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Ola Hansson

Head: Ola Hansson

Our research interest is to understand how genetic variation influences skeletal muscle function and whole-body metabolism. We use translational approaches and regularly conduct focused intervention studies in humans, including skeletal muscle biopsies. From the biopsies, muscle stem cells (satellite cells) are isolated and later used for preclinical measurements. In our projects we combine physiological measurements like VO2MAX, muscular strength and glucose tolerance with preclinical, e.g. RNA and ChIP sequencing, fibre typing, gene knock down and exon skipping. It is our hope that this research will lead to new understanding of skeletal muscle function with implications primarily for human health, but also provide answers to fundamental evolutionary questions. A long-term goal is to tailor the most beneficial exercise program to counteract genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases and type 2 diabetes. To pursue these research questions we have established long-term close collaborations both nationally (Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Östersund, Sweden) and internationally (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Boston, US).



Ola Hansson, PhD (PI)

Karl-Fredrik Eriksson, MD, PhD

Carl Ekman, MD, PhD

Esa Laurila, MSc (Laboratory engineer)

Ola Ekström, MD, PhD-student

Damon Tojjar, MD, PhD-student

Olof Asplund, PhD-student (Bioinformatician)

Former members: Kristoffer Ström, Yuedan Zhou, Nikolay Oskolkov


Current funding (2016 - ):

The Crafoord Foundation

The Påhlsson Foundation

Avtal om Läkarutbildningen (ALF)

Diabetes Wellness


Selected recent papers (*Shared authorship):

Su J.*, Ekman C.*, Oskolkov N., Lahti L., Ström K., Brazma A., Groop L., Rung J., Hansson O. “A novel atlas of gene expression in human skeletal muscle reveals molecular changes associated with aging”

2015, Skelet Muscle, (in press)


Ekman C., Elgzyri T., Ström K., Almgren P., Parikh H., Dekker Nitert M., Rönn T., Manderson Koivula F., Ling C., Tornberg Å.B., Wollmer P., Eriksson K.F., Groop L., Hansson O. “Less pronounced response to exercise in healthy relatives to type 2 diabetics compared to controls”

2015, J Appl Physiol, (in press)


Zhou Y., Park S.-Y., Su J., Bailey K., Ottosson-Laakso E., Shcherbina L., Oskolkov N., Zhang E., Thevenin T., Fadista J., Bennet H., Vikman P., Wierup N., Fex M., Rung J., Wollheim C., Nobrega M., Renström E., Groop L., Hansson O. “TCF7L2 is a master regulator of insulin production and processing”

2014, Hum Mol Genet, Dec 15;23(24):6419-31


Bozek K., Wei Y., Yan Z., Liu X., Xiong J., Sugimoto M., Tomita M., Pääbo S., Pieszek R., Sherwood C. C., Hof P. R., Ely J. J., Steinhauser D., Willmitzer L., Bangsbo J., Hansson O., Call J.*, Giavalisco P.*, Khaitovich P.* ”Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness”

2014, PLoS Biol, May 27;12(5):


*Keildson S., *Fadista J., Ladenvall C., Hedman Å.K., Elgzyri T., Small K.S., Grundberg E., Nica A.C., Glass D., Richards J.B., Barrett A., Nisbet J., Zheng H., Rönn T., Ström K., Eriksson K., Prokopenko I., MAGIC consortium, DIAGRAM consortium, MuTHER consortium, Spector T.D., Dermitzakis E.T., Deloukas P., McCarthy M.I., Rung J., Groop L., Franks P.W., *Lindgren C.M., *Hansson O. “Skeletal Muscle Expression of Phosphofructokinase is Influenced by Genetic Variation and Associated with Insulin Sensitivity”

2014, Diabetes, Mar;63(3):1154-65


Claussnitzer M., Dankel S.N., Klocke B., Grallert H., Glunk V., Berulava T., Lee H., Oskolkov N.,  Fadista J., Ehlers K., Wahl S., Hoffmann C., Qian K., Rönn T., Riess L., Müller-Nurasyid M., Bretschneider N., Skurk T., Horsthemke B., DIAGRAM+ Consortium, Spieler D., Klingenspor M., Seifert M., Kern M.J., Mejhert N., Dahlman I., Hansson O., Hauck S.M., Blüher M., Arner P., Groop L., Illig T., Suhre K., HsuY.-H., Mellgren G., Hauner H., Laumen H. “Leveraging cross-species transcription factor binding site patterns: from diabetes risk loci to disease mechanisms”

2014, Cell, Jan 16;156(1-2):343-58