Professor Henrik Zetterberg
Professor of Neurochemistry, Senior Consultant in Clinical Chemistry, Head of Department
Place of work / study:
The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and University College London, UK.
Area of Research:
Fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative dementias.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I studied medicine because I wanted to engage in science. My first aim was to become a virologist, inspired by the molecular work on viral oncogenesis that was prominent during the late 1980s, but also by the prion field. I did my thesis on transcriptional regulation in Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphoproliferative disease. During my clinical specialisation in Clinical Chemistry, I met Kaj Blennow who taught me neurochemistry which then became my scientific field. Occasionally, I study virus effects on the brain (HIV, herpes and now also corona). I am now Professor of Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and University College London, UK, and a Clinical Chemist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, and I lead the UK DRI Fluid Biomarker Laboratory at UCL and at the Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. My main research focus and clinical interest are fluid biomarkers for brain diseases, neurodegenerative disease in particular.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Since 2015, I write a column in Göteborgs-Posten (the Gothenburg Post; the biggest newspaper in western Sweden; almost as prestigious as the Washington Post).
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Serendipity, I think, but at the same time clinical chemistry tests for neurodegenerative dementias were just emerging when I started my clinical specialisation, and I found those highly interesting and had a gut feeling that it would turn out interesting to engage in that work.
What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?
Learn as much as you can about new measurement technologies.
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
Alice Oswald: Falling Awake  – Written to be read aloud, this book features poems that attend to the organic shapes and sounds and momentum of the language as it’s spoken as well as how it’s thought: fresh, fluid and propulsive, but also fragmentary, repetitive.