141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Prof. Matthias Löhr, MD, Professor
Dr. Rainer Heuchel, PhD
Karolinska Institutet (KI), founded in 1810, is Sweden’s only university especially focusing on biomedical sciences. In addition, KI annually awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. KI ranks as one of the world’s leading medical universities, thanks in part to the outstanding quality of its research activities, which today account for 40 per cent of all medical research in Sweden. In general, research at KI has a strong European dimension, with almost 200 project participations within the EU’s now closed Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Of these, KI is coordinating 28 projects. KI has made a strong start in FP7, participating in about 120 projects including 17 as coordinator as well as eight European Research Council Grants. In addition, KI University Hospital is the largest center for pancreatic diseases in Scandinavia. Specifically, the group at Karolinska has a longstanding research focus on the pancreatic carcinoma. During more than ten years, the group has contributed to unravel the desmoplastic reaction of PDAC, exemplified by having identified TGF-beta as the predominant pro-fibrogenic factor and having established the first human pancreatic stellate cell line, which has been instrumental to set up the minitumour-based in vitro screening platform, which is unique in the pancreatic cancer research field. From a translational and clinical aspect, KI is leading the field with quality-controlled biobanking and epidemiological databases. Those are also established for pancreatic research. The more clinical research is focusing on novel markers (participation in MolDiaPaca/FP6 and novel therapies.