News archive


From Hairballs to Understanding Atherosclerosis

New publication form CVG group in Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology with an Editorial comment by Mette Civelek and Jake Lusis. "In the July issue of ATVB, Shang et al provide compelling evidence for the involvement of LIM domain binding 2 (LDB2) in the transendothelial migration of monocytes in atherosclerosis. The article is also of interest because of the systems analyses that led to its identification as a strong candidate. The results presented in this article provide validation of the value of the approach as well as the role of the gene"


A new key driver in atherosclerosis

The CVG group publishes an article in Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology validating Lim domain binding 2 (LDB2) as novel key driver of transendothelial migration of leukocytes in atherosclerosis.


PLoS Genetics publication

The CVG group publishes a new article in PLoS Genetics. ( The results show that early but not late, advanced atherosclerotic plaques can be reversed by plasma LDL lowering in mice. In parallel, plasma cholesterol-responsive target genes in atherosclerosis are identified that promises to improve regression of advanced plaques after LDL lowering. "The effect of lipid lowering regimes on regression of atherosclerosis in humans is highly variable. Our findings suggest that maybe some of this variation is linked to how early these regimes are introduced" says Associate Prof. Josefin Skogsberg, the principal leader of the study.


Johan Björkegren at MSSM, NY US

Professor Johan Björkegren is now at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NY US to leverage data analysis of key CAD cohorts. He will be working in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Institute of Genomics and Multiscale biology led by professor Eric E Schadt. "We now add  to the existing legs of excellence in clinical sampling (UT) and disease model systems (KI), a leg consisting of the world's leading scientists in big data analysis" says Björkegren. 


CVG elected to Leducq

Johan Björkegren has been elected associate member of the Leducq program, CADgenomics: Understanding Coronary Artery Disease Genes led by Jake Lusis, UCLA and Heribert Schunkert, Lübeck University, Germany


Translational Science

The CVG proposal to AstraZeneca-Karolinska Institutet Joint Research Program in Translational Science selected for financing.


Translational Science

A CVG proposal to AstraZeneca-Karolinska Institutet Joint Research Program in Translational Science is selected for the second round.


CVP retreat - Josefin Skogsberg

Cardiovascular Genomics group member Associated Prof. Josefin Skogsberg talks at the Karolinska Institutet, Cardiovascular Program retreat : "Plasma cholesterol-induced regression of early mature and advanced atherosclerosis" the 27th of September at the Vår Gård Hotel in Saltsjöbaden.


Advisory Board Meeting CTG

Björkegren speaks at the Center for Translational Genomics advisory board meeting August 27th at the University of Tartu.


The 12th GeneForum in Tartu, Estonia

Björkegren is invited to give a talk at the 12th GeneForum conference in Tartu the 8th of June 2012. The title of his talk is "The missing heritability of complex traits - hidden in the environmental contexts of GWA datasets?"


Editorial Board Member

Björkegren has been appointed editorial board member of the New "Open Network Biology" journal publishing articles on predictive, network-based models of living systems.


CVG collaborates with Harvard Medical School

CVG is initiating a collaboration with Harvard Medical School for studies on microRNAs in CAD and MI. The collaboration is led by Associate Prof. Anders Näär also involving Professor Sekar Kathiresan at the Center for Human Genetic Research Massachusetts General Hospital.


Review in Science on the cover

CGV perspective (review article) on the cover of Science Translation Medicine (see


Science Translational Medicine, CVG review

CVG-team leader Prof. Johan Björkegren and CVG:s close collaborator Prof. Eric E Schadt at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM) in New York, US, publish a perspective in the new Science journal focusing on translational medicine (i.e. Science Translational Medicine). The article discuss the promising outlooks of the NEW (Network Enabled Wisdom) Biology to reveal disease risk and thereby mechanisms by which complex diseases, like CAD and MI, evolve. Particularly, the article highlights a new type of patient cohorts where intermediate phenotypes, active in-between DNA and the clinical phenotypes, are collected. These new patient cohorts will enable scientists to infer causal disease networks explaining the co-actions of many inherited disease-risk variants including those dependent on macro- and micro environments to exert risk-modifying effects. The roles of network biology for medical research in general and for the development of preventive and personalized medicine are discussed in detail. (NEW (Network-enabled wisdom) in Biology, Medicine and Heath Care, Schadt EE, Björkegren LM. J. Science Translational Medicine, Februrary 4th, 2012).


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thanks for 2011. A tuff year with many challenges including getting settled at MBB and building several new lines of research at Biomedicum in Tartu. Now I think we have succeeded with these tasks and with the new datasets, we are ready to really make a difference 2012. I am looking forward to be working with you again during 2012. And remember; good science is good health and a clear mind. See you next year! Johan



The group receives project grants from the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation (HLF) and the Research Council of Sweden (VR) enabling to continue the research of network underlying CAD and myocardial infarction with a special focus on the endothelial networks. 



Cardiovascular Genomics Group enters into a collaboration with the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, USA lead by Prof Eric E Schadt to profile 2100 RNA samples with Illumina HighSeq2000 RNAseq. The group also profiles additional 1400 RNA samples again with RNAseq using HighSeq2000 at Uppsala University, the SNP/SEQ platform totaling 3500 RNA samples being sequenced from the STARNET cohort of 650 CAD patients and 50 nonCAD controls. This is a major achievement for the group and its long term task to map all networks underlying CAD.


The Translational Genomic Center

The Cardiovascular Genomics group is one of 8 groups at the University of Tartu taking part in a major national genome research effort aiming to put University of Taru in the international forefront of functional genomic studies of the human genome in relation common complex diseases. In brief, the consortium are selecting 2000 well-represented Estonian citizens from the Estonian biobank consisting of more than 50 000 individuals in total. These 2000 will be fully characterized in terms of genomic layers of information from methylation pattern of DNA and chromatin to global gene expression profiles and protein characteristics. The 2000 individuals will serve as a highly valuable control cohort for comparative genomic studies to reveal funtional aspects of DNA variants linked to risk for common complex diseases. The cardiovascular genomics group will use its access to datasets and biobanks related to Cardiovascular disease to investigate blood biomarkers in relation to the 2000 controls..


Key note speaker-Björkegren

Complex Traits: Genomics and Computational Approaches

Keystone Conference (B5),click here

Organizers: Eric Schadt, Stephen H. Friend and Iya G. Khalil, February 20 - 25, 2012 • Beaver Run Resort • Breckenridge, Colorado

Session 6 /Friday: Application of Predictive Gene Networks to Identify the Drivers of Disease:

Johan Lars Markus Björkegren, Construction and Mining of Cross Tissue Networks for Cardiovascular Disease Genes


Josefin Skogsberg presents at EAS

79th European Atherosclerosis Society Congress
Gothenburg, Sweden, June 26 - 29, 2011
Abstract A-340-0005-00476 entitled "Atherosclerosis Regression in a Mouse Model with Human-Like Hypercholesterolemia" by Josefin Skogsberg