Lars Larsson
Senior Investigator, Resident Member

Karolinska Institute

MD, PhD training initiated at Karolinska Institute 1972, PhD, Department of Physiology, 1978, Postdoc, Penn State Univ 1978 (fall), MD, 1982, Specialist in Clinical Neurophysiology, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, 1985, Associate Professor (Docent) Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Karolinska Institute, 1985-1997, Visiting scientist Padova University, 1985 (fall), Visiting scientist Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991/92, Marie Underhill Professor, Noll Physiological Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997-2002, Director, General Clinical Research Center, University Park, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997-2000, Interim Director, Noll Physiological Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, 2001-2002, Professor & Chair and Senior Consultant, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Uppsala University Hospital and Uppsala University, 2002-2012, Research Professor, Center for Developmental & Health Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, 2002-2008, Research Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, 2008-, Academic Chair, (Divisionsprefekt) Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, 2007-2012, International Affiliate, Center for Muscle Biology, Univ of Kentucky, Lexington, 2008-, Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, 2012-, Senior Consultant, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neurophysiology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Hospital, 2012-

The aim of my research is to have a detailed understanding of the mechanisms underlying the impaired muscle function and muscle wasting associated with aging and specific muscle diseases. Specific interest is focused on physiological and pathophysiological changes of the molecular motor protein myosin and a translational approach has been taken combining experimental animal models with clinical studies in patients and healthy control subjects. Since the mechanisms of muscle wasting and loss of function are specific to a particular condition, different conditions require different intervention strategies, while efficient and effective treatment requires knowledge of underlying mechanisms. In order to obtain detailed knowledge about mechanisms, a significant amount of work has been devoted to develop or modify methods to study regulation of muscle contraction at the motor protein and muscle cell levels, and 3D organization of myonuclei in single muscle fibers in short single muscle fiber segments obtained from humans with the percutaneous muscle biopsy technique or from different experimental animal models. These methods are used in parallel with state-of-the-art molecular biological, cellbiological, biochemical and morphological methods. I have been the leader of a “Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology Group” for more than three decades and worked in muscle physiology research for more than four decades. The research has primarily been supported by federal funding (Swedish Research Council, NIH (R01 and P01), EU, MDA, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), the Erling-Persson Foundation, the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, the Stockholm City Council, Penn State University, Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute and frequently conducted in collaboration with excellent research groups in Europe, USA, Australia and Japan. The research is presently focusing on: 1. Aging-related changes in muscle mass and function, sarcopenia, 2. The muscle paralysis and muscle wasting in critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients and the specific myopathies acquired in these patients, i.e., the Critical Illness Myopathy (CIM) and the Ventilator Induced Diaphragmatic Dysfunction (VIDD), and 3. Muscle signalling and interplay with other organs during long-term immobilization and mechanical ventilation.

Distinguished Scientist Award, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2017. Primary mentor for more than 20 graduate students who have successfully defended their PhD thesis at Karolinska Institute, Penn State University and Uppsala University. Primary mentor for 15 postdoctoral students and 4 postdocs are currently in my research group. Numerous undergraduate students have been mentored by Prof. Larsson for varying durations at Karolinska Hospital, Penn State University, Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute.