Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg


Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

Professor of Molecular Toxicology since 1996 and research group leader in Pharmacogenetics at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology since 2006. Vice Chairman and Section Head.

Previous positions at Karolinska Institutet were Research Assistant in Physiological Chemistry 1976-1977; Lecturer in Physiological Chemistry 1977-1987 (appointed 1982); and Acting Professor of Physiological Chemistry 1987-1996. Currently leader of a research group of about 15 people including 5-6 post docs/senior researchers. The research programme is focused on genetic factors  of importance for interindividual differences in drug response and adverse drug reactions and on a novel 3D hepatuic in vitro system where liver function, mehchanisms of drug mediated enzyme induction and drug hepatotoxocity as well as liver diseases like steatosis, hepatitis and fibrosis is studied.

An interview focused on the background of the research perfomed as well as some personal views are presented in the interview published in TiPS:

Research description

New genetic factors are identified that may pose pharmacogenomic biomarkers for individualization of drug therapy. Currently special emphasis is but on the role of rare alleles. Dedifferentiation and differentiation of hepatocytes studied with respect to mechanisms. A novel 3D spheroid system for studying liver function for 5 weeks is used to analyse control of hepatic gene expression, mechanisms of drug mediated enzyme induction and hepatotoxicity and for studying liver diseases like  steatosis,hepatitis and fibrosis. Special emphasis is put on discovery of novel drug targets for these diseases..

A novel drug therapy for colon cancer treatment is being developed using a cancer specific drug target (CYP2W1) in collaboration with chemists and surgeons.



  • Civil Engineer, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 1975
  • PhD in Physiological Chemistry 1975
  • Docent in Physiological Chemistry 1977
  • BSc. Med (med kand), Karolinska Institutet 1978.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

More than 420 original papers, 26 000 citations (30 000 in Google Scholar) and an h-factor of 84 (ISI) or 100 (Google Scholar). Member of The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet since 2008 and member of Faculty of 1000 Biology since 2006. Member of Editorial Advisory Boards of e.g. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (Editorial Board), Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, Pharmacogenomics, Drug Metabolism Reviews,  Drug Metabolism and Disposition. Chairman of the Microsomes and Drug Oxidation International Advisory Committee,  

Ranked as the 3rd "highest impact" researcher of 4,000 in the field of drug metabolism ( and one of the world's most cited authors within the category Pharmacology ( Recently categorized by Thomson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientific minds ( based on citations from highly ranked journals. Recenlty obtained the ERC Advanced Grant for 2017-2022.

Main supervisor to a PhD degree for 30 postgraduate students, postdoctoral training for 30 PhDs. The research group ranked as outstanding in Karolinska Institutet's External Research Assessment (ERA) in 2010.

Awards include The Svedberg Price, The Swedish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1989; Honorary member of The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1990; The Gerhard B Zbinden Lecture Award, EUROTOX 1996; The ISSX European Scientific Achievement Award 2003; The Bengt Danielsson Prize, The Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2008; The John G Warner Pfizer Lectureship in Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Michigan, USA 2011. 

Commissions of trust

~~Programme committee of the MD curriculum: Head of studieplanekommitten 3 years, responsible for the new KI 90 GUL study plan for the MD curriculum. Docenturnämnden 6 years, Chairman of KIRT 6 years, Chairman of the Committee for Elective Periods in the MD curriculum 6 years. Vice Chairman the Recruitment Committee 3 years, Chairman of The Recruitment Committee 6 years (ending March 2014) and pro dean (vice dean) for recruitment 2 years. Chairman of study group, The Swedish Natural Science Research Council 3 years, Member of study groups at The Swedish Natural Science Research Council, The Swedish Medical Research Council, 6 years, The Norwegian Research Council  for 6 years.

Teaching awards: Mäster from The Student Union at Karolinska Institutet 1978; The Karolinska Institutet Pedagogical Award 2000.

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