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Centre for Global Health
Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet is one of the world´s leading medical
universities. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of
human health through research and education.
Karolinska Institutet accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country´s broadest
range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the
Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates
in Physiology or Medicine.
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]
Phone: +46-8-524 833 86
+46-8-524 872 77
Adress: Nobels väg 9
171 76 Stockholm
Photo: Lennart Nilsson/Scanpix, iStockphoto, Annelie Eriksson.
A medical university
Centre for Global Health
Karolinska Institutet
Research for sustainable health
Research at Karolinska Institutet’s Centre
for Global Health aims to improve health
A focus on the diseases of the poor
Global health refers to health issues that
have a global political and economical
impact across national borders. Our focus
lies on diseases, both infectious and noninfectious, in the context of poverty. Our
research aims to answer questions relating
to the social determinants of health and
injuries, including gender-specific needs
in policies and interventions, ethnicity,
socioeconomic status, age and urban/rural
Extensive global collaboration
Most of our research projects deal with
poverty-related health issues in low-income
countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We have extensive research collaborations
with over 60 countries including Vietnam,
Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda.
Projects also involve comparative research in
middle- and high-income countries.
Founded in 2007
40 research groups with 250 researchers at Karolinska Institutet
Collaborations with universities in 60 countries
Research focus on HIV, tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, vaccines,
maternal and infant mortality and health systems
Working with WHO, EU and Unicef
Hans Rosling
Professor of Public Health Science
Department of Public Health
Sciences, Karolinska Institutet
”We focus on the diseases of the poor”
At Karolinska Institutet we cannot work directly to combat poverty, but
through our world class medical research we can promote health and thereby
strengthen vulnerable populations. For example, in India maternal mortality is 250
per 100,000 live born babies. In Sweden, the corresponding figure is four. We strive to
diminish these differences.
By focusing on the diseases of the poor, we produce high impact research that
benefits the majority of humanity. These diseases, like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis,
affect millions of people around the world. Furthermore, working with large, international populations gives access to a wide social, economic and
genetic diversity. This provides a better opportunity to study
how genes and environment affect our health.
Vinod Diwan
Director, Centre for Global Health
Karolinska Institutet
Photo: Johan Bergman
Centre for Global Health in brief
Global health as a research area originated in the late 19th century when the western
world started to industrialize its colonies. Over the centuries, the motivation behind
research has changed, from colonization to missionary work, to tourism, to immigration. Today, global health has moved beyond the concept of tropical diseases, to
include all conditions where poverty is an underlying aetiology, and where infections,
malnutrition and other conditions must be managed with very scarce health service
resources, which are just one percent or a few percent of the resources available in
Sweden. The lack of population registers, lack of death registration and incomplete
service coverage constitute a context with new methodological challenges.
This makes global health an intellectually demanding subject.
The research at the Centre for Global Health has yielded findings that make a huge
difference for health care in poor areas of the world. The most important goal for research in global health is to find new and more effective ways
to do things since the physical, social and economic conditions
vary more than one hundred-fold around the globe.
Photo: Stefan Nilsson
and achieve health equity for people
worldwide, regardless of gender, ethnic
origin or socioeconomic background. By
developing tools for the prevention, control
and treatment of major diseases, we want to
contribute to closing the gap in global health
Integrated disciplines for successful research
The Centre for Global Health is a collaboration across disciplinary boundaries where
researchers from molecular and clinical
medicine, public health and technology work
together. The centre includes research,
doctoral education and undergraduate
education. We also collaborate with international partners. In addition, we establish
infrastructure for conducting field research in
poor societies.
”Centre for Global Health makes a huge difference”
”Going for a malaria vaccine”
Mats Wahlgren,
Chairman, Centre for Global Health
Professor of Infectious Disease Control
Karolinska Institutet
Photo: Johan Bergman
The research at the Centre for Global Health is not related to one subject as it is at the
university’s departments. Instead, the purpose of the centre is to connect researchers
from different fields that relate to diseases of the poor in a poverty context. The researchers at Karolinska Institutet excel in many of these areas, like public health, health
systems and epidemiology. By facilitating cooperation between them, we hope to find
synergy effects between these fields.
In my research group, we study malaria and specifically the molecules in the parasite
that makes us sick. Our goal is to develop a vaccine that can
prevent malaria infection as well as a drug that can cure the
disease. We have formed a company based on this research
and we expect results from our first clinical studies during
”Extensive international collaboration gives us unique clinical data”
Susanna Brighenti, PhD
Assistant Professor
Centre for Infectious Medicine,
Karolinska Institutet Huddinge
Photo: Bosse Johansson
Tuberculosis is a major health challenge in many poor countries and several local
outbreaks in Sweden have also increased national attention to this disease. About one
third of the world population carries a latent infection with the tuberculosis bacterium, which creates an enormous reservoir for the potential spread of infection and
disease. Thus, improved healthcare programmes, vaccines, diagnosis and treatment
would certainly have a positive effect on the of many people.
Our research group focuses on understanding more about the specific immune
responses induced during infection with tuberculosis, and how these are regulated
on a cellular level. The aim of our research is also to study how deficient immune
responses in chronic tuberculosis contribute to disease severity in tuberculosis/HIV
co-infection, since HIV infected individuals are highly susceptible to developing active
We have strong research collaborations primarily with Ethiopia and Bangladesh,
from where we obtain unique clinical materials from patients infected with tuberculosis and HIV. We also have a long tradition of educational
collaboration with these countries, and most of our students and
post docs are recruited from our collaborating institutions.
Steering Group for Global Health
Mats Wahlgren, Chairman, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology
Vinod Diwan, Professor and Director Centre of Global Health, Department of Public Health
Marie Arsenian Henriksson, Professor and Head of Department, Department of Microbiology,
Tumor and Cell Biology
Anders Björkman, Professor, Department of Medicine
Kristina Broliden, Professor, Department of Medicine
Sofia Carlsson, Associated Professor, Unit of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine
Birgitta Henriques-Normark, Professor, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology
Erik Ingelsson, Professor, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Akira Kaneko, Professor, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology
Lucie Laflamme, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Lars Lindqvist, Professor, Karolinska University Hospital, Department of Infectious diseases
Andreas Mårtensson, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Anders Sönnerborg, Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine
Taha Hirbod, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Research groups at KI with the global health agenda
Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset
Department of Dental Medicine
Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS)
Department of Environmental Medicine (IMM)
Department of Laboratory Medicine
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Department of Medicine, Huddinge
Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM)
Department of Medicine, Solna
Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC)
Department of Oncology-Pathology
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS)
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health
Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME)
Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control