President & Economy and Sponsor group
Uppsala University, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala, Sweden
Lena Claesson-Welsh is Professor of Medical Biochemistry at Uppsala University and Director of the Beijer Laboratory for Gene- and Neuroresearch. She received medical school undergraduate education at Uppsala University; thereafter, she joined Per A. Peterson’s laboratory. She received her PhD in 1984, based on a thesis on histocompatibility antigens. Her postdoctoral training was with Patricia G. Spear at University of Chicago, followed by a group leader position at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala, headed by Carl-Henrik Heldin. In 1997, she received her professor chair at Uppsala University. She has held several leadership functions such as Head of department and Dean for Postgraduate studies at the university. Lena Claesson-Welsh is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Finnish Science Academy, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Academia Europeae.
The Claesson-Welsh laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms regulating the healthy vasculature at homeostasis and the pathological vasculature in diseases with focus on cancer and retinopathy. She has mapped tyrosine phosphorylation sites and downstream signal transduction pathways for all three VEGF receptors. A particular interest is in the properties of the vascular barrier and how the exchange of molecules and cells between the blood and tissues is regulated. Currently, the group is examining how exaggerated blood vessel leakage contributes to cancer malignancy and spread in humans. In a translational effort, small molecular weight compounds are being explored for their ability to suppress VEGF-induced vascular barrier dismantling.