Birgit Stark

Photo of Birgit Stark

”My goal is to complete my ongoing PhD projects and continue our good specialized collaboration.”

Birgit Stark was born in Köln in 1955. In 1992 she moved to Sweden, where she married Andreas Stark, professor in orthopaedics.

Birgit obtained specialist competence within surgery and plastic surgery in Germany. She completed her PhD in 1999 at the Department of Neuroscience,  Karolinska Institutet, and became an associate professor in plastic surgery 2007. She has various scientific interests related to her clinical activity.

Birgit is responsible for the care of patients with facial paralysis at Karolinska University Hospital since 2005. Many new treatment strategies have been introduced and are under scientific evaluation. Birgit also has a special interest in women with breast cancer and was the main supervisor of a dissertation project where the PhD thesis defence was held in 2010. On mission of occupational compounds within plastic surgery she has established a quality register for breast implants, which has now gained international interest.

Since 2001, Birgit cooperates with Associate professor Karin Strigård, and later on also with Professor Ulf Gunnarsson. Their coollaboration within the research group has led to many joint projects that illustrate the abdominal wall function from different illness perspectives. Birgit has been the main supervisor of a PhD project where the abdominal wall function during abdominal wall diastasis was studied. This project was defended in 2012. A dissertation regarding reconstruction of giant incisional hernia was defended in November 2016. Here, Birgit was a co-supervisor.

Main supervisor: 

Fredrik Brännström

Photo of Fredrik Brännström

Senior physician at the colorectal section, Capio St. Göran's Hospital.

Fredrik Brännström received his doctorate in 2014 with the thesis "The impact of structural factors in colon and rectal cancer surgery". His research mainly concerns colorectal cancer but also proctology. He has expertise in epidemiological methods and biostatistics, which includes teaching as well as assistance with complex analyzes and methodological approaches within the research group.


Joint supervisor for: Karin Adamo, Niillas Blind

Michael Dahlberg

Photo of Michael Dahlberg

Associate professor, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University 

PhD in medicine/Consultant


Joint supervisor for: Mikael Lindmark 

Pia Näsvall

Photo of Pia Näsvall

Senior surgeon, medical expert within the county council staff of Region Norrbotten.

Pia works at Sunderby Hospital. Her research concerns parastomal hernia, and her disputation in June 2015 was within this field.

At present, Pia is joint supervisor of the PhD student Christoffer Odensten.

STOMAMESH is a randomized study, where the method of using mesh as prophylaxis against parastomal hernia is evaluated. Currently, one year data is being reviewed. Within the research group, 3D ultrasound as a method of diagnosing problems related to stomas has been developed and evaluated, and a study is ongoing where this method will be studied further.


Joint supervisor for: Christoffer Odensten

Ulf Fränneby

Photo of Ulf Fränneby

MD, PhD at Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset.


Studies: Inguinal hernia repair, Incisional hernia after kidney transplantation. Studies on prediction and operative technique.

Joint supervisor for:  Anders Olsson

Ulrik Lindforss

Photo of Ulrik Lindforss

Associate professor and senior surgeon, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Karolinska University Hospital

His disputation in 2003, at the Karolinska Institute, had the title “On the clinical value of genetic analysis in colorectal cancer patients”. Since then he has worked clinically and scientifically in the field of colorectal cancer, and subsequently inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with a special responsibility at Karolinska, presently Solna, for the later activity. A number of scientific publications with a focus on genetic analysis and colorectal cancer, later also within immunology and IBD have been published. Collaborates with “Center for Infectious Medicine” (CIM) as well as “Center for Molecular Medicine” (CMM). Supervisor of PhD students within genetics, morphology and cancer.

Within CLISTER, Ulrik supervises Pontus Gustafsson. Ulrik is also one of the researchers responsible for the study LISTO.


Studies: LISTO

Main supervisor for: Pontus Gustafsson

Ursula Dahlstrand

Photo of Ursula Dahlstrand

Senior surgeon at Lasarettet i Enköping

Teaching fields: Abdominal wall surgery, colorectal surgery

Research fields: Abdominal hernia (inguinal, femoral and ventral)


Main supervisor for: Anders Olsson, Linn Westin

Viktor Holmdahl

Photo of Viktor Holmdahl

Doctor of Medicine and ST physician in general surgery, currently active at the Lycksele Surgical Center, Västerbotten.

Disputed in 2021 in Sunderbyn at Umeå University with the thesis "Autologous full-thickness skin graft as reinforcement material in the repair of complex hernias". The thesis work resulted in the SHIFT study, which constitutes a large part of the current research work as one of the study's principal researchers. The study evaluates a new surgical method for the repair of stoma hernia with autologous full skin as reinforcement material. SHIFT also includes a translational part where tissue samples taken peri- and postoperatively are examined to better understand the underlying tissue biology of hernia disease.

Is assistant supervisor to Gunnar Nordqvist and will thus also be involved in his thesis project on prehabilitation before hernia surgery.


Main supervisor for: Gunnar Nordqvist