Dick Wågsäter

Immune cell activation and vascular remodellilng in aortic aneurysm 

Cardiovascular disease, including abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), is an enormous health care burden and ruptured AAA account for approximately 200,000 of annual deaths. AAA is an inflammatory disease and despite long-term anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering treatment due to other underlying vascular disease the majority of AAA patients have, these drugs neither prevent nor inhibit aneurysm disease. Not a single drug treatment for aneurysm exist. This indicates that more specific immune cell targeting is required to inhibit aneurysm development. 

To be able to find new therapeutic preventive strategies the molecular mechanisms behind the disease and drug targets needs to be elucidated in more detail. Based on our previous studies we have identified several key factors that could be targeted by certain drugs. The main aim of my research is to clarify pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms behind AAA disease and to find novel treatment strategies and biomarkers for prediction and prognosis. 

Human samples, cell and in vivo models of aneurysm disease is used in a translational approach to target novel pathways, immune cell activation and vascular remodelling via transcriptional regulation and by targeting glycolysis using various drugs. The knowledge is returned back to the clinic where we together with the clinicians test drugs in clinical trials and analyze biomarkers in the follow-up.  

The importance of my research is to increase the knowledge of pathogenesis of AAA so that standardized surgery can be replaced by individual risk -adapted medication resulting in reduced mortality and fewer complications leading to better quality of life. 

Besides the main research focus on AAA my research also focuses on other cardiovascular disease as well as identifying biomarkers, investigating mechanisms and functional studies in colorectal cancer. 

Post doc opportunity: Candidates with a strong research track are welcome to contact me for a post doc.

Dick Wågsäter

Professor at Department of Medical Cell Biology, Research group Dick Wågsäter

+4618-471 4396
Last modified: 2022-03-11