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Four new postdoctoral positions within EpiHealth's Uppsala node


In November 2022, the EpiHealth Steering Group decided on four grants for postdoctoral positions over two years. Read about the Uppsala researchers who receive grants and what research they plan to conduct.

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Shafqat Ahmad.

Understanding cardiometabolic disease 

One of the grants goes to Dr Shafqat Ahmad, Researcher at the Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medical Sciences.

What is your research about?

– My research focuses on understanding cardiometabolic disease development. My research combines methods from the molecular and genetic epidemiology field including biochemistry, genomics, metabolomics, microbiota with relation to dietary and other lifestyle factors in large scale population-based studies to better understand the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes to improve disease prediction.

How do you plan to move forward with your research during these two years?

– The overall aim of this proposed project is to identify dietary meat-associated metabolomic and proteome biomarkers and study them in causal association with future cardiovascular disease risk using large scale epidemiological data. Through using large scale and deeply phenotyped data related to nuclear-magnetic resonance imaging-based metabolomics, Olink based proteome, genome-wide genotyping and validated dietary meat intake in relation to cardiocvascular disease risk, the current project has the key aspects of precision medicine, so, will likely leads to the identification of biomarkers that predict response to meat intake and has the potential to use in clinical practice in future.




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Miklos Lipcsey.

Aims to find genes and proteins

Another grant is awarded Miklos Lipcsey, Researcher at the Department of surgical sciences, whose research area is on severe infection diseases treated in intensive care.

For this specific project he is going to retrieve data from Epihealth and other registries and then perform genetic epidemiologic analysis to identify which inherited factors and which mechanisms lead to severe infections.

– In some patients, bacterial infections cause severe illness that in many cases can lead to death. This project will identify the mechanisms behind severe illness due to infections, using methods to find the genes and proteins involved. This new knowledge may help prevention and treatment of severe bacterial infections.


Eva Kosek.

A variety of research techniques 

Eva Kosek is a Professor at the Department of Surgical Sciences. She is a senior consultant at the Pain Center at Uppsala University Hospital and has been clinically active for most of her professional life. She has published more than 100 scientific articles as well as a large number of book chapters.

What is your research about?

– My research focuses on pathophysiological mechanisms in chronic musculoskeletal pain, with particular reference to central pain modulation and neuroinflammation in fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The research is hypothesis-driven and my research groups use a variety of techniques such as genetics, analysis of inflammatory substances in cerebrospinal fluid and blood, quantitative sensory testing and neuroimaging, says Eva Kosek.

How do you plan to proceed with your research during these two years?

– The incidence of chronic pain is high (10-40%) and is likely to increase in countries with an aging population. The aim of this project is to take advantage of the EpiHealth cohort to assess whether and how an interaction between genetic and environmental factors (exposome) contributes to the development of chronic pain. We intend to conduct a case-control study within the EpiHealth cohort to investigate whether an interaction between the genetic profile and the exposome is of potential relevance to the development of chronic localized and chronic widespread pain, respectively. Special focus will be on genetic factors," concludes Eva Kosek.

Emerald Heiland.

Preclinical markers of dementia

The fourth grant goes to Emerald Heiland, Postdoc in medical epidemiology at the Department of Surgical Sciences.

What is your research about?

– Understanding the preclinical markers of dementia can help with its diagnosis and early detection. Therefore, in my research, I want to investigate the underlying molecular pathways that lead to cognitive and physical disability in adults without dementia and what role physical activity plays," says Emerald Heiland.

How do you plan to proceed with your research during these two years?

– I plan to achieve these goals not only by using the EpiHealth cohort's biomarker data, but also through causal inference methods. I hope that this project will help to increase the understanding of the mechanisms behind early stages of dementia for future improvements in detection, diagnosis and prevention.