Claes Ohlsson

Professor/ Chief Physician

Institute of Medicine
Visiting address
Vita stråket 11, SU
413 45 Göteborg
Postal address
Vita stråket 11, SU
413 45 Göteborg

Avd-/Sektionschef, Inst

Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Visiting address
Vita stråket 11, SU
413 45 Göteborg
Postal address
Vita stråket 11, SU
413 45 Göteborg

About Claes Ohlsson

Claes Ohlsson is Professor (2000-) and Head of the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg. In addition, he is senior physician at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.


His research within the field of osteoporosis has a translational profile, combining cell and molecular biology with experimentation on animals and human tissues, as well as randomized clinical trials. His research is mainly focused on the hormonal regulation of bone growth and metabolism, and more recently, the genetics of bone mass and fractures. He has received several prestigious awards.

The following recent major findings are further evaluated in his ongoing research:

He has in translational studies identified a new mechanism for the regulation of cortical bone mass and fracture susceptibility. This finding opens up novel avenues for specific prevention or treatment of non-vertebral fractures, a significant and unmet medical need.(Nature Medicine 2014;20 (11):1279-88)

He demonstrated that the gut microbiota is a major regulator of bone mass and this finding opened up a completely new research field. This is a true translational project, starting with experimental studies of the skeleton of germ free mice and probiotic treated mice, followed by a large multicenter randomized clinical trial, demonstrating that probiotic modulation of the gut bacteria composition prevented postmenopausal bone loss in the spine (JBMR2012, 27:1357; Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2015 26:69; Lancet Rheumatology 2019 in press)

He has in collaborative studies characterized the genetics of osteoporosis and fracture susceptibility. (Nature2015, 526(7571):112; PLoS Genet 2010, Nov;6(11):e100121; Nature Genetics 2012, 44:491; PLoS Genet 2013, Feb;9(2):e1003247; BMJ 2018, 362:k3225; Nature Genetics 2019 in press)

He has identified a leptin-independent homeostatic regulation of body weight (“gravitostat”), depending on body weight sensing in rodents and he has recently in a translational human randomized clinical trial demonstrated that increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects. (PNAS2018, 115:427; Endocrinology 2018, 159:2676; Endocrinology 2019, 160:1057; Ohlsson et al manuscript).

Publications (PubMed)

Citations: 53.895 citations; h-index 101 (October 2019, google scholar)


Major National Awards

  • 1995, The ”Jubileums” award from the Swedish Society of Medicine
  • 1998, The Fernström award for Gothenburg
  • 2001, Selected by the Swedish Strategic Foundation (SSF) to be given the individual “INGVAR grant (1.1 million €)” for promising future research leaders, including an advanced training program in scientific leadership as a part of the “INGVAR Program”
  • 2016, “Wallenberg Clinical Scholar”. 15 MSEK, Selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. This grant is given to outstanding Swedish scientists within clinical research.

Major International Awards

  • 1994, According to Harvard Health letterpublished one of the ten most significant papers in the medical fieldduring 1994 (NEJM 1994, 331:889; 4991 citations)
  • 2006, The SalusAnsvar foundation/Folksam “Nordic prize in medicine for 2006”. (Now called Nordic Medicine Prize). It is one of the largest medical prizes in the Nordic countries. The prize is given for “particularly outstanding scientific achievement”. The research should involve medical problems that directly affect people's every-day life.
  • 2008, The European Journal of Endocrinology/European Society of Endocrinology prizeand prize lecture for “significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field of endocrinology”
  • 2017, The European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS), Mike Horton Award. This award is given to individuals who have made a significant basic or translational contribution to the field of bone and calcified tissue.
  • 2018, The main Anders Jahre ́s prize for the year 2018. The main Anders Jahre medical prize is awarded for excellent research in basic and clinical medicine in the Nordic region. The prize, which is awarded by the University of Oslo, is among the largest in the medicine field in the Nordic region (1 million NOK). Article - One of Nordic regions largest medical prizes awarded to Professor Claes Ohlsson
  • 2019, selected for the first individual “Distinguished Investigator Grant–within Endocrinology & Metabolism by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (14 million SEK).

Recent Key publications

1. Movérare-Skrtic S, Henning P, Liu X, Nagano K, Saito H, Börjesson AE, Sjögren K, Windahl SH, Farman H, Kindlund B, Engdahl C, Koskela A, Zhang FP, Eriksson EE, Zaman F, Hammarstedt A, Isaksson H, Bally M, Kassem A, Lindholm C, Sandberg O, Aspenberg P, Sävendah L, Feng JQ, Tuckermann J, Tuukkanen J, Poutanen M, Baron R, Lerner UH, Gori F, Ohlsson C 2014 Osteoblast-derived WNT16 represses osteoclastogenesis and prevents cortical bone fragility fractures Nature Medicine 2014 Nov;20(11):1279-88

2. Ohlsson C, Bygdell M, Sonden A, Rosengren A, Kindblom JM. Association between excessive BMI increase during puberty and risk of cardiovascular mortality in adult men: a population-based cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016; 4:1017-10243

3. Jansson JO, Palsdottir V, Hagg DA, Schele E, Dickson SL, Anesten F, Bake T, Montelius M, Bellman J, Johansson ME, Cone RD, Drucker DJ, Wu J, Aleksic B, Tornqvist AE, Sjogren K, Gustafsson JA, Windahl SH, Ohlsson C. Body weight homeostat that regulates fat mass independently of leptin in rats and mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 115:427-432

4. Sjögren K, Engdahl C, Henning P, Lerner UH, Tremaroli V, Lagerquist MK, Bäckhed F, Ohlsson C 2012, The Gut Microbiota Regulates Bone Mass in Mice J Bone Miner Res Jun;27(6):1357-67

5. Jansson PA, Curiac D, Lazou Ahrén I, Hansson F, Martinsson Niskanen T, Sjögren K, Ohlsson C. Probiotic treatment using a mix of three Lactobacillus strains protects against lumbar spine bone loss in postmenopausal women. Lancet Rheumatology 2019