Staffan Strömblad, Ph.D., Professor, Principal invest.


Staffan Strömblad, b. 1964, is professor of Clinical Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet since 2009 and has a long experience in biochemistry, molecular cell biology and cancer biology. Strömblad mentors postdocs and students in the group with the aim that each group member should get full use of their potential.
Strömblad is also the Coordinator of an EU-Network of Excellence in Systems microscopy, the vice director of the Karolinska Breast Cancer Theme Center.
Strömblad is the director of the Live Cell Imaging unit, at Karolinska Institutet, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition.
When not in the laboratory he enjoys the company of his family, books, and music; to spend time by the sea and to perform physical exercise.

John Lock, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow


Over the past 5 years, John has lead the conceptual and practical development of the Systems Microscopy research platform, which is designed to facilitate an imaging-based systems biology approach to the study of individual living cells. Utilizing extensive experimental automation, quantitative imaging, custom image analysis software and an expanding array of statistical data analysis and modeling tools, this project now encompasses the work of several PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, as well as academic and industry collaborations. This cutting-edge research platform is now applied to the systemic analysis of cell migration from the molecular to the cellular level, with capacity to rapidly interrogate individual molecular targets, functional molecular networking, spatiotemporally-resolved intra- and inter-cellular heterogeneity, and novel aspects of cellular self-organisation.
Away from the lab, John enjoys traveling, photography, music and just about any sport with a ball.

Xiaowei Gong, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow

Xiaowei received his Ph.D. in Pathophysiology from the First Military Medical University, China. His current project aims to investigate the effects of targeted gene knockdown of some selected core CMAC components on cell adhesion and migration, with a multiparametric analysis using PAD software. This will provide us a systematic overview that how a select cohort of genes affect cell adhesion and migration through their effects on CMACs. Then he will further expand the targeted gene knockdown study to a larger scale, with the same methodology.
Xiaowei enjoys travelling, playing football and staying with his family.

Ulrich Berge, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow

Ulrich joined the lab after obtaining his PhD in Natural Sciences at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. His project deals with the roles of RhoA and Rac1 in the regulation of motion state and motion state transitions. Moreover, he is currently developing software-tools for the Systems Microscopy subgroup. Apart from the lab, he uses his time to travel to weird places and he is successfully working on increasing Stockholm’s socializing index.

Uta Rabenhorst, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow


Uta obtained her PhD in biochemistry at the university of Frankfurt (Germany) and is working as a PostDoc in our group since September 2012. In her project, she is trying to shed some light on the topic of breast cancer cell plasticity and its regulation by the microenvironment. Furthermore, she is establishing a state of the art transplantation model of breast cancer in mice.
Outside of the lab, she enjoys good music, meeting people and is currently getting intrigued by nordic outdoor activities.

Matthias Spiess, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow

Miriam Masia-Balague, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow

Helene Olofsson, M.Sc., Laboratory manager

Helene graduated in Molecular Biology in 2001 at Stockholm University. When not taking care of the lab Helene likes to go hiking or boating in the nature, travel and spending her time with family and friends.

Sara Göransson, Ph.D. student

Hamdah Shafqat Abbasi, Ph.D. student

Tânia Costa, Ph.D. student

Tânia received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from University of Coimbra (Portugal). She initially joined the lab as an exchange student within the EU Erasmus Program. Currently, her PhD project aims to clarify the role of PAK4 in cancer progression using cell and animal models. In addition, the project will evaluate the suitability of PAK4 as a potential target for cancer therapy.
Tânia likes travelling, cinema and music.

Miao Zhao, Ph.D. student

Miao Zhao got her master degree in genetics from Northwest A & F University (China). Presently, Miao works on the development of PAK4 inhibitors and is investigating PAK4’s effect on pancreas development and pancreatic cancer. Outside work, Miao likes walking and travelling.

Parisa Rabieifar, Ph.D. student

Ting Zhuang, Ph.D. student


Ting (Tina) Zhuang graduated from Shandong University (China) in 2006 with a degree in clinical medicine. Her current research investigates the function of PAK4 in mammary gland development and breast cancer progression. To carry out these studies, Tina is using cell biology techniques, patient samples and mouse knockout models.
Tina likes travelling, reading, swimming.