Paediatric Endocrinology Unit, Dept. of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Postal address: Department of Woman and Child Health, Paediatric Endocrinology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17176 Stockholm
Visiting address: Entrance Q2:08, Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna
Web page: http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?l=en&d=23927

Contact person: Professor Olle Söder, phone: +46 (0)8 517 75124.
                                Prof. Söder is also chairman of the
                                Department of Women's and Children's Health.

Paediatric Endocrinology deals with hormonal disorders in children. The most common disorders within this field are type-1 diabetes, growth disturbances, pubertal problems, thyroid disorders and many other less frequent diseases including disorders of sex development, certain chromosomal aberrations and errors of the internal metabolism. The main aim of the research conducted in the pediatric endocrinology unit is to develop novel methods and pharmaceuticals to help children with endocrine diseases to a better quality of life by improving their growth and body composition.
The research laboratory hosts six active research groups chaired by principal investigators at the Professor or Associate Professor levels focusing on various areas of pediatric endocrinology such as steroidogenesis, reproduction, physiology and genetics of growth, diabetes mellitus, growth hormone and growth factors, and development of endocrine treatments for children. For more details please see the respective group presentations.

Research connected to South Asia

Professor Olle Söder has been involved in collaboration with Pakistan since the middle of the 1980’s, supervising Pakistani PhD candidates, and worked with courses in research training at Aga Khan University in Karachi. On 21 June 2005 KIRT, Karolinska Institutet Research and Training Committee, decided to appoint him as scientific coordinator to intensify and extend the already existing collaboration on research and research training between KI and Pakistan. More information.

Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, now Head of the Dept. of Paediatrics, Aga Khan University, Karachi (photo to the left) was one of the Pakistani PhD candidates supervised by Söder.
Zulfiqar Bhutta defended his doctoral thesis at KI in 1996 on “Nutritional rehabilitation of Persistent Diarrhoea in Childhood. Factors determining recovery and the relationship of systemic infections with intestinal function". Faculty opponent was Professor Lars Å. Hanson, Department of Clinical Immunology, University of Göteborg. Prof. Bhutta is still closely connected to his Alma Mater and regularly visits KI. He was also a member of SASNET’s South Asian Reference group, and has taken part in SASNET conferences.

• Dr. Arif Siddiqui, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, was a guest researcher at Karoliniska Institutet in 2001-02, working together with Prof. Olle Söder. He has later worked at Söder’s laboratory at KI for a fellowship to learn research techniques in the field of reproductive biology. In September 2004 Siddiqui and Söder’s research group at Astrid Lindgren’s Children Hospital successfully organised a workshop on ”Molecular and Diagnostic Techniques in Reproductive Disorders” at AKU in Karachi. When Staffan Lindberg and Lars Eklund from SASNET visited Pakistan in 2003 Dr. Siddiqui organised their visit to Karachi University. Read the report from the visit.

• Dr Taranum Sultana was also supervised by Professor Söder, and also by Associate Professor Günther Weber at the Unit for Clinical Genetics, Department of Molecular Medicine; and Professor Anwar Siddiqui at Aga Khan University (AKU). Dr. Sultana defended his doctoral dissertation on Molecular and functional studies on interleukin-1-alpha in the testisin 2002, and then returned to work at the Dept. of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, AKU, Karachi. The thesis dealt with a novel splice form of IL-1-alpha being isolated from the adult testis. The cDNA of the splice variant was cloned and sequenced, and the corresponding protein expressed end functionally investigated.
She is however now back in Sweden, and at the department. She also got a 2-year position at the Stockholm Branch of the European Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, located at the Karolinska Institutet (and affiliated with the Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology).

Dr Farasat Zaman (photo to the right) is currently connected to the department. He is working on a study of ”Apoptosis in growth plate cartilage”.

Shahzad K. Akram (photo to the left) is a PhD candidate at the department. He is working on a project on ”Multivariate Analysis of Biochemical and Clinical Variables for Prediction of Low Birth Weight and Infant Morbidity”. He is supervised by Prof. Söder.
Abstract: The aim of this study is to predict fetal birth weight and possibly diagnose IUGR (IntraUterine Growth Restriction) using maternal anthropometric and fetal biometric data. The data consists of 3471 observations on 39 variables, gathered from 89 sampled pregnant women from selected field sites in rural Pakistan. Analysis was conducted at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. These data were analyzed using stepwise linear regression and correlation tools of statistics.