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Marco Gerling

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Marco Gerling

Senior researcher

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Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

I am a researcher (forskare) and PI in Rune Toftgård's group at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet. In addition, I work 50% as clinician in oncology at Karolinska University Hospital, Tema Cancer.

I graduated in 2008 from Lübeck University, Germany, as fully licensed physician. I received my doctoral degree in 2011, for which I did research as a guest student in Thomas Ried's lab at the NIH in Bethesda, USA. From 2009-2012, I worked clinically at the Charité, Berlin's university hospital, affiliated to Britta Siegmund's laboratory with an interest in colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer.

Cancerfonden funded me as a postdoc (Cancerfondens postdoktortjänst 2015-2018).

From Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning and Vetenskapsrådet, I have received funding to develop my own line of research in combination with 50% clinical work 2018-2022 (SSMF:s Stora Anslag, VR:s anställning till forskare på halvtid i klinisk miljö).

Additional support: Ruth och Richard Julins stiftelse, Åke Wiberg stiftelse, Jeanssons stiftelse, KI fonder

Research description

My research centers around the role of stromal cells in cancers of the large intestine, the pancreas as well as in liver metastases of these tumor types. 

It has become clear that stromal cells, including immune cells and many other cell types such as fibroblasts, markedly influence tumor growth. Clinically, the composition of the tumor stroma impacts on patients' prognoses and can be used to predict treatment response.

With my research, I want to understand the intricate mechanisms of intercellular communication between tumor cells. In a team of clinicians, pathologists and bioinformaticians, we are trying to untangle tumor-stroma crosstalk. Our ultimate goals are to identify predictive and prognostic stromal markers, and to contribute to the development of novel, stroma-based therapies. 

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