Portrait of me

Karin Gunnarsson

PhD Student

About me

My name is Karin Gunnarsson and I work as a specialist doctor in Rheumatology in Karolinska University Hospital. I am also a PhD student since august 2020 at the Institution of Medicine in Solna/clinical epidemiology division. Since six years I have had a special clinical interest in an uncommon rheumatic systemic disease called systemic sclerosis (SSc). This disease causes fibrosis in skin and inner organs and has among the highest mortality in all rheumatic diseases. I am now planning to profound my knowledge about SSc through PhD studies in the field.

Research description

One of the most common causes of death in SSc is cancer. Therefore in my PhD projects I want to learn more about the correlation between SSc and cancer using data from national and local patient registers. As the disease is uncommon we plan to expand the number of patients by collaborating with researchers in Norway and Canada. I also plan to learn more about the genetic changes in patients with SSc and cancer by a collaboration with the the Icelandic company DeCODE. I believe that my projects will result in important knowledge about the risk factors for cancer in SSc patients which will help us to elaborate better cancer screening programs in SSc patients. My ultimate goal is to help to reduce the high mortality and loss of quality of life in SSc patients.


Medical docotors degree from the university of Linköping, graduated in 2010. 

Research school of epidemiology for clinicians, generation 19. Finishing in april 2022.