CERIC Center of Excellence for Research on Inflammation and Cardiovascular disease

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Atherosclerosis Research Unit Department of Medicine, Solna Karolinska Institutet

Center for Molecular Medicine Karolinska University Hospital

Phone +46 8 517 732 01

Group members


Professor Per Eriksson, PhD
Professor Anders Hamsten, MD, PhD
Professor Ewa Ehrenborg, MD, PhD
Professor Rachel Fisher, PhD
Angela Silveira, PhD, docent
Ferdinand van ’t Hooft, MD, PhD
Lars Maegdefessel, MD, PhD
Professor John Öhrvik, PhD

Senior researchers

Shohreh Maleki, PhD
Maria Sabater Lleal, PhD
Rona Strawbridge, PhD
Ekaterina Chernogubova, PhD
Hong Jing, MD, PhD
Karl Gertow, PhD
Bengt Sennblad, PhD, docent
Alexandra Bäcklund, PhD
Anders Mälarstig, PhD
Louisa Cheung, PhD
Maria Gonzalez Diez, PhD

Technical staff

Fariba Foroogh, BSc
Karin Lundströmer, BMA
Olivera Werngren, BMA
Karin Husman, technician
Gun Blomgren, research nurse

Administrative staff

Linda Berglund, unit administrator

Post-doctoral fellows

Valentina Paloschi, PhD
Hanna Björck, PhD
Laura Brion, PhD
Joelle Magné, PhD
Lei Du, PhD
Olga Mc Leod, PhD

PhD students

Hovsep Mahdessian
Jesper Gådin
Joanna Chmielewska
Mattias Frånberg
Peter Gustafsson
Suzanne Eken, MD
Apostolos Taxiarchis

Per Eriksson

The overarching objective of the group is to identify and functionally characterise novel genes, genetic variants and pathways that confer susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD) and aneurysm formation. The tools to attain our goals comprise a combination of large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS), quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in humans and rodent models and gene expression profiling in rodent and human target tissues for the gene discovery phase, whereas the functional characterisation of candidate genes is performed in vitro as well as in vivo in model systems and in carefully phenotyped human subjects.

Research interactions with CERIC

  • To identify and functionally characterize susceptibility genes for cardiovascular disease, with particular emphasis placed on defining which allelic variants in immunoregulatory genes affect risk.
  • To clarify which immunoregulatory pathways control atherosclerosis, plaque instability and clinical events such as myocardial infarction.
  • To establish an animal model of both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and atherosclerosis and to explore genes known to affect arthritis and/or atherosclerosis in the arthritis/atherosclerosis model.
  • To identify common mechanisms for chronic inflammatory disorders by comparing genome wide scans of human cohorts suffering from either CAD, RA or multiple sclerosis.