Sten Linnarsson took his PhD at Karolinska Institute in 2001, studying neurotrophic factors regulating neuronal survival, growth and plasticity. He then founded Global Genomics, a company focused on genome-wide expression analysis and next-generation DNA sequencing. In 2007, he was appointed as assistant professor at the Karolinska Institute, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, and in 2015, was appointed Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the same department. Also in 2015, he was awarded the Erik K. Fernström Prize for his work in single-cell biology.
Linnarsson’s research focuses on single-cell biology, in particular applying single-cell expression analysis to characterize the cell types and lineages of the mouse nervous system. The long-term goal of his research is to map the stable cellular states (‘cell types’) that human organs are made of, and to understand the regulatory networks that induce and maintain them; both in normal tissues and in cancer.