Non-coding RNAs in vascular biology and medicine

Non-coding RNAs in vascular biology and medicine

Lars Maegdefessel’s Molecular Vascular Medicine group at the Center for Molecular Medicine is focused on the therapeutic and biomarker potential of non-coding RNAs in vascular disease and its underlying (patho-)mechanisms, such as atherosclerosis, aneurysm formation, inflammation, and thrombosis. His research team utilizes unique human biobank material and various pre-clinical experimental models to unravel novel treatment and detection methods on a molecular basis to combat the burden of cardiovascular diseases. 

Major research focus

Tremendous efforts have been initiated to elucidate the molecular and pathophysiological characteristics of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which has developed into the most prominent factor of morbidity and mortality in our aging society. Despite these efforts to reduce the burden of CVD, the identification of the complex genetic and epigenetic regulatory circuit, as well as sufficient steering and intervention, remains a great challenge in basic cardiovascular research and everyday clinical practice. The traditional method of drug design and biomarker discovery, involving enzymes, cell surface receptors, and other proteins, has not really impacted the treatment and detection of CVD to a greater extent in the recent past, which is mainly due to the sensitive nature of the targeted system.

In this dismaying scenario, the discovery of an entirely new method of regulation and recognition by non-coding RNAs (e.g., microRNAs, lncRNAs) and their validation as markers and modulators of pathological conditions, provides new hope for innovative therapy and disease recognition approaches. The Molecular Vascular Medicine lab at Karolinska utilizes unique human biobank material (tissue and plasma) of different CVDs. Most recently the group is exploring the role of microRNAs and lncRNAs in stable and unstable atherosclerotic plaques (from patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis), aortic aneurysms (thoracic and abdominal), peripheral vascular occlusive disease (PVOD), in-stent restenosis (ISR), as well as transplantation and radiation vasculopathy. Candidate ncRNAs and their putative gene (mRNA) targets and proteins are profiled and detected through different transcriptomic (RNA sequencing, microarrays), proteomic, epigenomic and genetic analyses applications.

Discoveries from human profiling studies are extensively investigated in pre-clinical models of CVD, allowing the lab to better understand the physiological and pathological function and dysfunction of ncRNA modulation. In vitro studies are deployed for in-depth mechanistic studies in disease-relevant cell types and conditions.




If you would like to support this area of research

you could do that by using Swish transfer. 

Our Swish number is 123-245 79 76


Always state the name of group/team leader in order for us to allocate the gift properly. 

Or you can also use the following accounts:

BG: 628-4418
PG: 514114-8

Always state the name of group/team leader in order for us to allocate the gift properly. 

If you are outside of Sweden, please use the following information:

Bank: SEB, Stockholm, Sweden
Account No. 5201-11 370 12
Iban-number: SE16 5000 0000 0520 1113 7012
Bic-code (the bank´s electronic address): ESSESESS
Account holder: Center for Molecular Medicine Foundation
L8:05, Karolinska University Hospital
171 76 Stockholm, Sweden


Group leader

Lars Mägdefessel


Job title


BioClinicum J8:20



Bioinformatics, Cell, molecular and structural biology, Circulation and respiration, Genomics


Animal models, Cell culture, Image analysis, Immunohistochemistry, Microscopy, Omics