Department of Microbiology and Tumor Biology - Karolinska Institutet - Stockholm

Karolinska Institutet is one of Europe's largest medical universities. It is Sweden’s largest centre for medical training and research. Its mission is to improve the health of mankind through research, education and information. KI is involved in CROSS-TALK through the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology. Sven Pettersson group has focussed its interest on the regulation of gut homeostasis with a particular emphasis on transcription factors and nuclear receptors. 

Research and Training Expertise

Sven Pettersson group is a leading team in the field of cell signalling in the gut. Its work on the role of the transcription factor NF-kB in response to commensals and on the function of nuclear receptors in innate immunity and their regulation of activity by gut microbiota has been internationally recognized. The laboratory has clear expertise on cell signalling, DNA protein interactions, and tissue sampling form animals and human tissue. Pettersson has also a vast experience in organizing PhD courses, international meetings and workshops for young researchers. 

In the field of host –microbe interactions, the group has developed expertise on germ free and can tailor made any line of interest for CROSS-TALK partners.

Moreover, the Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center created a dynamic training and research environment for approximately 170 postgraduate students.

Key persons involved

Sven Pettersson, MD, PhD, was appointed strategic chair of functional genomics microbe in 2001. He his also Professor in Biochemistry at the University of Singapore since 2003 and is the coordinator of a joint program between KI and Singapore. He is founder of the pharmaceutical company, InDex Pharmaceuticals AB. He published 115 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Joseph Rafter, PhD, Professor in Medical Nutrition, is affiliated with MTC and work closely with SP. It is expected that his knowledge in the field of probiotics will complement the study periods for students coming to KI.

Material Ressources

The department is fully equipped with cutting edge technology including molecular and cellular biology including siRNA, FACS analysis, developmental biology by ex vivo preparation of primary tissue culture capacities in situ hybridization analysis, expression profiling using Illumina platform, state of the art image analysis, transgenic mice, works with animals, tissue preparation. It has core facility for Cellular Microbiology and germ-free animal facility

3 Key publications

  • D'Amato M, …, Pettersson S, Kere J. (26 authors) (2007). Neuropeptide S receptor 1 gene polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology,133:808-17.[Pubmed]
  • Jansson EA, Are A, Greicius G, Kuo IC, Kelly D, Arulampalam V, Pettersson S. (2005) The Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway targets PPARgamma activity in colon cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. , 102:1460-5.[Pubmed]
  • Kelly D, Campbell JI, King TP, Grant G, Jansson EA, Coutts AG, Pettersson S, Conway S. (2004) Commensal anaerobic gut bacteria attenuate inflammation by regulating nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of PPAR-gamma and RelA. Nat Immunol. 5:104-12.[Pubmed]