The ISBGroup Blog

The ISBGroup Blog

About the blog

Here you can read about everything that's happening in the ISB Group.

New student - Kajsa

NewsPosted by ISB Group Tue, September 11, 2018 11:28:30


My name is Kajsa and I just finished my bachelor at the engineering biology program. This autumn, and maybe the spring, I’m joining the research preparatory course. I´m also teaching in a beginners programming course at campus Valla, so I will spend some time there as well. In my spare time I like to stay active, which includes everything from movie nights to climbing Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekaise.

Here in the ISB group I will get the chance to continue with the project I was involved in during the bachelor. In the bachelor project we created a new liver model describing fatty acid conversion. Now, I will continue the work of the previous students Valentin Kindesjö, Thirza Poot and Johanna Fridberger to put together a model that describes fatty acid and glucose fluxes during the day and how it’s affected by different factors such as insulin and cortisol. My main focus will be at the fatty acid part and I will continue to work on my liver model as well as Valentin’s adipose- and cortisol module, which all will be parts of the bigger model.

I will also look at newly published data on body fat distribution in connection to diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. A future goal is to connect the data to our models and being able to describe how the fatty acid homeostasis is affected by stress factors such as disturbed cortisol levels and why this in some cases cause diseases. By doing this, we are getting closer to simulating clinical studies and predicting diseases.

New Student- Jonna

NewsPosted by ISB Group Thu, September 06, 2018 11:56:14


My name is Jonna and I am a Dutch student doing my internship at the ISB group. I will be staying in Sweden to work on this project for 3 months. Back home I am a master student in the Medical Engineering program of Eindhoven Universtity of Technology. This externship is the final part of my master studies.

Previously I have done most of my projects on bioinformatics/data analysis so I am very excited to learn more about the systems biology modeling techniques. This project is a great opportunity to gain more modeling experience. During my time here I will be working on modeling the liver.

In my free time I like to swim and explore the city/area a bit since I am new in town. I’ve spent many of my holidays in Scandinavia (mostly Sweden) so I am very happy to be living here for a few months. I have had a part-time job in a swimming pool where I received my first aid certificate, which I used my first morning in Linköping during helping a patient in the street after a traffic accident in the city center. So my time in Sweden started out quit hectic, hopefully that is not a precursor to how the coming months will be.

I am looking forward to meeting all group members and working on the project within the ISB group.

New Student - Anton

NewsPosted by ISB Group Wed, September 05, 2018 09:32:00


My name is Anton Tornerefelt, I’ve just finished my third year studying engineering biology.

Having recently finished my Bachelor’s project, which sparked my interest in systems biology and modeling, I was eager to continue working on this topic. Thankfully, I was granted the opportunity to work with the ISB group for almost a year. My work will be focused on the different effects of T-cell differentiation.

When I am not working, I enjoy wasting my time on watching movies and occasionally jogging.

I am looking forward to work and to bond with all colleagues here at the ISB-group!

New Student - Henrik

NewsPosted by ISB Group Wed, September 05, 2018 09:21:14

Hi, my name is Henrik, I’ve been accepted to the research preparation course (the internship).

The subject of the internship is not completely decided yet, but it will involve the connection between a brain function and the blood circulation.

Up until now I’ve finished my bachelor project and with that my 3rd year at the Engineering Biology program.

I am an active person and like to train, previously I’ve been doing sports (mainly swimming), and I spend a lot of my time at the gym.

I am looking forward to my time with the ISB group and am hoping for a fun and a instructive period.

AstraZeneca Award

NewsPosted by Elin Nyman Thu, February 08, 2018 12:19:19

Elin was recently awarded the prestigious AstraZeneca Science Award 2017 in the category Post-Doc. All the short-listed candidates was invited to the ceremoni with dinner at the Guildhall in the centre of the historic city of Cambridge. The top-right picture shows Elin being interviewed directly after the prize ceremony answering the typical question "how does it feel".

Second Swedish Diabetes Summit

EventsPosted by ISB Group Fri, December 01, 2017 15:11:07

Last week some of us (Gunnar, William, Christian, Fredrik and Thea) went to Gothenburg to attend the Second Swedish Diabetes Summit. It’s a summit bringing together basic and clinical research.

We had a good time listening to some really interesting presentations with topics varying from treatment of metabolic diseases to artificial intelligence in health and diabetes. Gunnar was chairman for the session of AI and he and William also presented a poster each.



NewsPosted by Markus Karlsson Sun, November 19, 2017 17:52:49
In october, I went to Barcelona to attend the annual meeting of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB). Gunnar also came for one day. I presented a poster about my work modelling liver function. I also presented a poster and gave a short "lightning talk" on behalf of Mikael Forsgren, who could not attend.


Karin nailed her thesis

NewsPosted by Karin Lundengård Thu, November 16, 2017 09:38:27
A couple of weeks before defending a thesis, it is common that the PhD student nails their thesis to a log in some of the common areas of the university. This is done to annouce that the student intends to defend their thesis and that anyone who wishes may read it and attend the defense to ask questions. The nailing is then celebrated with delicious cake.

I, Karin Lundengård, have now nailed my thesis ”Mechanistic Modelling - a BOLD Response to the fMRI Information Loss Problem” and I will defend it on the 30:th of November, 13.15 in Hugo Theorells sal (Northern Entrance, Floor 9). My opponent will be Kamil Uludag, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Anyone who wants to attend the defense is welcome.

The full thesis is available at the following link:

English abstract:
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a common technique for imaging brain activity in humans. However, the fMRI signal stems from local changes in oxygen level rather than from neuronal excitation. The change in oxygen level is referred to as the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) response, and is connected to neuronal excitation and the BOLD response are connected by the neurovascular coupling. The neurons affect the oxygen metabolism, blood volume and blood flow, and this in turn controls the shape of the BOLD response. This interplay is complex, and therefore fMRI analysis often relies on models. However, none of the previously existing models are based on the intracellular mechanisms of the neurovascular coupling. Systems biology is a relatively new field where mechanistic models are used to integrate data from many different parts of a system in order to holistically analyze and predict system properties. This thesis presents a new framework for analysis of fMRI data, based on mechanistic modelling of the neurovascular coupling, using systems biology methods.
Paper I presents the development of the first intracellular signaling model of the neurovascular coupling. Using models, a feed-forward and a feedback hypothesis are tested against each other. The resulting model can mechanistically explain both the initial dip, the main response and the post-peak undershoot of the BOLD response. It is also fitted to estimation data from the visual cortex and validated against variations in frequency and intensity of the stimulus. In Paper II, I present a framework for separating activity from noise by investigating the influence of the astrocytes on the blood vessels via release of vasoactive sub- stances, using observability analysis. This new method can recognize activity in both measured and simulated data, and separate differences in stimulus strength in simulated data. Paper III investigates the effects of the positive allosteric GABA modulator diazepam on working memory in healthy adults. Both positive and negative BOLD was measured during a working memory task, and activation in the cingulate cortex was negatively correlated to the plasma concentration of diazepam. In this area, the BOLD response had decreased below baseline in test subjects with >0.01 mg/L diazepam in the blood. Paper IV expands the model presented in Paper I with a GABA mechanism so that it can describe neuronal inhibition and the negative BOLD response. Sensitization of the GABA receptors by diazepam was added, which enabled the model to explain how changes to the BOLD response described in Paper III could occur without a change in the balance between the GABA and glutamate concentrations.
The framework presented herein may serve as the basis for a new method for identification of both brain activity and useful potential biomarkers for brain diseases and disorders, which will bring us a deeper understanding of the functioning of the human brain.

« PreviousNext »