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Helena Karlström

Senior researcher

About me

I am supervisor and co-supervisor for a research group, which right now consists of two PhD students and a postdoc/lab manager. In addition to supervising, I am as a researcher involved in teaching at both the masters, advanced and doctoral level and is also a course director for a course in Neurodegeneration here at the department of NVS. Furthermore, I am a course leader on the supervisor courses, both on the basic compulsory course and the advanced course in leadership, creativity and group dynamics. This role gives me a lot of input and reflections to my own leadership style and also I meet a lot of interesting people at KI and SLL, which is a benefit for my research career.

Research description

My research is focused on understanding the basic mechanisms behind Small Vessel diseases (CADASIL) and Alzheimer disease. In my group we look specifically at the cellular and biochemical processes that lead to these diseases. There is a common theme for both diseases and also for many other neurodegenerative diseases, that is formation of aggregated peptides. It is a challenge to inhibit the formation of these aggregates, since other important signaling pathways can be disturbed, which could lead to serious side effects. Our aim is to come around this by knowing in more detail how it works and hopefully lead to development of better and safer medicines for treatment of CADASIL and Alzheimer disease.


1988 BSc in Microbiology and Chemistry, University of Stockholm, Sweden.

2002 Ph.D in Cell and molecular biology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.Thesis title: Notch processing and CNS disease (supervisor Professor Urban Lendahl).

2011, May 17, Associate professor in Neurobiology, NVS, KI

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2004-2005 Recipient of two years postdoctoral fellowship from WennerGren Foundation.

2005 Recipient of Soroptimist International Prize for Women in Career.

2006-2007 Recipient of one year postdoctoral fellowship from Loo and Hans Ostermans stiftelse.

2009 – 2012 Recipient of a three year fellowship from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond ”Erik Rönnbergs stipendium för vetenskapliga studier av åldrande och åldersrelaterade sjukdomar”.

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