Eric Herlenius Group
Development of autonomic control
Immature or deficient autonomic control is a common problem in infants born at a premature age and is of central importance in apneas, secondary hypoxic brain damage and sudden infant death syndrome.
For better understanding of disturbances in respiratory control we study early development of cardiorespiratory control, brainstem neural networks and it’s associations with normal and pathological breathing. The conceptual change introduced by our recent data that endogenous prostaglandins are central pathogenic factors in respiratory disorders and the hypoxic response, open new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues that should significantly better the diagnostics and treatment of newborns and adult patients.
Inflammation is a major culprit in breathing disorders and we hypothesize that by using a newly developed urinary prostaglandin biomarker we can screen, detect and protect against inflammation related breathing disorders.
Our collaborative efforts enable us to move from a clinical problem to molecular understanding of the disease and studies are performed in patients, animal & in vitro models.
Our research is focused on the development of autonomic control with normal and paediatric patients as the target. Autonomic dysfunction in breathing and circulatory control often has its origin in neurodevelopment disorders. Furthermore, our basic research in developmental neuroscience how neural activity and stem cells form activity dependent networks is vital for the development of therapeutic interventions.
Eric Herlenius studied medicine at Karolinska Institutet where he also defended his PhD thesis in developmental neuroscience 1998. He subsequently joined Profs Iku Homma and Evan Snyder for postdoc at Showa University, Tokyo and Children’s Hospital, Harvard medical school, Boston respectively, to study activity dependent development and plasticity of functional neural networks. He then specialized in Pediatrics and continued investigations regarding perinatal development of autonomic control. He is a Physician-scientist focused on translational medicine, combining basic mechanistic and patient research to develop novel methods to screen, detect and protect against inflammation related breathing disorders.
Current positions and commitments
- Professor of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institutet
- Senior Consultant in Pediatrics, Astrid Lindgren´s Children´s Hospital
- Chair Research & Development and education for Pediatric Emergency and Infectious disease, Karolinska University Hospital
- Head, Perinatology course Medical Students, KI
- Head DeepNEWS – Deep machine learning based Novel Early Warning System. KI-K-KTH