New postdoc fellow joins KI group to develop medicinal chemistry work on candidate compounds

Michael Saleeb obtained a PhD in Organic Chemistry at Umeå University in Sweden in September 2018, under the direction of Prof. Mikael Elofsson. His PhD thesis was focused on the identification of novel antibacterial compounds against Chlamydia trachomatis & Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. During his PhD, Michael developed expertise in chemical synthesis including C-C and C-X metal-catalyzed cross coupling, C-H insertion reactions, various heterocyclic and polyphenol syntheses. Michael  joins our KI team to develop medicinal chemistry approaches to modify and improve on candidate small molecules capable of modulating the activities of various receptors, including our recently discovered compounds targeting p75NTR, based on our article in Cell Chemical Biology.  

New postdoc fellow joins KI group to identify small molecules targeting p75NTR

Qiang Zhang obtained his  PhD at the Karolinska Institute in 2018, under the direction of Prof. Klas Wiman. His PhD thesis was entitled “Understanding p53 structure and targeting mutant p53 for improved cancer therapy”. Qiang joins our KI team to work on the identification of small molecules capable of modulating the activities of the p75 neurotrophic receptor p75NTR, based on the platform described in our recent article in Cell Chemical Biology.  

New postdoc fellow joins KI group

Ana Osorio Oliveira obtained her PhD at the Gladstone Institute, University of California San  Francisco , USA, in 2015, under the direction of Profs. Paul Muchowski and Steven Finkbeiner. She performed postdoctoral studies at Stanford University under the direction of Dr. Xinnan Wang. Ana joins our KI team to work on studies of neurotrophic factor signaling and function in the adult nervous system. 

New postdoc fellow joins KI group to study roles of p75NTR signaling in neuron survival and differentiation

Shounak Baksi obtained his PhD at the University of Calcutta, India, in September 2009. His thesis work focused on studies of alterations in Growth Factor Receptor Protein Binding Protein 2 (Grb2) signaling in Huntington’s disease cell model. His postdoctoral studies in Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, under the direction of Dr. Neena Singh,  focused on the role of Parkinson’s disease protein alpha synuclein in retinal and brain iron homeostasis. Shounak established the role of alpha synuclein in the process of transferrin receptor endocytosis. Shounak joins the KI team to pursue studies of p75 signaling mutant mice.

New lab technician joins KI group to help with histology and imaging

Wei Wang has a BSc in Public Health from Medical College of Southeast University, Nanjing, China, and a MSc in Environmental Toxicology from Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. She has worked as Assistant Researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. She joins our group to assist with histological methods and imaging of tissue samples from our mouse models.

Two new postdoc fellows join KI group to study roles of growth factor receptors in neuron differentiation, survival and function

Favio Krapacher obtained his PhD at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, in December 2013. His thesis work focused on studies of p35 transgenic mice as a model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and included a series of behavioral, pharmacological and biochemical studies. Favio joins the KI team to study the role of Alk4 signaling in controlling the differentiation and migration of specific subtypes of forebrain GABAergic interneurons.

Nuria Gresa-Arribas obtained her PhD at the Universiy of Barcelona, Spain, in 2011. Her thesis examined the neurotoxic role of pro-inflammatory microglial cells and the role of C/EBPs transcription factors. She later worked as postdoctoral fellow under the direction of Dr. Josep Dalmau at the same university for studies of autoimmune neurologic diseases associated with antibodies to neuronal cell surface or synaptic proteins. Nuria will join the KI team in November to pursue studies of p75 signaling mutant mice.

Research Assistant joins KI group to help with mouse genotyping

Petronella Johansson trained at Kristianstad Highschool and subsequently pursued doctoral studies at the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, where she obtained a PhD in 2014. Petronella joins our group to help with mouse breeding and genotyping, as well as molecular techniques and admin duties.

Carlos Ibanez Lab wins consecutive Advanced Grant from the European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that Carlos Ibanez is among the winners of the 2013 Advanced Grant competition. At 2.5 million Euros –for a 5 year project– the ERC Advanced Grant has become one of the most prestigious research awards in Europe. In this round, a total of 284 researchers were awarded from over 2,400 applicants, a success rate of 11.8%.

Two new postdoc fellows to join KI group

Lilian Kisiswa obtained a PhD in 2011 in Visual Neursocience at Cardiff University, UK, under the direction of Prof. James E Morgan. Her PhD thesis was entitled “The role of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAPs) in retinal ganglion cell death and dendrite remodelling“. She then did postdoctoral studies at the Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, under the direction of Prof. Alun M Davies. Her postdoctoral work on reverse signaling by TNF ligands was recently published in Nature Neuroscience. Lilian will join the Stockholm p75 team in August 2013 to investigate the interplay between RIP2 and RhoGDI in the control of axon growth and degeneration by p75NTR and its ligands.

Diana Fernandez Suarez obtained her PhD in 2012 at the Center for Applied Medical Research University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, under the direction of Drs.Rafael Franco and Maria Soledad Aymerich. Her PhD thesis was dedicated to anatomical and funcitonal studies of the globus pallidus after manipulation of the endocanabinoid system in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. She performed postdoctoral work at the same laboratory during the past year. Diana will join the KI GDNF team in August 2013 to investigate adult functions of GFRa1 signaling in the healthy and diseased brain.

Carlos Ibanez appointed as Wallenberg Scholar

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has today appointed Carlos Ibanez as a Wallenberg Scholar. The award includes a research grant of 15 million Swedish crowns over 5 years. Quote from the Foundation’s website: “The Foundation’s purpose is to support Swedish research and thereby strengthen Sweden as a research nation. Since 2009, we have appointed a total of 46 Wallenberg Scholars. The appointed researchers all belong to the international research forefornt in all areas of science, with an emphasis on medicine and the natural sciences, says Peter Wallenberg Jr., vice chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.” Read the text of the announcement (in Swedish) HERE and press release from Karolinska Institute HERE.

Thesis nailing

PhD student Carolyn Marks nailed her thesis at the KI library this week. Tradition obliges, and the golden nail went into the wooden slab one more time.

The event marks the final count-down for her thesis defense, to take place on December 7. Attracted by the prospect of champagne and refreshments, fellow lab mates joined in for the occassion.

Photograph by postdoc fellow Tingqing Guo.

Carlos Ibanez starts new laboratory at the Life Sciences Institute of the National University of Singapore

Starting in the Fall of 2012, a new laboratory dedicated to neurotrophic factor research will be established at the Life Sciences Institute (Neurobiology Programme) of the National University of Singapore. The research actitivies of the NUS lab will run in parallel to and complement with those ongoing at the KI lab. The initial focus of the NUS group will be on genetic studies of death receptor signaling and physiology, as well as the identification of novel, mechanism-based receptor inhibitors. Follow developments in the NUS lab at

PhD student Carolyn Marks to defend doctoral thesis in December

PhD student Carolyn Marks is set to defend her thesis, entitled “Regulatory mechanisms in olfactory system assembly and function”, on December 7, 2012. Her external examiner will be Professor Charles Greer from Yale University. Faculty members in the thesis committee will be Professors Ole Kiehn (KI), Jonas Muhr (KI), Tibor Harkany (KI) and Anders Lansner (KTH). Watch this space for updates on thesis nailing and other rituals.

New postdoc fellow to join metabolism team for islet biology work with Alk7 and Alk4 mutant mice

Karima Mezghenna obtained a PhD in Biology and Health Sciences at Montpellier 1 University under the direction of Prof. Anne-Dominique Lajoix with the title “Role of pancreatic and muscular neuronal NO synthases in the pathogenesis of prediabetic states”. Her work focused on unraveling compensatory mechanisms involved in insulin hypersecretion in insulin resistant rats with a special interest in the nitric oxide pathway. Karima will be joining our metabolism team in October to study the role of activin signaling through Alk7 and Alk4 in islet biology and the control of glucose homeostasis.

New postdoc fellow to join p75 team for in vivo work with mutant mice

Claire Kelly obtained her PhD earlier this year at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, UK. Her work, conducted under the direction of Dr. Vasso Episkopou, focused on the role of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Arkadia2C in motor neuron development in the mouse. Claire will be joining our p75 team in October to study the phenotypes of p75 mutant mice.


Sabbatical in Singapore

Carlos Ibanez and Annalena Moliner are heading to Singapore on December 18 for a 5-month sabbatical until May 2011. They will be hosted by Dr. Bing Lim of the Genome Institute of Singapore and Dr. Sai Kiang Lim of the Institute of Medical Biology, located at the Biopolis campus run by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore’s lead government agency dedicated to fostering world-class scientific research. They will be working on several of our ongoing collaborative projects with these groups, applying advanced functional genomics and stem cell biology methods to study pancreatic islet development and function in cells and tissue derived from mouse mutants generated at the laboratory.

Thesis nailing

PhD student Maurice Parrinjaquet nailed his thesis at the KI library. Traditional hammer in hand, Maurice hammered the golden nail on the wooden slab from which all recent theses of the institute hang unassumingly.

The emotive event marked the start of the final count-down for his thesis defense, to take place on December 16. Attracted by the prospect of champagne and refreshments, fellow lab mates joined in for the occassion.

Photograph by postdoc fellow Tingqing Guo.

New lab technician joins forces to help us with mice, genotyping

Annika Andersson studied cell and molecular biology at Sodertorn Highschool. She did her exam project at Karolinska Institutet. She has worked as lab technician at AstraZeneca R&D, Sodertalje, since 2002.

PhD student Maurice Perrinjaquet to defend his thesis in December

PhD student Maurice Perrinjaquet is set to defend his thesis, entitled “Control of neuronal survival, migration and outgrowth by GDNF and its receptors”, on December 16, 2010. His external examiner will be Professor Rosalind Segal from Harvard Medical School. Faculty members of his thesis committee will be Professors Piergiorgio Percipalle (KI), Ulf Eriksson (KI) and Finn Hallbook (Uppsala University). Watch this space for more information.

New postdoc fellow to join our metabolism team in 2011

Patricia Marmol obtained her PhD in November 2009 at the Department of Molecular Biology (Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa) of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. During her thesis, Patricia studied the role of the mitochondrial aspartate-glutamate carrier (AGC1/Aralar/SLC25A12), the key member of the malate-aspartate shuttle, in glucose metabolism in the INS-1 beta cell line and in transgenic AGC1 mutant mice.

Two new postdoc fellows to join GDNF team in the Fall

Maritina Sergaki obtained a PhD in molecular and cellular neurobiology in June 2009 at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in Athens, Greece, under the direction of Prof. Rebecca Matsas. During her PhD, Maritina generated and characterized a mouse mutant for the neuronal protein BM88, also called Cend1. She discovered morphological abnormalities in the cerebellum of the mutants as well as motor deficits. Since her PhD, Maritina has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens under the direction of Prof. Irini Skaliora. Her project aimed at elucidating differential roles of ERK1 and ERK2 kinases in synaptic plasticity.

Miriam Schiff completed her PhD thesis in neuroscience in April 2010 at the Dept. of Cellular Chemistry, Hannover Medical School, Germany, under the direction of Prof. Herbert Hildebrandt. During her thesis, entitled “Development of the dopaminergic system and the reticular thalamic nucleus in polysialic acid-deficient mice“, Miriam investigated the development of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and the formation of thalamocortical and corticothalamic projections as well as the reticular thalamic nucleus in a mutant mouse lacking the two known polysialic acid synthases STX and PST.

New postdoc fellow to join ALK7 team

With a PhD from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell biology and a successful postdoc tenure at the lab of Alexandra McPherron at NIDDK, NIH, Tingqing Guo will be joining our group after the summer. His work at the McPherron lab focused on the role of myostatin in insulin sensitivity and fat deposition.

New lab member on its way

Annalisa Vicario is to join our group on May 2010. Annalisa defended her thesis in the group of Enrico Tongiorgi at University of Trieste, Italy. Her thesis work was on mechanisms controlling BDNF mRNA localization and regulation of protein expression. She will join our p75ntr team as a postdoc fellow. We look forward to have her in our group.