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Karin Sundström

Project coordinator

About me

I am a cervical cancer epidemiologist with a strong focus on molecular epidemiological studies conducted in the excellent Swedish register and biobank infrastructure. My main interest is in the elimination of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers through virological research and improved cervical screening and HPV-vaccination practices.

Other chief interests include the development of biomarkers for female cancers including ovarian cancer. As such, I am involved with several projects in clinical biobanks of cytology and histology, which are strong resources for comprehensive studies on biomarkers for female disease.

Furthermore, I am Research Coordinator for NIASC, a Nordic-Baltic Center of Excellence in eHealth (  where I am involved with projects on machine learning, text mining of medical records, and next-generation sequencing into metagenomics, for the improved prediction of screening-detectable cancer forms.

Research description

My research revolves around the following areas:

- Register-based optimization of cervical screening and HPV-vaccination - Biomarker research into new tests for cervical precancer/cancer - Novel eScience/Big Data methods for enhancement of screening algorithms - Epidemiology and prevention of herpes zoster (shingles)

Key collaborations

- Cervical cancer and HPV infection, through the ACCES Project ( - Deep sequencing of HPV16 infections - New cervical screening tests, through the BRIGHT project (Biobank- and register-based implementation of gynecological health technologies) - Female Cancer Prediction Using Cervical Omics to Individualise Screening and Prevention ( - The Nordic Information for Action eScience Center (NIASC), a Nordic Center of Excellence in health-related eSciences (

Teaching portfolio


Doctoral supervision (Main or co-supervisor)

Olof Grönlund (main supervisor)

Susanna Alder (co-supervisor)

Nicholas Baltzer (co-supervisor)

Zurab Bzhalava (co-supervisor)

Maria Hortlund (co-supervisor)

Jiangrong Wang (co-supervisor)

Eva Herweijer (former co-supervisor, thesis completed 2016)


Master thesis supervision

2017, Jan-June. Supervisor of Public Health Sciences/Public Health Epidemiology student Teresa Kreusch's master thesis: “The association with cervical screening attendance - A Swedish national register-based cohort study”. 



Course in university level pedagogics, at KI, 7.5 university credits

2015 - 2016

Member of the KI Medical program’s Teachers’ Collegium for Primary Care (Primärvårdskollegium)

2009 - present

Lecturer within Scientific Development (Vetenskaplig Utveckling), a course in principles of science and evidence-based medicine for medical students. Active lecturer on semester 1, 6 and 10 during 2014-2015. Formally responsible for the VetU-tuition semester 6, during 2014-2015. Now lecturer at the KI Medical Program, Biomedicine Program, Nursing program and postgraduate level courses.


2013. PhD in medical science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

2009. MD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

2005. BA in History of Art, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.


Academic honours, awards and prizes

2016. Jonas Söderquist Award for basic research in virology or immunology.

2011. Awarded grant from Robert Lundberg Memorial Foundation for research on tumour-related diseases.

2010. Research-Internship (“Forskar-AT”), to gain a medical license - AT at Karolinska University Hospital combined with funding for 1 year research time.

2009. MD-PhD scholarship for four-year doctoral studies, awarded by the Board for Postgraduate Education’s Faculty Funds, Karolinska Institutet.

2008. Winner of Idea Competition 2008. Arranged by Unit for Bioentrepreneurship, Karolinska Institutet.

2008. Distinction for Excellent Scientific Project, awarded by the Committee for Elective Studies (KVP), Karolinska Institutet

2007. Honorary Mention, McKinsey Award 2007. For “having shown a significant performance with good study results, good cooperation ability and great power of initiative”.

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