PhD trajectory update

I figured that an update on my PhD trajectory was in order so here goes:

My application to defend my PhD thesis, ready to be handed in.

First a recap: I started my PhD studies at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in 2012 and in June 2018 I handed in my application to defend my PhD thesis (see photo). Unfortunately the Dissertation committee rejected my application because I hadn’t applied for ethical approval for studying myself (read more about their reasoning and my thoughts here and here).

For a number of reasons, my employment at KI ended in early 2020 and I am currently working at Uppsala University together with Maria Hägglund. We first met when I started studying Health Informatics at KI in 2010 and she was one of the teachers.

Maria and me at the half-time review of my PhD project at Karolinska Institutet in June 2015.

I am very happy that I am able to combine my work as a research assistant at Uppsala University with being a PhD student at Radboudumc/Donders Institute in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

My supervisors are a great group with the very best combination of competences imaginable for the research I am doing:

Bas presenting at the 18th International Conference on Integrated Care in Utrecht in May 2018.

Professor Bas Bloem, neurologist and researcher at Radboudumc. Bas is generally known as one of the most patient-centered Parkinson neurologists in the world. I have followed his work with great interest for a long time, and he is involved with many impressive initiatives to improve health and healthcare for people with Parkinson’s disease all over the world. Bas is my main supervisor.

Martijn de Groot, head of the REshape centre for innovation at Radboudumc. Martijn is also one of the international leaders in the Quantified Self community.

Maria Hägglund, associate professor and researcher in health informatics at Uppsala University in Sweden. Maria’s work and research includes among other things: patient-centered eHealth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and PAEHR (patient-accessible electronic health records).

Working with these amazing people has given me new energy and enthusiasm for my research and If all goes well, I hope to be able to defend my PhD thesis later this year.

A long and winding road…

It has certainly been a long and winding road and I have learned so much along the way!


  1. Wow, I agree, you could hardly find a better combination of advisors and mentors! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish – thanks for this update!

    I’ll never forget his inspiring talk at TEDxMaastricht in 2011, where he started by elevating himself and looking down on his patient, then responded to the patient’s plea by coming down to the same level. Brilliant.

    It’s sad but typical that TEDx did not include the patient’s name in the description – I’ll ask Bas on Twitter!

    Really, it’s amazing what you’ve done already – can’t wait to learn more.

  2. Sara, we are so happy and proud over what you have accomplished so far and we will be even more so, when your PhD work will be compleated. We are looking forward and will definitely be there when it happens! God luck! Your Mother.

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