Professor, MD, epidemiologist
Research area: Osteoarthritis - from early disease mechanisms to the burden on individuals and society
I tend to divide my research into three categories:
1. Molecular processes in osteoarthritis and its various stages with the help of my biobank and advanced measuring instruments in the laboratory.
2. Structural changes that occur in the joint tissues and their possible connection to joint function and pain. These changes can be made visible with the help of various imaging techniques such as X-rays and MRIs, but also with highly specialized and unusual methods such as examinations using synchrotron radiation.
3. The impact of osteoarthritis on patients and society
What sparked your interest in research?
I was curious about research early on. Already after my high school years, I participated in what was then called "research school" at Lund University in the summer of 1992. During research school, I worked on a project about the bacteria lactobacillus and its benefits in the gastrointestinal tract. It was more or less fate that osteoarthritis became my main field of research later on in life. I was always interested in sports medicine and during my medical studies, I started a project on meniscus injuries which then led me to osteoarthritis research. I am now a full-time researcher and lead a research group of about 20 people.
Tell us about one of your ongoing research projects.
Since I'm working on a large number of different projects at the same time, it's difficult to choose one. One of the "main" projects I run is being in charge of all projects related to the biobank. In the biobank, we investigate early processes and molecules related to the disease, including in the meniscus, synovial fluid, and cartilage from the knee joint. It's a long-term investment that we have received funding for from the European Research Council. The project is run in collaboration with researchers from e.g. Finland and a number of doctoral students, postdoctoral and senior researchers are involved.
What breakthroughs do you hope for within your research area?
I hope for a breakthrough in the understanding of the mechanisms of disease in early osteoarthritis. If we can better understand the disease mechanisms, we should also be able to find new methods or treatments to prevent or slow down the disease early on.
What do you consider to be the most significant contribution you have made to your research area?
I would say the knowledge I have added about how common it is with a torn meniscus and the role the meniscus plays in the development of knee osteoarthritis.
What I prefer to do in my spare time: I enjoy spending time in my holiday house with family or working on some kind of building project.
A book or a film I would recommend: I recommend the series "Chernobyl" about the nuclear accident in Ukraine in 1986. I remember the event well from my childhood. Worth a watch!
Something that most people don't know about me: In the early 2000s, I worked as a diving medical officer in Norway for a few years, for a company that belonged to Statoil (now Equinor). I was an advisor for professional deep-sea diving in the oil and gas industry in the North Sea. I also worked with safety, research, and development within the field and provided knowledge of military diving and rescue missions underwater. This was in connection with the tragic sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk in the Arctic Ocean. I'm a scuba diver myself, although I don't dive very often nowadays.
The best thing about my job is: The exciting challenges and the flexibility that comes with my job, but above all the incredibly talented employees I have the privilege of working with!