Portrait of me

Karin Gunnarsson


Om mig

PhD student since 2020, main supervisor Marie Holmqvist

Specialist in rheumatology since 2019, currently working clinically in the rheumatology section at Karolinska University Hospital


Since approximately 5 years I have had a special clinical interest in an uncommon rheumatic systemic disease called systemic sclerosis (SSc). This disease causes fibrosis in skin and inner organs and has among the highest mortality in all rheumatic diseases. I am now deepening my knowledge about SSc through PhD studies in the field.

One of the most common causes of death in SSc is cancer. In my PhD projects I want to learn more about the correlation between SSc and cancer using data from national and local patient registers. As the disease is uncommon we plan to expand the number of patients by collaborating with researchers in Norway and Lund. We also plan to learn more about the genetic changes in patients with SSc and cancer.

I believe that my projects will result in important knowledge about the risk factors for cancer in SSc patients which will help us to elaborate better cancer screening algorithms to be used when evaluating SSc patients. My ultimate goal is to help to reduce the high mortality and loss of quality of life currently afflicting SSc patients.