Experimental Medical Science

Faculty of Medicine | Lund University


Translational Neurogenetics

Maria Swanberg
Maria Swanberg

Maria Swanberg, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Neurodegeneration and Inflammation Genetics Unit
Phone: +46 46 222 06 12, E-mail: Maria.Swanberg@med.lu.se
Visiting address: Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, BMC building A, floor 10, Sölvegatan 17, Lund


The Neurodegeneration and Inflammation Genetics (NIG) Unit is focused on studying the complex genetics behind neurodegenerative disorders, with emphasis on Parkinson's disease. Our research spans from laboratory models to human disease and by combining molecular genetic analyses, in vitro and in vivo functional studies with clinical studies, our goal is to identify genetic risk factors relevant for human disease.

Disease models

In order to study the processes underlying neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in the CNS, we employ rodent in vivo models reflecting different aspects of disease initiation and progression. The functional outcome is measured by behavioral tests, which mimic clinically relevant measures. These are then coupled to local tissue responses and genetic analyses. Molecular biology techniques such as expression analysis and histology are used to characterize the tissue responses, while bioinfomatics and positional cloning are employed to identify candidate genes.

Genetic models

We have generated unique congenic strains with defined genetic regions transferred from one inbred strain to another. These regions were identified by linkage analyses as linked to neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, respectively. The use of congenic strains enables studies on a controlled number of genetic factors, with impact on clinically relevant phenotypes. The aim is to identify underlying genetic polymorphisms, and to explore the effect and impact on disease.

We also work with transgenic models to study progressive neurodegenerative processes and with in vitro models ranging from rodent primary cultures to human cell lines.

Translational studies

In collaboration with the clinical node within MultiPark, the NIG unit is currently establishing a biobank sample collection from Parkinson patients and controls for genetic and functional analyses. In addition, our group develops human in vitro models to validate and perform functional studies of candidate genes.

Translational Neurogenetics Unit
Translational Neurogenetics Unit

In the media

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are the most common neurodegenerative diseases. The interplay between genes and environment govern if we fall ill. Maria Swanberg is one of the neuroscientists trying to understand the complex functions of the brain. From the public service TV-series "UR Samtiden" recorded in June 2013. (Swedish)


We are continuously looking for motivated co-workers, especially students and postdoctoral fellows with experience in experimental or clinical genetics and neurodegenerative models in vitro or in vivo.

If you are interested, please send your curriculum vitae with references and a description of your scientific training/experience to maria.swanberg@med.lu.se


Major funding bodies 


External funding

We are grateful for the support from the following foundations:

Crafoordska stiftelsen

Greta och Johan Kocks stiftelser

Magnus Bergvalls stiftelse

Nilsson-Ehle donationerna

Stiftelsen Lars Hiertas minne

Stiftelsen Thelma Zoégas fond för medicinsk forskning

Tore Nilsons stiftelse för medicinsk forskning

Previous funding

Carl Tesdorpfs stiftelse

Thorsten och Elsa Segerfalks stiftelse

Relevant Links


Wallenberg Neuro Centre

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