My interest in mitochondrial biology started in 1987 when I began my PhD studies of pathogenic mtDNA mutations causing mitochondrial disease in humans. In the early 1990s, it became evident to me that most key scientific issues in the mitochondrial field were poorly understood and that further progress would require basic scientific experimental approaches. I therefore decided to get proper training in biochemistry and mouse genetics and went to Stanford University as a HHMI Physician Postdoctoral Fellow in 1994. When I returned to Sweden in 1997, I started my own research group at Karolinska Institutet and developed a series of powerful mouse models to study the in vivo role of mtDNA expression in normal physiology and disease pathophysiology. I also became interested in the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing and in 2004 my group reported ground-breaking experimental evidence that increased mtDNA mutation levels have the capacity to induce premature ageing in the mouse.
In 2008, I was recruited as one of the founding Directors to the new Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany, which provided an excellent infrastructure for my continued studies on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing. Between 2008 and 2015, I remained affiliated to KI and kept a small research group here. In 2016, I was recruited back to have KI as my main working place and became the head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. From 2019, I will be an external member of the Max Planck Society.
Professor of Mitochondrial Genetics.
My research group is presented here.