Thomas Perlmann lab

Karolinska Institutet

We are interested in how specific cell types of the central nervous system are generated and how they are maintained. We are mostly focusing on neurons using dopamine as their neurotransmitter, and are unraveling the signaling and transcriptional regulation that govern the specification, differentiation and maintenance of these cells. Our studies have resulted in the identification of several transcription factors with key roles in these processes. The projects are focused on understanding functions in both early specification events and in the maintenance of dopamine neurons in the adult brain. Moreover, we are also interested in regenerative medicine in relation to Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders.

Recent publications

Transcriptomic atlas of midbrain dopamine neurons uncovers differential vulnerability in a Parkinsonism lesion model

Behzad Yaghmaeian Salmani, Laura Lahti, Linda Gillberg, Jesper Kjaer Jacobsen, Ioannis Mantas, Per Svenningsson, Thomas Perlmann

eLife 2024


Disease duration influences gene expression in neuromelanin-positive cells from Parkinson’s disease patients. 

Katarína Tiklová, Linda Gillberg, Nikolaos Volakakis, Hilda Lundén-Miguel, Lina Dahl, Geidy E. Serrano, Charles H. Adler, Thomas G. Beach, Thomas Perlmann.

Front. Mol. Neurosci. 2021.

Single cell transcriptomics identifies stem cell-derived graft composition in a model of Parkinson’s disease. 

Katarína Tiklová, Sara Nolbrant, Alessandro Fiorenzano, Åsa K. Björklund, Yogita Sharma, Andreas Heuer, Linda Gillberg, Deirdre B. Hoban, Tiago Cardoso, Andrew F. Adler, Marcella Birtele, Hilda Lundén-Miguel, Nikolaos Volakakis, Agnete Kirkeby, Thomas Perlmann, Malin Parmar. 

Nature Communications 2020


Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Reveals Midbrain Dopamine Neuron Diversity Emerging During Mouse Brain Development. 

Katarína Tiklová, Åsa Björklund, Laura Lahti, Alessandro Fiorenzano, Sara Nolbrant, Linda Gillberg, Nikolaos Volakakis, China Yokota, Markus Hilschner, Thomas Hauling, Fredrik Holmström,  Eliza Joodmardi, Mats Nilsson, Malin Parmar, Thomas Perlmann.

Nature Communications 2019.


Single-Cell Analysis Reveals a Close Relationship between Differentiating Dopamine and Subthalamic Nucleus Neuronal Lineages. 

Nigel Kee, Nikolaos Volakakis, Agnete Kirkeby, Lina Dahl, Helena Storvall, Sara Nolbrant, Laura Lahti, Åsa Björklund, Linda Gillberg, Eliza Joodmardi, Rickard Sandberg, Malin Parmar, Thomas Perlmann.

Cell Stem Cell 2017.


Dopaminergic control of autophagic-lysosomal function implicates Lmx1b in Parkinson’s disease. 

Ariadna Laguna, Nicoletta Shintu, André Nobre, Alexandra Alvarsson, Nikolaos Volakakis, Jesper Kjaer Jacobsen, Marta Gómez-Galán, Elena Sopova, Eliza Joodmardi, Takashi Yoshitake, Qiaolin Deng, Jan Kehr, Johan Ericson, Per Svenningsson, Oleg Shupliakov, Thomas Perlmann.

Nature Neuroscience 2015.

Sox6 and Otx2 control the specification of substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons.

Lia Panman, Maria Papathanou, Ariadna Laguna, Tony Oostervereen, Nikolaos Volakakis, Dario Acampora, Idha Kurtsdotter, Takashi Yoshitake, Jan Kehr, Eliza Joodmardi, Jonas Muhr, Antonio Simeone, Johan Ericson, Thomas Perlmann.

Cell Reports 2014.

All publications by Thomas Perlmann


Group leader

Thomas Perlmann

PhD, Professor

Thomas obtained his PhD in 1991 at the Karolinska Institutet. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego 1991-1994. He became a professor at the Karolinska in 2001. In addition to the group leader position he is also the Secretary General of the Nobel Assembly and Nobel Committee at the Karolinska Institutet.

Linda Gillberg

PhD, Research Specialist

Linda has a broad skillset ranging from 10x and SmartSeq2 library preparations to mouse work and in vitro culture systems. She is involved in all projects in the lab. In her free time she keeps her thumbs green in her garden and greenhouse.

Behzad Yaghmaeian

PhD, Research Specialist

Behzad’s background is in molecular and developmental biology, and his projects focus on bioinformatics analyses of scRNAseq, ATAC-seq and multiomics data from embryonic and adult dopaminergic neurons. His hobbies include football, watching documentaries, and delving into Tolkien’s magical world.

Katarina Gradin

PhD, Researcher

Katarina has extensive expertise in the field of transcriptional regulation. She is helping out in many projects in the lab, particularly the ones involving in vitro work. She likes horseback riding and taking care of her cat.

Laura Lahti

PhD, Research Specialist

Laura’s background is in developmental neurobiology, and her projects focus on the roles of various transcription factors in the early events of dopaminergic neurogenesis. In her free time she likes knitting, science fiction, and watching old British comedy series.

Isabel Hemming

PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher

Isabel is interested in analysing and developing mouse models for Parkinson’s disease. She got her PhD in 2020 from the University of Western Australia, where she studied the impact of genetic variation on a regulator of early brain development.