The study of the cellular mechanisms at the basis of the neurological complications of diabetes.

Stroke affects several million people worldwide, of which a substantial proportion of cases present in patients suffering from diabetes. Diabetes is widespread and represents a leading cause of death. About 90 % of the medical and social costs associated with diabetes are dominated by care for macrovascular complications such as stroke. Therefore it is important to identify strategies aimed at prevent stroke in diabetes but also improve post-stroke recovery in diabetic individuals.

-We recently showed that decreasing weight in diabetes to the extent that glucose metabolism is normalized significantly improves stroke recovery: https://news.ki.se/weight-loss-may-repair-the-brain-after-stroke-in-diabetes. The findings have been published in Cardiovascular Diabetology

-GLP-1R agonists are commonly used drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. We were the first in 2012 to show that the activation of  the glucagon-like receptor 1 (GLP-1R) is neuroprotective against stroke in type 2 diabetic rodents. The findings have been published in Clinical Science: https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/22150224/

In 2021, we showed that this pharmacological strategy can also improve post-stroke functional recovery. The findings have been published in the British Journal of Pharmacology https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/33973246/

-We demonstrated a similar stroke efficacy as for the GLP-1R agonists for another class of clinically used drugs against diabetes called DPP-4 inhibitors. The findings were published in Diabetes in 2012 https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/23209191/ and 2021 https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/32540876/.

See also the press release about the findings 2012 https://news.ki.se/diabetes-drug-may-reduce-brain-damage-after-stroke

-We identified several cellular mechanisms that are induced by diabetes and play a detrimental role in the impairment of stroke recovery. Among the most recent publications are the findings recently published in Clinical Science https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/31235555/ and Acta Neuropathologica Communications https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/29471869/

Teaching portfolio

July 2013- ongoing, Project Coordinator/Examiner in degree projects in medicine, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI. The position involves reviewing the students’ work-plan, half time and final thesis, arrange seminars and examine the work.

2015- 2020 Visiting Professor (1 week/year), Univ. of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy


2018 Assess the structure of examination of projects, Workshop,  Karolinska Institutet

2013  Docent in neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet
2011  Course in "Assessment in Higher Education", Karolinska Institutet
2011  Basic Course in Education for University Teachers, Karolinska Institutet
2010  Introductory Doctoral Supervision Course, Karolinska Institutet
2010  Work environment issues and manager responsibilities , Karolinska Institutet
2009  Laboratory Animal Science (FELASA) certificate, Karolinska Institutet
2008  Applied Project Management Courses, Wenell Management AB, Stockholm
2007  Courses in Clinical Trials, Trial Form Support AB, Lund

1998  PhD in Neurobiology, University of Milan, Italy.

1992  University of Milan, Italy, Laurea and M.Sc. Biological Sciences


Academic honours, awards and prizes

Research grants and awards as PI  

  1. The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskasprådet); 2022-2025
  2. Hjärnfonden 2022
  3. Hjärnfonden 2021
  4. Diabetesfonden; 2020-2021
  5. The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskasprådet); 2018-2021
  6. European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes/Sanofi European Diabetes Research Programme in Macrovascular Complications; 2019 
  7. Award “Investigator Study IIS” Boehringer Ing. Sweden; 2018
  8. Konung Gustaf V:s och Drottning Victorias Frimurarestiftelse; 2012-2017 
  9. Åhlén Stiftelse; 2012-2018
  10. O. E. och Edla Johanssons Stiftelse; 2016-2018 
  11. Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse; 2011-2016 
  12. STROKE Riksförbundet; 2018-2020 
  13. Diabetesfonden; 2014-2015
  14. Novo Nordisk Foundation; 2014
  15. Syskonen Svensson Stiftelse; 2017 
  16. European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes; 2013 
  17. Diabetes Wellness; 2010
  18. Stohnes stiftelse; 2010, 2012, 2015 
  19. STROKE Riksförbundet; 2011-2014 
  20. European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes; 2009