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Mikael Lindström


About me

Associate Professor (experimental pathology, 2012, KI) & senior researcher at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, KI, working at the SciLifeLab in Stockholm. Obtained the master degree in biomedicine 1999  (KI) and the PhD degree in experimental oncology in 2004 (KI).

Besides research also currently active in teaching on the DFMI1 course for medical students (biochemistry), also for biomedical bachelor students, and also various graduate courses, as well as ongoing supervision of post docs and PhD students. In addition, extensive missions in peer review and international grant evaluations. Grant holder and managing a number of research projects related to ribosome biogenesis in cancer, translation, drug re-purposing, mechanistic aspects of glioma development.


Research description

The main goal of my research is to understand the regulation of ribosome biogenesis in human cancer cells and how it is different from normal cells. Better knowledge about cellular growth control will help to develop strategies for therapeutic intervention targeting aberrant cancer cell growth. Special focus is on p53 and nucleolar stress mechanisms, as well as applications of this in molecular pathology and novel treatments for glioma.


Some selected key references (for a complete list > 45 papers, see Pubmed "Lindstrom MS")

The antimalarial drug amodiaquine stabilizes p53 through ribosome biogenesis stress, independently of its autophagy-inhibitory activity. Espinoza JA, Zisi A, Kanellis DC, Carreras-Puigvert J, Henriksson M, Hühn D, et al Cell Death Differ. 2019 Jul;():

Reduced Expression of PROX1 Transitions Glioblastoma Cells into a Mesenchymal Gene Expression Subtype. Goudarzi KM, Espinoza JA, Guo M, Bartek J, Nistér M, Lindström MS, et al Cancer Res. 2018 10;78(20):5901-5916

DNA damage-induced dynamic changes in abundance and cytosol-nuclear translocation of proteins involved in translational processes, metabolism, and autophagy. Bennetzen MV, Kosar M, Bunkenborg J, Payne MR, Bartkova J, Lindström MS, et al Cell Cycle 2018 ;17(17):2146-2163

Nucleolus as an emerging hub in maintenance of genome stability and cancer pathogenesis. Lindström MS, Jurada D, Bursac S, Orsolic I, Bartek J, Volarevic S Oncogene 2018 05;37(18):2351-2366

Induction of the 5S RNP-Mdm2-p53 ribosomal stress pathway delays the initiation but fails to eradicate established murine acute myeloid leukemia. Jaako P, Ugale A, Wahlestedt M, Velasco-Hernandez T, Cammenga J, Lindström MS, et al Leukemia 2017 01;31(1):213-221

Role of ribosomal protein mutations in tumor development (Review). Goudarzi KM, Lindström MS Int. J. Oncol. 2016 Apr;48(4):1313-24

NPM1 histone chaperone is upregulated in glioblastoma to promote cell survival and maintain nucleolar shape. Holmberg Olausson K, Elsir T, Moazemi Goudarzi K, Nistér M, Lindström MS Sci Rep 2015 Nov;5():16495

Disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction significantly improves the erythroid defect in a mouse model for Diamond-Blackfan anemia. Jaako P, Debnath S, Olsson K, Zhang Y, Flygare J, Lindström MS, et al Leukemia 2015 Nov;29(11):2221-9

mTOR inhibitors blunt the p53 response to nucleolar stress by regulating RPL11 and MDM2 levels. Goudarzi KM, Nistér M, Lindström MS Cancer Biol. Ther. 2014 ;15(11):1499-514

Loss of nucleolar histone chaperone NPM1 triggers rearrangement of heterochromatin and synergizes with a deficiency in DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A to drive ribosomal DNA transcription. Holmberg Olausson K, Nistér M, Lindström MS J. Biol. Chem. 2014 Dec;289(50):34601-19

Targeting of MCL-1 kills MYC-driven mouse and human lymphomas even when they bear mutations in p53. Kelly GL, Grabow S, Glaser SP, Fitzsimmons L, Aubrey BJ, Okamoto T, et al Genes Dev. 2014 Jan;28(1):58-70

NPM1/B23: A Multifunctional Chaperone in Ribosome Biogenesis and Chromatin Remodeling. Lindström MS Biochem Res Int 2011 ;2011():195209

Expression of PROX1 Is a common feature of high-grade malignant astrocytic gliomas. Elsir T, Eriksson A, Orrego A, Lindström MS, Nistér M J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 2010 Feb;69(2):129-38

An ARF-independent c-MYC-activated tumor suppression pathway mediated by ribosomal protein-Mdm2 Interaction. Macias E, Jin A, Deisenroth C, Bhat K, Mao H, Lindström MS, et al Cancer Cell 2010 Sep;18(3):231-43

Targeted inactivation of Mdm2 RING finger E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in the mouse reveals mechanistic insights into p53 regulation. Itahana K, Mao H, Jin A, Itahana Y, Clegg HV, Lindström MS, et al Cancer Cell 2007 Oct;12(4):355-66

Cancer-associated mutations in the MDM2 zinc finger domain disrupt ribosomal protein interaction and attenuate MDM2-induced p53 degradation. Lindström MS, Jin A, Deisenroth C, White Wolf G, Zhang Y

Mol. Cell. Biol. 2007 Feb;27(3):1056-68 Putting a finger on growth surveillance: insight into MDM2 zinc finger-ribosomal protein interactions. Lindström MS, Deisenroth C, Zhang Y Cell Cycle 2007 Feb;6(4):434-7

Essential role of the B23/NPM core domain in regulating ARF binding and B23 stability. Enomoto T, Lindström MS, Jin A, Ke H, Zhang Y J. Biol. Chem. 2006 Jul;281(27):18463-72

Predictive significance of the alterations of p16INK4A, p14ARF, p53, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression in the progression of cervical cancer. Wang JL, Zheng BY, Li XD, Angström T, Lindström MS, Wallin KL Clin. Cancer Res. 2004 Apr;10(7):2407-14

Myc and E2F1 induce p53 through p14ARF-independent mechanisms in human fibroblasts. Lindström MS, Wiman KG Oncogene 2003 Aug;22(32):4993-5005

Role of genetic and epigenetic changes in Burkitt lymphoma. Lindström MS, Wiman KG Semin. Cancer Biol. 2002 Oct;12(5):381-7

p14ARF homozygous deletion or MDM2 overexpression in Burkitt lymphoma lines carrying wild type p53. Lindström MS, Klangby U, Wiman KG Oncogene 2001 Apr;20(17):2171-7



Oncogene, Nature, Nature Cell Biology, J Biol Chem, Mol Cell Biol, Proteins, J. of Clinical Investigation, Mol Cell, Intl. J of Cancer, Int J Mol Sciences, Cancer, J Cytology & Histology, J Mol Biol, PLoS One, FEBS Letters, FEBS J, Future Oncology, Cell Proliferation, Biochem J, Nature Scientific Reports, Tumor Biology, Current Drug Targets,  Cytotherapy, Nature Communications, J Cell Science, Cell Reports, Cell Cycle, Chemistry Biology (Cell press), Blood, Pharmaceuticals, Biochem Soc Trans, Cells, Oncotarget, Int J of Dev Neuroscience, Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, BMC Biotechnology, BMC Molecular Biology, Bioscience Reports, Cancer Res, Elife, J Cellular Physiology, Metabolites, EBiomedicine, ACS Chemical Biology, BBA Molecular Res and many others...

Grant referee

NWO/Vidi Scheme for Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, Netherlands, 2009; AICR, Assoc International Cancer Res (UK), 2010-11; Cancer Research UK (2010); YRC, Yorkshire Cancer Res (UK), 2011; Semaphore FRS FNRS (BE), 2011- (regular grants); Romanian national development and innovation council, uefiscdi, (RO), 2011-2012; German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, 2013; Semaphore FRS FNRS (BE), 2014- (Post doc grants), 2015, and 2016; YRC, Yorkshire Cancer Res (UK), 2014 (Pump priming awards, x2); Czech Science Foundation GACR (2014), regular project; National Science Centre Poland (2014), PhD grants; German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, 2014/15; INCa -the French National Cancer Institute, France, 2016; Fondation contre le Cancer Grant, Belgian Foundation against Cancer, 2016; Croatian Science Foundation, Croatia, 2016; INCa -the French National Cancer Institute, France, 2017; Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, 2017, regular grant; Evaluator of Baillet Latour Grant for Medical Research and Baillet Latour Prize (GMR), NL, 2017; National Science Centre Poland (2017), regular grant; Semaphore FRS FNRS (BE), 2018, equipment and project grants and many others.

Ad hoc international expert member of National Science Centre Poland NZ3 group, 2019-.

Teaching portfolio

Supervision of PhD students

Main supervisor: Dr Kaveh Moazemi Goudarzi, PhD 2018-04-27, KI; Main supervisor: (ongoing) Asimina Zisi, MSc, 2017-09-, KI, Co-supervisor: Dr Tamador Elsir, PhD 2010-06-04, KI; Co-supervisor: Dr Inga Nazarenko, PhD 2011-09-30, KI; Co-supervisor: Dr Karl Holmberg-Olausson, PhD 2015-06-01, KI;

Courses taken

a. Basic pedagogics for university lecturers GHPH09, 2009, KI ; b. Postgraduate supervisor training course, KI ; c. Leadership education “UGL”, KI


Extensive, over 600 hours, of teaching at the Medical Students program (DFM1 course, biochemistry) including seminar leader and regular lectures, project examination, and correction of exams,  and at the Biomedicine (Bachelor program) including acting as seminar leader, PBL tutor, and lab supervisor at the oncology-tumor biology and cell biology courses. Over the years, invited lecturer to a number of graduate courses including topics such as cancer cell metabolism, cancer stem cells and cell cycle, apoptosis and cancer, biobanks in cancer research. 

Pre-examiner of doctoral dissertations (PhD)

Dr Ivailo Simoff, PhD, SU, 2009; Dr Jitendra Badhai, PhD, UU, 2009; Dr Chiou-Nan Shiue, PhD, KI, 2010; Dr Ann Sofie Fröjmark, PhD, UU, 2010; Dr Jelena Polajeva, PhD, UU 2012; Dr Deniz Özata, PhD, KI, 2015; Anahita Hamadi, PhD, UU, 2015; Vasil Savov, PhD, UU 2016; Chang Liu, PhD, KI; 2016; Xianli Shen, KI, 2017; Fredrik Lackmann, SU, 2017; H.A. M. Sakil, KI, 2017.

Half time review board for PhD students

Erik Berglund KI, 2013; Lei Zhang, UU, 2012 Yuan Xie, UU 2013; Vasil Savov, UU 2014; Emarndeena Cheteh Haji, KI, 2014; Xianli Shen, KI 2014; Amir Mahani, KI, 2014; Anna Sjösten, UU 2015; Mohammed Mustaq, KI, 2014; Honglei Zhao, KI, 2016; Dalel Saidi, KI, 2016; Satendra Kumar, KI, 2016; Chiara Pederiva, KI, 2017; Patrick Sculicia, KI. 2017; Nadilly Bonagas KI 2019, 

Supervisor or examinor of a large number of Master of Science or Bachelor of Science thesis.

Chairman of doctoral dissertation

Cecilia Nordfors, PhD, KI, 2015; Michael Mints PhD, KI, 2015; Elin Sjöberg PhD, KI, 2015

Faculty Opponent – doctoral dissertation (PhD)

Amir Nematollani Mahani, KI, Dept LabMed, 2018-06-20.


MSc, Biomedicine, 1999, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

PhD, Oncology-Experimental Oncology, 2004, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Docent, Experimental Pathology, 2012, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Researcher position (“FoAss” extension), KI, 2013-2015; Swedish Research Council (VR), Young Researcher award, 2012-2014; Postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden), 2007 - 2010; Postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Swedish Research Council (VR), 2005-2006.

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