I am a Professor in Epidemiology with a research focus on the causes and consequences of brain diseases, primarily neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.
We are interested in studying the risk factors as well as prognostic indicators for different neurodegenerative diseases, primarily amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Our research questions include for example the roles of energy metabolism, immune modulation, and gut microbiome, as well as their interactions in the risk and prognosis of ALS and PD. We use different research tools including the unique Swedish health registers (e.g. Swedish Motor Neuron Disease Registry), longitudinal cohort studies, and case-control studies. We work closely with the Neurology clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital and other ALS/PD researchers in Sweden and other countries in these efforts.
We are interested in the comorbidity between psychiatric disorders and different somatic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, and infections (such as COVID-19).
Stressful life events
We are interested in the short- and long-term health consequences of severely stressful life events, e.g., loss of a significant other, cancer diagnosis, and natural disaster. For instance, we study whether there are unrecognized health consequences immediately following a cancer diagnosis, and whether experience of severe psychological stress after cancer diagnosis influences cancer prognosis. These studies are based on the health registers, large-scale cohort studies, as well as specifically designed clinical studies in Sweden, other Nordic countries, United States, and China.
Current doctoral students
Former doctoral students
- Daniela Mariosa (currently Postdoc at International Agency for Research on Cancer)
- Ruoqing Chen (currently Associate professor at Sun Yat-sen University)
- Donghao Lu (currently Assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet)
- Jianwei Zhu (currently Physician at West China Hospital)
- Elisa Longinetti (currently Postdoc at Karolinska Institutet)
- Qing Shen (currently Postdoc at University of Iceland)
Current post docs
- Emily Bond (part-time)
- Weiyao Yin (currently postdoc at Karolinska Institutet)
- Yiqiang Zhan (currently Associate professor at Sun Yat-sen University)
- Tingting Huang (currently physician at Guangxi Medical University)
Other members of the group (current)
- John Andersson (senior researcher)
- Katja Fall (Professor at Örebro University, affiliated)
- Yiqiang Zhan (assistant professor)
- Donghao Lu (assistant professor)
- Shifeng Lian (PhD student)
- Lu Pan (PhD student)
- Qian Yang (PhD student)
- Fan Tian (visiting PhD student)
- Charilaos Chourpiliadis (research assistant)
- Juan Gonzalez Hijon (research assistant)
- Emily Joyce (research assistant)
Other members of the group (former)
- Jing Fan (master student)
- Amanda Ragodón Wallin (master student)
- Elin Roos (master student)
- Piero Lamendola, University of Bologna (exchange student)
- Jessica Gong (UK master student)
- Lin Chen (master student)
- Xu Wen (exchange PhD student)
- Jurate Aleknaviciute, Erasmus Medical Center (exchange PhD student)
- Mizuki Sata, Osaka University (exchange PhD student)
- Jet Termorshuizen (research assistant)
- Anabel Saez Mas, University Rovira i Virgili of Tarragona (Erasmus program)
Current research grants (as PI)
My research work has been supported by the European Research Council (ERC), European Commission (EU), NordForsk, Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (Forte), Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden), Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF), Swedish Brain Foundation, Chinese Scholarship Council, and Karolinska Institutet.
- MD, PhD
Academic honours, awards and prizes
- Dmitris N Chorafas prize for best PhD thesis under age 30 in 2010.
- Awarded SSMF researcher 2013 by the Swedish Society for Medical Research
ERC Starting Grant 2018