The Cultural Brain Initiative

The Cultural Brain Initiative  is an initiative at Karolinska Institutet which highlights international cutting edge research, focusing on the translational relationship between culture, the brain, teaching and health. This intitiative is aimed at interested researchers, leaders and representatives from political and business backgrounds, and the general public.

Within the framework of this intitiative is a combined lecture series/ PhD student course, where international speakers are invited to talk to and meet the students, as well as interested members of the public who wish to attend. Forthcoming lectures in the Culture and Brain series can be found advertised on this website, which also features the latest research developments.

The initiative is based at Karolinska Institutet, and is supported by our partners Stockholm City Council (Stockholms läns landsting) and Statens musikverk.

Project Leader: Professor Gunnar Bjursell

Gunnar Bjursell is a Professor Emeritus, and his research has focused on the importance of genetics in public health, cancer and arteriosclerosis. While at Gothebergs University, Gunnar coordinated and lead the Culture and Health initiative. During the last fifteen years has been actively involved in the further development of the research field culture, the brain, and health. Since 2011 he has been a coordinator for the Cultural Brain Initiative at KI, editor for this website, and a popular lecturer.

Tel: 0706-993745

Project Leader: Professor Ingemar Ernberg

Ingemar Ernberg is a Professor in Tumour Biology at Karolinska Institutet. His research focuses on the roll of viruses in cancer, and he has been very active in popularising modern Bioscience and has written several popular science books on the subject. His is currently chairman of the KI Cultural Council (Kulturrådet)

Tel: 08-524 862 62


Researcher: Professor Fredrik Ullén

Fredrik Ullén has been a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet since 2010. His research focuses on knowledge and creativity, that is to say the mechanisms in the brain that make, for example, playing a musical instrument at a very high level possible. Fredrik also leads a large international research program called Humans Making Music. Aside from his research, Fredrik Ullén is a well known concert pianist with concerts in Europe, Canada and U.S.A.


Webmaster: John Sennett

John Sennett has been the centre’s webmaster since 2019, with many years experience of working with WordPress and Drupal systems at Karolinska Institutet, including Linux and MySQL administration. He has also a B.A in Musicology from Stockholm University.