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Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Jakob Wikström Group

Cutting edge translational research of common and rare skin disease


Associate Professor Jakob Wikström (M.D., Ph.D.) is a clinical dermatologist as well as basic researcher with a background in mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum biology and has a current research focus on several aspects of skin disease. Skin is the largest human organ and has a complex architecture and regulation. With our research – rooted within the fields of metabolism and cell biology – we perform translational research aimed at developing better understanding and treatment of common and rare skin disease. We use techniques such as advanced patient cell culture, primary human skin explant culture, confocal microscopy, metabolomics, extracellular flux analysis and RNA-sequencing. In particular, we focus on patient samples and perform bed-to-bench studies to decipher the underlying mechanisms.

Research Projects

Wound healing

Chronic leg ulcers cause great suffering in the elderly and consume 2 % of the health care budget; yet the wound healing process is incompletely understood and today´s treatments are often inadequate. We focus on understanding the wound healing process from a metabolic and cell biology perspective.

Metabolism in skin wound healing: In this project we use mass spectrometry based metabolomics to study how metabolism changes in wound healing and examine if targeting metabolism is a viable approach to enhancing human wound healing.

Mitochondria in skin wound healing: In this project we use several molecular biology methods to study a certain mitochondrial gene found to be altered in clinical wound samples and how this gene impacts normal and impaired human wound healing as well as normal skin homeostasis.


Psoriasisis a severe inflammatory common skin condition that affects both the skin as well as other organs. While there has been recent significant therapeutic advances, metabolic aspects of the disease is largely unexplored.

Metabolism in psoriasis: In this project we use mass spectrometry based metabolomics and proteomics to study a large amount of patient biopsies to characterize the metabolic changes occurring in psoriasis. We use in vitro and in vivo disease models to decipher the role of altered metabolites and proteins in psoriasis pathophysiology.

Rare skin disease

There are many rare skin diseases and most of them lack targeted efficient therapies. Our focus is on two rare calcium related skin diseases. Darier disease is a genetic skin condition caused by mutations in the ATP2A2 gene that encodes for the endoplasmic reticulum calcium pump SERCA2. Hailey-Hailey disease is in turn caused by mutations in the ATP2C1 gene that encodes SPCA1, a golgi calcium/manganese pump.

Novel treatments for Darier disease: In this project we use in vitro screening approaches to identify novel treatments. Our aim is to identify novel compounds and take them all the way to clinical trials.

Clinical trial for Darier disease: We have identified a drug that we will test in a clinical trial on Darier disease patients. This will be the first randomized controlled trial ever on Darier disease.

Co-morbidities or Darier disease: In collaboration with epidemiologist Martin Cederlöf we perform clinical cohort studies and patient registry research to identify medical conditions associated with Darier disease. We have proposed that Darier disease in fact is a systemic condition not just confined to the skin.

Shark skin physiology

Research on elasmobranchs in general, and sharks in particular, is dominated by conservation efforts for natural reasons however these fascinating creatures have a molecular biology worthy of discovery even though the experiments are more challenging than for common bony fish. Shark skin has unique properties such as its teeth like denticles and is particularly interesting. We are in a very exciting collaboration with the Marine Biology Laboratory (Woods Hole, US) studying shark skin physiology from several angles.

Group Leader

Jakob Wikström, associate professor, MD, PhD, jakob.wikstrom@ki.se

Education and degrees

2020 Associate professor / docent in Dermato-Venereology

2019 UEMS European Board of Dermatovenereology Diploma (EBDVD)

2018 Specialist Dermato-Venereology, The National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden

2010-2013 Postdoctoral fellowship, Dep. of Endocrinology, Hebrew University

2010 PhD, Dep. Physiology, Stockholm University / Dep. Medicine Boston University

2007 Medical License, The National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden

2005 MD, Uppsala University, Sweden

1999-2000, Army ranger, platoon commander, Swedish Defense Forces

Group members

Etty Bachar-Wikström, senior researcher, PhD, ester.bachar-wikstrom@ki.se

Matthew Hunt, postdoc, PhD, matthew.hunt.2@ki.se

Ritu Bansal, postdoc, PhD, ritu.bansal@ki.se

Nuoqi Wang, PhD student, nuoqi.wang@ki.se

Monica Torres, MD/PhD student, monica.torres@ki.se

William Jebril, MD/PhD student, william.jebril@ki.se

Shannon Hinch, visiting master student, shannon.hinch@student.unamur.be


Mansi Manchanda

Philip Curman

Farydah Inoussa

Maria Chatzinikolaou



Swedish Science Council

Swedish Society for Medical Research

Leo foundation, Region Stockholm

Jeanssons stiftelse, Wallenberg foundation

Tore Nilssons Stiftelse

Prizes and awards

2016, Jakob Wikström receives the G.B Morgagni award in diabetes research, University of Padua, Italy

PhD theses from the lab

Philip Curman “Darier disease: more than skin deep”


We are always looking for highly motivated scientists interested in joining our group. We are also searching for patients with Darier disease or the related condition Hailey-Hailey disease as well as healthy volunteers that can donate small skin biopsies for wound healing studies.

Email: jakob.wikstrom@ki.se

Cell phone: 073-9611019

Selected publications

Metabolic reprogramming and reliance in human skin wound healing. Manchanda M, Torres M, Inuossa F, Bansal R, Kumar R, Hunt M, Wheelock CE, Bachar-Wikstrom E, Wikstrom JD.  J Invest Dermatol. 2023 Apr 13:S0022-202X(23)01975-9.

Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) activity is required for V(D)J recombination. Chen CC, Chen BR, Wang Y, Curman P, Beilinson HA, Brecht RM, Liu CC, Farrell RJ, de Juan-Sanz J, Charbonnier LM, Kajimura S, Ryan TA, Schatz DG, Chatila TA, Wikstrom JD, Tyler JK, Sleckman BP.  J Exp Med. 2021 Aug 2;218(8):e20201708.

Endoplasmic reticulum stress in human chronic wound healing: Rescue by 4-phenylbutyrate. Bachar-Wikstrom E, Manchanda M, Bansal R, Karlsson M, Kelly-Pettersson P, Sköldenberg O, Wikstrom JD. Int Wound J. 2021 Feb;18(1):49-61.

​Patients with Darier Disease Exhibit Cognitive Impairment while Patients with Hailey-Hailey Disease Do Not: An Experimental, Matched Case-control Study. ​Curman P, Bern J, Sand L, Cederlöf M, Bachar-Wikström E, Wikström JD. Acta Derm Venereol. 2021 Jun 22;101(6):adv00476.

Mitochondrial Proton Leak Regulated by Cyclophilin D Elevates Insulin Secretion in Islets at Nonstimulatory Glucose Levels. Taddeo EP, Alsabeeh N, Baghdasarian S, Wikstrom JD, Ritou E, Sereda S, Erion K, Li J, Stiles L, Abdulla M, Swanson Z, Wilhelm JJ, Bellin MD, Kibbey RG, Liesa M, Shirihai OS. Diabetes. 2020 Feb;69(2):131-145.

Darier disease is associated with heart failure: a cross-sectional case-control and population based study. Bachar-Wikstrom E, Curman P, Ahanian T, Leong IUS, Larsson H, Cederlöf M, Wikstrom JD.  Scientific Reports 2020 Apr 23;10(1):6886.

Darier disease is associated with type 1 diabetes: Findings from a population-based cohort study. Cederlöf M, Curman P, Ahanian T, Leong IUS, Brismar K, Bachar-Wikstrom E, Wikstrom JD. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Dec;81(6):1425-1426.

The association between obesity and hyperhidrosis: A nationwide, cross-sectional study of 2.77 million Israeli adolescents. Astman N, Friedberg I, Wikstrom JD, Derazne E, Pinhas-Hamiel O, Afek A, Freireich-Astman M, Barzilai A, Bader T, Twig G. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Aug;81(2):624-627.

Mitochondria Bound to Lipid Droplets Have Unique Bioenergetics, Composition, and Dynamics that Support Lipid Droplet Expansion. Benador IY, Veliova M, Mahdaviani K, Petcherski A, Wikstrom JD, Assali EA, Acín-Pérez R, Shum M, Oliveira MF, Cinti S, Sztalryd C, Barshop WD, Wohlschlegel JA, Corkey BE, Liesa M, Shirihai OS. Cell Metab. 2018 Apr 3;27(4):869-885.e6.

Autophagy is a major regulator of beta cell insulin homeostasis. Riahi Y, Wikstrom JD, Bachar-Wikstrom E, Polin N, Zucker H, Lee MS, Quan W, Haataja L, Liu M, Arvan P, Cerasi E, Leibowitz G. Diabetologia. 2016 Jul;59(7):1480-1491.

Hormone-induced mitochondrial fission is utilized by brown adipocytes as an amplification pathway for energy expenditure. Wikstrom JD, Mahdaviani K, Liesa M, Sereda SB, Si Y, Las G, Twig G, Petrovic N, Zingaretti C, Graham A, Cinti S, Corkey BE, Cannon B, Nedergaard J, Shirihai OS. EMBO J. 2014 Mar 3;33(5):418-36

Full publication list can be found here.

About CMM

The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) is a foundation instituted by the Stockholm County Council (Region Stockholm). CMM is at the heart of a close partnership with the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, fueling advancements in biomedical and clinical research.


Center for Molecular Medicine Foundation, org. nr. 815201-3689

Karolinska University Hospital L8:05

Visionsgatan 18

171 76 Stockholm, Sweden


Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset