Kristoffer Sahlholm portrait, photographer Mattias Pettersson

Kristoffer Sahlholm

Affiliated to research

My research is focused on G protein-coupled receptors, in particular dopamine receptors, and their interactions with natural and synthetic ligands.

About me

I finished my PhD at the Dept. of Neuroscience, KI, in 2011 (labs of Drs. Peter Århem and Kjell Fuxe). My thesis was focused on the regulation of dopamine receptors by transmembrane voltage and made use of electrophysiology to study receptor signaling. My postdoctoral work included fluorescence-based signaling assays and behavioral pharmacology (University of Barcelona, Spain; Dr. Francisco Ciruela), autoradiography (Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Robert H. Mach), radioligand binding (University of Pennsylvania, PA, Dr. Robert H. Mach), rodent PET imaging (University of Groeningen; Netherlands, Drs. Philip Elsinga and Aren van Waarde), and rodent fMRI (ETH, Switzerland, Drs. Marcus Rudin and Aileen Schroeter). 

Since 2018, I am a group leader at the Dept. of Integrative Medical Biology (link below), Umeå University, while maintaining active affiliations with the Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology, KI, as well as with the Dept. of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Barcelona.



Research description

Psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder with mania, and schizoaffective disorder) are believed to affect about 3% of the global population and are characterized by delusions and hallucinations. Dopamine receptors form the main targets for antipsychotic therapy. However, current medication does not adequately address all aspects of schizophrenia symptomatology and, in addition, is fraught with troublesome side effects. It has been postulated that the time course of drug-receptor interactions, as well as the differential engagement of neurotransmitter receptor subtypes, may influence both side effect profiles and clinical efficacies of antipsychotics.

Our group investigates the modes of action of current and experimental antipsychotic drugs, with the aim to inform the development of novel, improved therapeutics. We are also interested in the interplay of different neurotransmitter systems at the cellular as well as the whole-animal level.

We use time-resolved live-cell signaling assays to examine drug-receptor interactions, as well as behavioral readouts in rodents to characterize the in vivo actions of experimental and clinically used drugs.