Göran Bergström

Professor/ Chief Physician

Institute of
Visiting address
Wallenberglab, Bruna stråket 16, SU/S
41345 Göteborg
Postal address
Wallenberglab, Bruna stråket 16, SU/S
41345 Göteborg

Avd-/Sektionschef, bitr, inst

Department of Molecular and Clinical
Visiting address
Wallenberglab, Bruna stråket 16, SU/S
41345 Göteborg
Postal address
Wallenberglab, Bruna stråket 16, SU/S
41345 Göteborg

About Göran Bergström

Professor, Principal Investigator Göran Bergström is head of the Physiology Group at Wallenberg Laboratory and senior consultant in clinical physiology at the Vascular Diagnostic Unit, Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is chair of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS), which aims to recruit and extensively phenotype 30,000 subjects aged 50-64 years at six Swedish university hospitals. The ultimate goal of SCAPIS is to reduce mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and related metabolic disorders.

Read more about SCAPIS here

Main research

Cardiopulmonary diseases are responsible for a large number of deaths worldwide, and currently recommended methods of prevention and treatment may be outdated because of recent changes in risk factor patterns. Göran Bergström is chair of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS), which will extensively characterize 30,000 men and women aged 50-64 years to obtain relevant information that will improve our understanding of these diseases. SCAPIS builds on the tradition of earlier large population studies but offers the advantage of combining size with state-of-the-art imaging technologies, large-scale omics, and epidemiological analyses. A comprehensive pilot study in Gothenburg was completed in 2012 and recruitment to the nationwide study has recently started. Our group is also actively involved in four other major population and biobank studies:

  • AIR
  • DIWA

Atherosclerosis and Insulin Resistance (AIR)

The aim of the Atherosclerosis and Insulin Resistance study (AIR) is to investigate the development of atherosclerosis in men with different degrees of insulin resistance. Study population and examinations A random selection of 58-year old, cardiovascular healthy, caucasian men from the general population were divided into quintiles of a body mass index/blood glucose score that was shown to be a valid and reproducible index of the degree of insulin sensitivity as assessed by the clamp technique (Agevall, Stroke, 1995). All subjects in quintiles 1 and 5 and every fifth subject in quintiles 2 through 4 were included in a detailed longitudinal study (n=391). Baseline examination was performed between 1995-1997 and follow-up examinations in 1999-2001 (mean follow-up 3.2 years) and in 2004-2007 (mean follow-up 6.5 years). Examinations included physical examination and ultrasound of carotid arteries, blood sampling and a detailed questionnaire.


Diabetes and Impaired glucose tolerance in Women and Atherosclerosis development study The aim of the DIWA-study is to investigate the development of atherosclerosis in women with different degrees of glucose control.

Study population and examinations
All 64-year old women in the county of Gothenburg were invited to a screening examination including an OGTT. Glucose tolerance was defined for each participant according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Patients were divided in three sub-groups according to metabolic status and a randomized sample of patients were recruited from each group for a longitudinal follow-up study: diabetes mellitus (n = 220), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT, n = 204) or normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n = 188). Baseline examination was performed between 2002-2004 and follow-up examination in 2007-2009 (mean follow-up 5.5 years).


The Göteborg and Umeå Vascular study group (GUVASC) was previously known as Gothenburg Atheroma Study Group (GASG). The aim of the group is to carry out studies on the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms. Activities within the GUVASC collaborations is handled by a steering committee and by yearly meetings with a study group consisting of collaborators from vascular surgery, neurology, clinical physiology, Wallenberg laboratory and Astrazeneca. Link to the GUVASC Rules (opens in a new window)

Study population and examinations
The study sample collected between 2003-2009 consist of symptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques obtained from carotid endarterectomies performed at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Göteborg, Sweden). Criteria qualifying for surgery were minor ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or amaurosis fugax and a high-grade carotid stenosis (≧70% determined with the European Carotid Surgery Trial method). In 2010 the study group was expanded and symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid endarterectomies were also collected from University Hospital of Umeå (Dr Per Wester and Dr Conny Arnerlöv). A further expansion in 2010 led to inclusion of serum and plasma samples taken from patients with newly diagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).

GUVASC Publications

  • Koren O, Spor A, Felin J, Fåk F, Stombaugh J, Tremaroli V, Behre CJ, Knight R, Fagerberg B, Ley RE, Bäckhed F. Human oral, gut, and plaque microbiota in patients with atherosclerosis. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011383107 (2010)
  • Olson FJ, Sihlbom C, Davidsson P, Hulthe J, Fagerberg B, Bergström G. Consistent differences in protein distribution along the longitudinal axis in symptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.09.103. (2010)
  • Hultén LM, Olson FJ, Aberg H, Carlsson J, Karlström L, Borén J, Fagerberg B, Wiklund O. 15-Lipoxygenase-2 is expressed in macrophages in human carotid plaques and regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha. Eur J Clin Invest. 40(1):11-7. (2010)
  • Fagerberg B, Ryndel M, Kjelldahl J, Akyürek LM, Rosengren L, Karlström L, Bergström G, Olson FJ. Differences in lesion severity and cellular composition between in vivo assessed upstream and downstream sides of human symptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques. J Vasc Res. 47(3):221-30. (2010)
  • Olson FJ, Thurison T, Ryndel M, Høyer-Hansen G, Fagerberg B. Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor forms in plasma as markers of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. Clin Biochem. 43(1-2):124-30. (2010)
  • Asplund A, Stillemark-Billton P, Larsson E, Rydberg EK, Moses J, Hultén LM, Fagerberg B, Camejo G, Bondjers G. Hypoxic regulation of secreted proteoglycans in macrophages. Glycobiology. 20(1):33-402. (2010)
  • Gummesson A, Hagg D, Olson FJ, Hulthe J, Carlsson LM, Fagerberg B. Adipose tissue is not an important source for matrix metalloproteinase-9 in the circulation. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 69(6):636-42. (2009)
  • Hägg DA, Olson FJ, Kjelldahl J, Jernås M, Thelle DS, Carlsson LM, Fagerberg B, Svensson PA. Expression of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 18 in human macrophages and atherosclerotic plaques. Atherosclerosis. 204(2):e15-20. (2009)
  • Svensson PA, Olson FJ, Hägg DA, Ryndel M, Wiklund O, Karlström L, Hulthe J, Carlsson LM, Fagerberg B. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor is associated with macrophages and plaque rupture in symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis. Int J Mol Med. 22(4):459-64. (2008)
  • Hägg DA, Jernås M, Wiklund O, Thelle DS, Fagerberg B, Eriksson P, Hamsten A, Olsson B, Carlsson B, Carlsson LM, Svensson PA. Expression profiling of macrophages from subjects with atherosclerosis to identify novel susceptibility genes. Int J Mol Med. 21(6):697-704. (2008)
  • Svensson PA, Englund MC, Snäckestrand MS, Hägg DA, Ohlsson BG, Stemme V, Mattsson-Hulten L, Thelle DS, Fagerberg B, Wiklund O, Carlsson LM, Carlsson B. Angiotensin type 2 receptor is expressed in human atherosclerotic lesions. x. J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst. 9(1):17-21. (2008)
  • Svensson PA, Englund MC, Snäckestrand MS, Hägg DA, Ohlsson BG, Stemme V, Mattsson-Hulten L, Thelle DS, Fagerberg B, Wiklund O, Carlsson LM, Carlsson B. Regulation and splicing of scavenger receptor class B type I in human macrophages and atherosclerotic plaques. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 5:25. (2005)


The aim of the Western Region Initiative to Gather Information on Atherosclerosis (WINGA) is to study the development of symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis in men and women.

Study population and examinations
The WINGA-study-population is under recruitment and consists of a number of sub-studies recruiting populations from the large WINGA-population. The large WINGA population consists of digital patient records of all patients undergoing clinical, diagnostic carotid ultrasound examinations within the Greater Gothenburg region in western Sweden. The Greater Gothenburg region consists of 9 municipalities with a total of 755.457 inhabitants (2009) and its need for carotid ultrasound diagnostics are exclusively served by three diagnostic centers at three different hospitals within and around the city. Current local stroke guidelines state that all acute minor strokes/TIA with suspected carotid involvement should undergo carotid vascular diagnostics within 48 hours using ultrasound as first choice. As a result, the three centers perform around 2.100 examinations each year. The WINGA-study is aiming to use this populations as an infrastructure for studies on the pathophysiology of development of symptomatic atherosclerosis, diagnostics and epidemiology of recurrent stroke in large artery disease. More information will be available at the end of 2010.

Group members

Emeritus Professors

  • Björn Fagerberg

Associate Professors

  • Caroline Schmidt

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Klas Österberg
  • Marcus Langenskiöld
  • Ulrica Prahl Gullberg

Research Assistants

  • Birgitta Jannemark
  • Josefin Kjelldahl
  • Marie-Louise Ekholm
  • Lisbeth Winberg
  • Sofia Hermansson
  • Anna Ander
  • Cathrine Pachoun

PhD Students

  • Ola Hjelmgren
  • Sofia Strömberg
  • David Molnar

Key Publications