Cancer Research KI News
Research News

January 2022


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Cancer Research KI updates and upcoming events


Kirsty Spalding and Bennie Lemmens

granted with The Mark Foundation

for Cancer Research ASPIRE Award

Dr. Kirsty Spalding

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Photo: Martin Stenmark

Dr. Bennie Lemmens

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research granted two Karolinska Institutet’s principal investigators, Dr. Kirsty Spalding and Dr. Bennie Lemmens with ASPIRE (Accelerating Scientific Platform and Innovative Research) Awards. This is the first time that The Mark Foundation has awarded researchers from Sweden. They were selected as scientists who have an innovative approach to solving impactful problems in the cancer field. The ASPIRE Award promotes high-risk, high-reward projects that aim to answer key feasibility and proof-of-concept questions in an accelerated timeframe. Kirsty Spalding’s project is entitled ‘Targeting fat cells to reduce breast cancer progression and metastasis in humans’ and Bennie Lemmens works on ‘Direct visualization and control of DNA replication kinetics in single cells and cancer tissues by X-MARK’.

To learn more about their research plans and an approach to innovative science as well as The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research please read the full text on the CRKI website.

Welcome new members of the CRKI

Executive Board


Pedro Fonseca, PhD student

Dept. of Oncology-Pathology

Ninib Baryawno, Senior Researcher

Dept. of Women’s and Children’s Health

Pedro Fonseca is a PhD student in Lars Holmgren's group at the Department of Oncology-Pathology. He researches the Angiomotin protein family to understand how cancer cells sense mechanical forces (from other cells and the extracellular matrix) and interact with their environment. Pedro is interested in how cancer cells modulate their mechanotransduction pathways to promote invasion via chromatin organisation regulation and gene expression.

Dr. Ninib Baryawno´s group has expertise in cancer, stem cell and niche biology. His group focuses on cancer of the nervous system in children (neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma), and solid malignancies that spread to the bone marrow (prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma). They are oriented towards both basic and translational research. The lab also aims to understand critical cellular and molecular interactions between cancer cells and the tumour microenvironment, including stromal cells and immune cells in the context of cancer development, tumour cell dissemination and cancer drug resistance.

Seminars and Workshops


Seminar series on industry-academia collaboration

The last day to register for the first seminar on industry-academia collaboration!

Cancer Research KI launches a seminar series that aims to promote and facilitate industrial-academia collaborations. During the first meeting, there will be a chance to learn about reasons and motivation to start this collaboration, the process of working with the industry, and an opportunity to mingle. For all the details and a programme for the next seminar please visit our website.

Please register by sending an e-mail to by Monday 17th of January

Date: 20 January 2022 | Location: Zoom (a link is provided after the registration)

Cancer Research KI retreat at Djurönäset 23rd-24th May 2022

The registration deadline for the annual Cancer Research KI retreat is approaching!

Please remember to send your abstract to (all abstract submission details follow after the registration).

The XIXth Cancer Research KI Retreat will take place May 23-24, 2022 at Djurönäset in the Stockholm archipelago. The retreat is open for all KI/KUH students, post-docs, researchers, principal investigators, and healthcare professionals with an interest in cancer research and the current and future activities of Cancer Research KI.

For more information, please visit the retreat website. To learn more about the previous editions please visit the retreat archive.

We hope to see you there!

Deadline for registration: February 21, 2022

Recent Research Publications


Yinxi Wang (Dept.of Med Epidemiol & Biostat) et al., Improved breast cancer histological grading using deep learning. Annals of Oncology, January 2022.

Weicheng Ren (Dept. of Biosciences and Nutrition) et al., Distinct clinical and genetic features of hepatitis B virus-associated follicular lymphoma in Chinese patients. Blood Advances, January 2022.

Wouter Bulten, Kimmo Kartasalo (Dept.of Med Epidemiol & Biostat) and Po-Hsuan Cameron Chen et al., Artificial intelligence for diagnosis and Gleason grading of prostate cancer: the PANDA challenge. Nature Medicine, January 2022.

Emilio Ugalde-Morales (Dept.of Med Epidemiol & Biostat) et al., Interval breast cancer is associated with interferon immune response. European Journal of Cancer, January 2022.

Ilyas Chachoua, Ilias Tzelepis, Hao Dai, Jia Pei Lim, Anna Lewandowska-Ronnegren (Dept. of Oncology and Pathology) et al., Canonical WNT signaling-dependent gating of MYC requires a noncanonical CTCF function at a distal binding site. Nature Communication, January 2022.

Andreas Ährlund-Richter (Dept. of Oncology and Pathology) et al., Whole-Exome Sequencing of HPV Positive Tonsillar and Base of Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinomas Reveals a Global Mutational Pattern along with Relapse-Specific Somatic Variants. Cancers (Basel) December 2021.

Any cancer-related publications from a KI-based researcher (corresponding author must be from KI) that you wish to be advertised through our newsletter please send in the format shown above to our email:

Grant Announcements


Cancer Research KI awards research grants in several categories to promote excellent young researchers, clinical research, innovative research and joint international research projects. All grants are announced openly and the applications undergo external review.

Open Positions

Postdoctoral studies in tumor immunology/Immunotherapy

Dept. of Laboratory Medicine Huddinge/Division of Pathology

Last application date: 21th January 2022

Contact: Dhifaf Sarhan, Associate Professor (Docent),



External Engagement Office

Last application date: 21th January 2022 (svenska och engelska krävs)

Contact: Richard Cowburn,

Please send us your open positions for Master projects, PhD candidates and postdocs so that we can advertise them to our Cancer Research KI community.

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Cancer Research KI is an overarching umbrella organisation and single point of entry to cancer research at Karolinska Institutet, conducted by some 350 research groups at multiple campuses and departments. The aim is to combine cancer research with clinical oncology by bringing together top level cancer scientists from different disciplines, with the overall goal to generate new scientific discoveries that can be rapidly translated into clinical practice for the benefit of patients and society.


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