Previous winners



Tsu-Yi Su

PhD Student
Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Why did you apply for the grant, and where did you hear about it?
I heard about Incyte grant from my supervisor and learnt more information about it from colleagues in the department. Our group has previously identified a marker that enriches for lineage-biased hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) within the stem cell population, and the current project aims to follow up on their roles in the context of leukemia development, which fits perfectly with the purpose of the grant.

What is your project about?
This project aims to understand the connection between lineage-biased HSCs and the different leukemias. The varying responses and behaviors of different leukemias that initiated from the same stem cell pool suggest intrinsic differences between their stem cell-of-origin. However, we still don’t know the exact relationship between lineage-biased HSCs and the different leukemias. Therefore, the goal of the project is to understand the underlying molecular mechanism and identify potential candidates involved and/or responsible for the different types of leukemias that arise from different lineage-biased HSCs

What does it mean to win this grant?
The grant will help keep the project going, in addition to the freedom to perform the most suitable experiments without being too limited by financial constraints. With the support of the grant, we will hopefully identify potential candidates involved in the different types of leukemia that arise from different lineage-biased HSCs. It is also very encouraging and motivating to know that our project is of interest to more than just us.



Niklas Landberg

MD, PhD Division of Clinical Genetics Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University

Why did you apply for the grant, and where did you hear about it?
I first heard about the Incyte research grant five years ago during a Nordic research meeting on CML. I’ve kept the grant in mind since then because of its format as an unrestricted educational grant, making it a great starting point for new projects. Receiving this grant now will allow me to initiate new work focusing on how leukemia develops.

What is your project about?
This project will examine preleukemic conditions, including clonal hematopoiesis, that often precedes acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We need to better understand how and why some individuals progress while others do not. We will also study the preleukemic cells still present at time of AML diagnosis, a population with potential to cause relapse in disease. We hope this can facilitate future work in prevention of both initiation and relapse of leukemia.

What does it mean to win this grant?
I’m very happy to receive this grant, both as it will accelerate the initiation of this project, but perhaps primarily because it means that the scientific committee have found merit in the proposed research project.



Olli Dufva

Why did you apply for this grant and from where did you hear about this?
In our research group, we have been trying to find out which cancer cell genes cause resistance against natural killer cells at the cellular level. Now that we have managed to find these genes, we want to find out their more precise mechanism of action to better understand how these genes could be used as targets for immunological treatments. My research colleagues suggested that this Incyte grant could be a good fit for making these experiments possible.

What is this project about?
The goal is to find out how cancer cells evade the immune defense, especially natural killer cells. By better understanding these mechanisms, it is possible to find new target molecules for immunological cancer treatments. In our experiments, the genes affecting the cancer cell’s immune response are edited using the CRISPR method, or the so-called gene scissors. By combining the CRISPR method with single-cell sequencing, we can find out the working mechanisms of genes in a more comprehensive and versatile manner than before.

What does it mean to win this grant?
It’s great that, with the Incyte grant, I can continue the latest work of my PhD research, which aims to develop even more effective immune treatments for blood cancers. Cancer immunotherapy is a promising form of treatment, especially in many difficult-to-treat blood cancers. I hope that with the help of this funding, we will be able to acquire more information about the immune response caused by cancer – something that would benefit these patients in the future.


Tarec El-Galaly

Clinical professor in Hematology, Aalborg UH, Denmark

“I saw the grant posted on a bulletin board and felt that my research about lymphoma-associated hemophagocytosis, LAHS, could come into contention. With this research I seek to increase the understanding of clinical and biological risk factors for LAHS and will provide clinicians with valuable data that can reduce diagnostic delay and facilitate faster treatment. Better understanding of prognosis and dynamic outcomes predictions will provide data to support clinical decisions. Being awarded the grant means a lot. Not only does it help me get the project underway, it is also a much appreciated token of recognition, because you compete with researchers from all the Nordic countries. The scientific committee for the grant consists of highly respected researchers, so it makes me very proud to get their nod of approval. The grant will be used to fund the immunohistochemistry and gen examination, and my team is super motivated to help patients with hemophagocytosis and lymphoma.”


Suvi Douglas

University of Helsinki, Helsinki

For a project investigating germline genetic predisposition to acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Waldenström macroglobulinemia

“My research fit the grant call so well. I study both leukemia and lymphoma and I am about one year from completing my PhD. This research is also important and the funding opportunities are limited. Now I have the opportunity to make germline predisposition to hematological malignancies more known. It feels great to get recognition that this is an important topic and there is a need for more knowledge on the genetic predisposition in hematological malignancies. This research gives the possibility to better understanding of the biology of normal hematopoiesis and how leukemia develops. This is also important for the patients that suffer from hematological malignancies and we can find new ways to help them.”


Huan Cai

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

For a project exploring the therapeutic potential of recombinant laminin α4 in acute myeloid leukemia.

“I’m a young researcher within hematology so this grant was a great opportunity for me to dive deeper into my research and continue the work within a project exploring the therapeutic potential of recombinant laminin α4 in acute myeloid leukemia. The grant is a great support in terms of financing and motivation. The grant covers most of the cost related to the research project and that leaves me with a mental freedom to focus on the project instead of finances. At the same time knowing that The Nordic Incyte Grant committee see a great potential and interest in my project leaves me with a strong motivation to continue the work.”


Stein-Erik Gullaksen

(University of Bergen, Norway)

For a project which will characterize the interaction of leukemic (CML) and healthy blood cells, and potentially will increase our understanding of the disease biology and therapeutic mechanisms, likely identifying biomarkers of early response to therapy through single cell immune profiling

“I applied for the Incyte Nordic Grant for Hematological Research, because the grant would give me a great opportunity to do the kind of research, which I have always wanted to do but never did, because of a lack of financial support. With the Grant, I have not only received financial support, but it has also given me the possibility to work within an exciting exploratory research field, which may lead to break outs that have never been seen before. I would recommend everyone with the interest of doing research to apply for The Incyte Nordic Grant for Hematological Research. It is a great opportunity for researchers, who aim for new, ground-breaking results, which patients in the future can benefit from.”


Shady Awad


For a project investigating somatic mutations as drivers of treatment resistance and progression of chronic myeloid leukemia


Rebecca Warwinge


For a project aiming at studying the correlation of CML stem cell heterogeneity to therapy response


Monika Dolinska


For a project aiming at uncovering the features of the CML leukemic cell niche and the role of different niche factors during CML development. Ultimately the project may lead to the identification of novel therapies targeting the leukemic niche for more effective antileukemic treatment.


Linda Arngården


For the development of a new method making it possible to detect and characterize single CML cells, potentially leading to the identification of predictive markers for CML disease remission and relapse after stop of TKI treatment.


Helena Hohtari


For a novel approach to address the challenges of patients with Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) who are in dire needs of effective therapy. This is to be done through identification of specific molecular/genetic markers predicting response to today’s treatment armamentarium and exploring sensitivity to novel agents. The ultimate goal is to develop curative treatment in Ph+ ALL, including patients not suitable for allogeneic stem cell transplantation.


Jorrit Enserink


For a study that has its focus on targeted therapy for Ph+ ALL where therapeutic breakthroughs have remained an unmet need. The study plan is highly interesting aiming at personalized medicine by finding novel molecularly targeted treatments through ex vivo drug profiling using a high throughput drug screen and further by in vivo drug efficacy testing in mouse models.


Satu Mustjoki


For a novel approach to address the challenges of relapsing/progressing CML patients who are in dire needs of effective therapy. This is to be done through identification of driver mutations and involved pathways of pathogenesis and the identification of new targets and modes of action, all aiming at the development of curative combination therapy in CML