Logotyp KTH Logotyp Karolinska Institutet Logotyp Region Stockholm

Tobias Granberg

Programme Director Clinical application of next-generation brain magnetic resonance elastography for neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumours. Leads a research group in neuroradiology with a focus on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases and the MRI Centre at Karolinska Institutet.
Picture of Tobias Granberg

What research do you do at MedTechLabs?

My research group and I are developing a new MRI technique called elastography (MRE) to improve brain disease diagnostics. Conventional MRI is focused on how the brain visually looks anatomically. With MRE, it is possible to also measure the stiffness of tissues. This research is conducted in close collaboration with Rodrigo Moreno at KTH and several other partners in Stockholm and internationally. 

What impact do you hope to achieve with your research?

By developing brain MRE, we hope to make it possible to detect brain pathology before it becomes overt to the radiologist’s eye on conventional MRI. Another aim is to obtain actionable diagnostic data preoperatively that conveys information that is normally obtained through biopsies. This could be helpful for a wide range of neurological and neurosurgical disorders since tissue samples can rarely be obtained from the brain. 

When would this research come to practical use for the patient?

MRE is already being used clinically to reduce the need for invasive biopsies for liver diseases. Our project aiming to translate MRE for brain diagnostics will be performed over 5 years and consist of two major parts. The technical part will focus on method development on conventional MRI scanners but also translating it to a new MRI scanner at Karolinska with ultra-high field strength (7 Tesla) that is now being used in clinical practice. The clinical part will include four substudies with persons with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and brain tumors to study the clinical advantages of this new technique. 

What is Your professional background and Your motivation as a researcher?

After completing my MD and PhD at Karolinska Institutet (KI), I did a postdoc at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to learn new MRI techniques. Clinically, I did my internship in Västerås and then did my residency and fellowship at Karolinska University Hospital. Today, I work as a neuroradiologist and also lead our research group and the KI MRI Center Core Facility. My inspiration comes from following the fast-paced technical development and working to implement it in clinical practice to improve the diagnostics for our patients. By doing so, I want to contribute to making sure that novel methods can have the largest possible patient value.

Contact Tobias Granberg: tobias.granberg@ki.se