38 million SEK to Per Svenningsson’s Research on Parkinson’s Disease
Per Svenningsson, Group Leader at CMM, has received funding from Nordstjernan Holding AB and Axel Johnson Group consisting of 38 millions SEK for five years.
The purpose of the funding is to support Per Svenningsson’s research on basic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease as well as the search for a future tailored treatment slow down disease progression.
Read more: Karolinska Institutet press release
Per Svenningsson. Photo: Ulf Sirborn.
CMM Researchers Find That Autoantibodies Are Possible Contributors in Causing Fibromyalgia
Emerson Krock. Photo: Private
Camilla Svensson. Photo: Ulf Sirborn
Emerson Krock, Postdoc, and Camilla Svensson, Professor and Group Leader, are co-first and last authors, respectively, of a recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showing that autoantibodies are possible contributors to fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain in muscles and bones.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, King’s College London and the University of Liverpool, UK conducted the study as a collaboration.
The results pave the way for new approaches to the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Read more: Karolinska Institutet press release
“Passive transfer of fibromyalgia symptoms from patients to mice,” *Andreas Goebel, *Emerson Krock, Clive Gentry, Mathilde R. Israel, Alexandra Jurczak, Carlos Morado Urbina, Katalin Sandor,Nisha Vastani, Margot Maurer, Ulku Cuhadar, Serena Sensi, Yuki Nomura, Joana Menezes, Azar Baharpoor, Louisa Brieskorn, Angelica Sandström, Jeanette Tour, Diana Kadetoff, Lisbet Haglund, Eva Kosek, Stuart Bevan, *Camilla I. Svenssonand *David A. Andersson, Journal of Clinical Investigation, online 1 July, 2021, doi: 10.1172/JCI144201 (*co-first/last authors)
CMMers Receive StratNeuro Funding
Maja Jagodic. Photo: Karolinska Institutet
Bob Harris. Photo: Karolinska Institutet
The strategic research area neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet (StratNeuro) has awarded a total of 18 MSEK to six Collaborative Neuroscience Research Projects. Each project is funded with 3 MSEK.
Maja Jagodic and Bob Harris, both CMM Group Leaders and Professors at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, have received funding for one collaborative project each. The purpose of the funding is to establish new collaborations.
Maja Jagodic was the main applicant for a project titled: "Targeting neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration using artificial ligands". The co-applicant was John Löfblom, Department of Protein Science, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
Bob Harris, applied for funding of the project titled: "Novel immunotherapy targeting myeloid cells for neurological diseases: Drug repurposing and nanoengineering" and his co-applicant was Björn Högberg, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet.
The strategic research areas are efforts by the Swedish government in certain selected areas that has been ongoing for more than ten years. Karolinska Institutet receives governmental strategic funding for six fields: stem cells, diabetes, neuroscience, cancer, epidemiology and health research.
StratNeuro has the mission to integrate clinical and basic research and to foster a new generation of leaders and scientists in translational neuroscience.
The external evaluator panel for the collaborative StratNeuro funding 2021 consisted of the following researchers:
David Engblom, Linköping University
Cecilia Lindberg, Lund University
Paolo Medini, Umeå University
Håkan Olausson, Linköping University
Åsa Petersén, Lund University
Mart Saarma, Helsinki University, Finland
Pontus Naucler Leads COVID-19 Vaccine Research Platform Funded by the Swedish Research Council
Pontus Naucler. Photo: Private
Pontus Naucler, researcher in Anna Färnert’s Group at CMM, will lead FASTER, a national COVID-19 vaccine research platform, one of six research environments awarded with a total of SEK 100 million from the Swedish Research Council.
FASTER will include register-based research and clinical trials as a basis for studying the immune response to the vaccines, as well as their safety and effectiveness.
This national platform will be a part of the large EU network called “VACCELERATE” which has the aim of evaluating ongoing and future vaccinations as well as making the process of clinical testing of vaccines faster in the future.
Strategic Research Funding for Germline Development Studies
Qiaolin Deng, Associate Professor and CMM Team Leader, is one of the six 2021 Junior Grant awardees in the Karolinska Institutet Strategic Research Area in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. Qiaolin’s research team is interested in the developmental principles of the germline (the cells that pass on genetic information to the progeny, i.e. the egg and sperm) in health and disease and the title of the awarded project is ‘Revealing deleterious gene dosage effects on germline specification and testicular stem cell niche in Klinefelter syndrome by single-cell technology’. The project will be supported with 4 MSEK for 2 years.
Qiaolin Deng. Photo: Sanjiv Risal
Project picture: Genetic mouse models and in vitro hPG-CLCs differentiation of KS-iPSCs as tools to study global gene dosage effects.
Why did you choose germline development as your research niche and why is this research relevant?
“As a researcher, I have always been very inter-ested in the early development of the embryos, and the germline is the basis for this development. The development of the germline in an individual is in itself a process of continuous maturation that goes beyond puberty. There is intricate regulation at the molecular level involved in this process. Many cases of non-heritable variation involve germline epigenetics, and these are questions that have not been extensively studied before. The epigenetic regulation influences the development at all levels, also processes such as clonality and migration of the germ cells. Over the past few years new technological advances have made it possible to study these questions with a deeper resolution. When I chose my research focus, I also caught the moment of technology advancement.“
Klinefelter syndrome is caused by the presence of at least one additional X-chromosome in the male. There are few distinguishing features of the syndrome before puberty which makes early diagnosis difficult. However, after puberty, the testicular environment starts to degenerate and sperm can usually not be produced as a result. Thus, one of the main features of the syndrome is male infertility.
Can you briefly explain the aim of the project for which you were awarded the Junior Grant?
“In the present project we will use Klinefelter- derived iPS cells*. We want to study how the extra chromosome influences germline devel-opment. Persons with Klinefelter syndrome suffer from infertility but it is not because they lack the germ cells from the beginning. At the start of puberty, the germ cell pool is still there however, there is a “toxic” process in the testicular environment that starts at puberty in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome. We ask the question why the extra X chromosome does not do much harm initially. What is the impact of gene dosage and allelic gene expression on germ cell maturation? I always think about allelic expression since my postdoc projects were focused on that. Our preferred method in this project is single cell sequencing and at CMM we have a great core facility for that!”
With whom do you collaborate?
“Our main collaborators are Jan-Bernd Stukenborg at KBH, KI (his team works on fertility preservation) and at CMM we collaborate with Ning Xu Landén in the single sequencing studies of wound healing.”
What is the relevance of these studies from a patient/public health perspective?
“Klinefelter syndrome is estimated to occur as frequently as 1 in 600 births, thus contributing significantly to male infertility on a population level. Even though our research is very basic, I would say that one ambitious goal is to be able to find ways to save their fertility earlier. We strive to do that by understanding the molecular mechanisms of their germline development better.”
*The iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) originate from skin biopsies from patients with Klinefelter syndrome. The fibroblasts are then re-programmed back to an embryonic state. This helps us to study human disease in a better way.