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Hjalmar Brismar

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About me

Understanding Cellular Dynamics

Our research group investigates the fundamental physical principles that govern biological processes at the cellular level. We seek to understand the cell's complex energy landscape and how protein interactions contribute to integrated physiological functions and organismal diversity.

A central focus of our research is the Na,K-ATPase, a vital ion pump responsible for intracellular homeostasis. We have pioneered the field of Na,K-ATPase signaling, elucidating how the endogenous ligand ouabain triggers intracellular calcium oscillations. These signals have been demonstrated to play critical roles in cellular stress response, including protection against apoptosis in various pathological conditions.

Current projects explore topics such as the Na,K-ATPase catalytic subunit's allosteric regulation, interactions between Na,K-ATPase and IP3R, and functional oligomerization of the pump. Advanced imaging techniques are integral to our research methodology.

We are leaders in microscopy innovation, developing super-resolution and hyperfast volume imaging methods. Our group operates the national super-resolution microscopy infrastructure at the Science for Life Laboratory. Additionally, we coordinate the National Microscopy Infrastructure (NMI) and represent the Swedish node in EurobioImaging

Our team fosters a cross-disciplinary environment, with members from KTH and Karolinska Institutet. We integrate advanced light microscopy with cell and molecular biology approaches to advance our understanding of life's fundamental processes.

Interested in joining our team or collaborating? Contact me at


Short CV

1991          CivIng, Engineering Physics, KTH
1996          PhD, Engineering Physics, KTH
1996          Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biomedical Imaging Laboratory, Harvard University
1997          Assistant professor, Dept of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet
2002          Docent in Experimental Pediatrics, KI
2003-2012 Guest Professor, Dept of Women’s and Children’s Health, KI
2003-         Professor of Exp. Biological Physics, Dept of Applied Physics, KTH
2010-         Director for Cellular and Molecular Imaging Platform, Science for Life Laboratory

Supervised 15 PhDs, 8 Lic, and 48 M.Sc thesis.
Supervised 16 postdocs.

Awards and distinctions
2010      elected member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, (IVA)
2009-     member of the National committee for Molecular Biosciences, KVA (chair 2012-2017)
2007      SDA distinguished paper award
2002      Sven och Ebba-Christina Hagbergs prize in medicine


Basic Modeling in Biotechnology (SI1410), course responsible | Course web

Biomedicine for Engineers (FSK3532), examiner, course responsible | Course web

Cellular Biophysics (SK2535), examiner, course responsible, teacher | Course web

Degree Project in Applied Physics, Second Cycle (SK202X), examiner | Course web

Fundamental Physics I (SK1150), teacher | Course web