Christina Hultman

Christina Hultman

Professor Emeritus/Emerita

About me

I have over 35 years of experience as a clinician in psychiatric inpatient care, and longitudinal case-control studies in schizophrenia. In 2009, I was appointed Professor of Pshychiatric Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet. 

Research description

The focus of my research has mainly been early origins of psychological and mental disorders, testing the association between pre- and perinatal effects with development of psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, affective psychosis, reactive psychosis, post-partum psychosis, anorexia nervosa, ADHD and autism) and high-risk paradigms with children at high risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In samples of twins, siblings, half-siblings, family pairs and high-risk offspring I have studied fetal environmental hazards, maternal life style/social disadvantage, paternal age effects and genetic liability using designs that permits simultaneously evaluation of maternal and paternal genetic and environmental influences. During 2008 through 2016, I was responsible for DNA collection of 5,500 patients with schizophrenia, 5,000 bipolar patients, 1300 cases with infantile autism and their parents and grandparents, 380 schizophrenia and bipolar twin pairs and 7,500 healthy controls on a population basis.

Other initiatives include collaboration with KI basic lab facilities in Huddinge to test hypothesis on aberrant cell function in schizophrenia; long-term effects of psychological trauma and genetic risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder. I have considerable collaborative experience with leading international child- and adult psychiatric research groups and of integration of the work of large teams.

My deep knowledge of the Swedish National Registers has been valuable in establishing epidemiological psychiatry as one of the basic sciences to support molecular studies in psychiatry. I have extensive experience of leading clinical and academic departments and thorough experience of coordination and leading very large nation-wide projects.

Selection of peer-reviewed original publications

  1. De Rubeis S, He X, Goldberg AP, Poultney CS, Samocha K, Cicek AE, et al. Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism. Nature. 2014;515(7526):209-15.
  2. Genovese G, Kähler AK, Handsaker RE, Lindberg J, Rose SA, Bakhoum SF, et al. Clonal hematopoiesis and blood-cancer risk inferred from blood DNA sequence. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;371(26):2477-87.
  3. Hultman CM, Geddes J, Sparén P, Takei N, Murray RM, Cnattingius S. PapersPrenatal and perinatal risk factors for schizophrenia, affective psychosis, and reactive psychosis of early onset: case-control studyPrenatal and perinatal risk factors for early onset schizophrenia, affective psychosis, and reactive psychosis. Bmj. 1999;318(7181):421-6.
  4. Hultman CM, Sparén P, Cnattingius S. Perinatal risk factors for infantile autism. Epidemiology. 2002;13(4):417-23.
  5. Lek M, Karczewski KJ, Minikel EV, Samocha KE, Banks E, Fennell T, et al. Analysis of protein-coding genetic variation in 60,706 humans. Nature. 2016;536(7616):285-91.
  6. Lichtenstein P, Yip BH, Björk C, Pawitan Y, Cannon TD, Sullivan PF, et al. Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study. The Lancet. 2009;373(9659):234-9.
  7. Purcell SM, Moran JL, Fromer M, Ruderfer D, Solovieff N, Roussos P, et al. A polygenic burden of rare disruptive mutations in schizophrenia. Nature. 2014;506(7487):185-90.
  8. Purcell SM, Wray NR, Stone JL, Visscher PM, O'donovan MC, Sullivan PF, et al. Common polygenic variation contributes to risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Nature. 2009;460(7256):748-52.
  9. Ripke S, O'Dushlaine C, Chambert K, Moran JL, Kähler AK, Akterin S, et al. Genome-wide association analysis identifies 13 new risk loci for schizophrenia. Nature genetics. 2013;45(10):1150-9.
  10. Stone JL, O’Donovan MC, Gurling H, Kirov GK, Blackwood DH, Corvin A, et al. Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications increase risk of schizophrenia. Nature. 2008;455(7210):237-41.

Teaching portfolio


Doctorates, Main supervisor

  • Viktoria Johansson, Psychiatrist, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI, “Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Twins with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder”, 2015
  • Sven Sandin, Biostatistician, Maudsley Hospital at Kings’s College, London, UK. ‘Maternal effects in autism’, 2014
  • Emma Frans, Biomedical engineer, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI, “High paternal age and risk of psychiatric disorders in offspring”, 2013
  • Anna Svensson, KTH Bioengineer, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI, “Family studies of schizophrenia and pregnancy outcomes”, 2009.
  • Erik Wennström, Psychologist, Dept of Neuroscience, Ulleråker, Uppsala, “The Camberwell Assessment of Need as an outcome measure in community mental health care”, 2008.
  • James MacCabe, Psychiatrist, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, London,  “Educational achievement in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”, 2007.
  • Gabriella Stålberg, Psychologist, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker “Early risk factors and family relations in schizophrenia”. Licentiate thesis, 2004/ Doctorate thesis 2013


  • Anna Kähler, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, and Department of Medical Genetics, Oslo University Hospital, Norway, 2010-2014
  • Jacqueline Borg, Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 2008-2012
  • Elin Dianna Gunnarsdottir, University of Akureyri, Iceland, 2008-2009
  • Unnur Valdimarsdottir, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2005-2008
  • Carola Åberg, Stockholm University 2005-2006


Higher education degree

1979 Psych.D./M.Sc, Psychology

Doctoral degree

1996 Ph.D. Uppsala University; Clinical Psychology/Psychiatry; Thesis: Obstetric complications, Electrodermal Activity and Psychosocial Factors within a Stress-Vulnerability Model of Schizophrenia. Supervisor: Professor Arne Öhman, Karolinska Institutet (KI)

Postdoctoral positions

2002-2004           Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI, Stockholm

1996-2001           Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, Uppsala University

1996-2001           Postdoc collaboration Institute of Psychiatry, London

Docent level

2002                    Assistant professor in Psychological Medicine, Uppsala University

Specialist certification

1996                    Specialist in Clinical Psychology

1996                    Specialist in Clinical Research

1996                    Licenced Psychotherapist

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2011                    ERA Outstanding Research, Karolinska Institutet’s Review

2007                    Invited lecturer, Medical Research Unit, Perth, Australia

2006                    Invited lecturer, Medical Research Council, London

2004                    Invited author, the Lancet

2002                    Invited lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Utrecht, Netherlands

2002                    Invited lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, London

2002                    Award, Nordic Association of Psychiatric Epidemiology

2001                    Scholarship, NorFa/Nordforsk

2000                    Award, Swedish Society for Schizophrenia Research

1999                    Scholarship, FRN/SFR, Swedish Social Science Research

1999                    Award, Rudbeck Award Uppsala University

1998                    Invited lecturer, Symposium Institute of Psychiatry, London

Commissions of Trust

2012-                   Academy of Finland, Scientific Board Member

2010-                   Hjärnfonden, Funding for Brain Research, Scientific Board Member

2010-                   Norwegian Program Council for Psychiatric Research, Board Member

2009-2010           Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Reviewer

2009-2010           Treasurer, International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology (IFPE)

2008-2016           Faculty opponent for PhD theses in University of Trondheim, University of Oslo, University of Bergen, Uppsala University, Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen

2007-2012           Board member, International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology

2006-                   Mentorship Women Doctorate students KI

2005-2010           Board member, Centre of excellence for schizophrenia research

2005                    Mentorship high school students Tensta gymnasium/KI collaboration

2005-2009           President, Nordic Association of Psychiatric Epidemiology (NAPE)

2004-2005           Junior Faculty Ambassador, KI

2004-2020           Ethical committee, Stockholm, appointed by the Swedish government

2004                    Responsible for Nordic Association of Psychiatric Epidemiology conference

2004                    Responsible for Karolinska Institutet Minisymposium, Stockholm

2002-2015           Board member, Swedish Society for Research on Schizophrenia

2002-2012           Board member, Nordic Association of Psychiatric Epidemiology (NAPE)