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Staff photo Christer Malm

Christer Malm

I represent the University in Sports Medicine and Precision Medicine for Exercise and Health. Research includes physical activity, performance, anti-doping and children's sports.



Works at

Professor at Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation Units: Sports Medicine

Research Summary

The main research focus is to understand the molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle adaptation and development in response to changes in physical demand. This is relevant in order to use exercise to improve function both in health and disease. Initial studies on the effects of strenuous, eccentric physical activity on the body's anti-oxidative defence and immune systems revealed that the prevailing hypothesis on muscle adaptation to exercise, including a damage-repair mechanism, should be revised. Observed inflammation processes were minute and using immunofluorescent microscopy we demonstrated that cytoskeletal disruptions (desmin and phaliodin) more accurately can be described as remodelling and that fibre necrosis do not occur in human muscle even when the eccentric exercise strain is sever. In order to perform unbiased analyses, not governed by previously known molecules (which is the case when using antibody based methods) proteomic screening is currently used. In addition, current studies are aimed at developing new detection methods for blood doping and setting limits for physical performance for fire-fighters.

Current research

My research is focused on the body´s adaptation to physical activity, with applications in morphology, immunology and proteomics. Currently, I am running several different studies that address this issue from various aspects, applying a number of different techniques.

Muscle adaptation to training

Damage and inflammation: A debate within the scientific community has been going on for decades: Can skeletal muscle be damaged by exercise? Current hypothesis has been that muscle adaptation occurs via a damage-inflammation pathway. By performing a series of extreme exercise studies (eccentric exercise) I have put this hypothesis under scrutiny. Dynamic exercise: It is well established that exercise is specific; you get better at what you train. By standardized testing and training of healthy subjects, I have investigated the molecular mechanisms behind this specificity.
Healthy and diseased muscle function in cold climate

As part of the INTERREG III A North project "Human and Cold" several groups, including fibromyalgia patients, have performed repetitive work in temperatures ranging from -60º C to +20º C. Measurements have included VO2max testing, motion analysis, surface EMG and intra-muscular temperatures. Thesis by Hugo Piedrahita, 2008
Muscle injury prevention and rehabilitation

Alternations in motion patterns can influence performance, and incorrect movements cause overuse injuries. Hi-resolution motion detection system has been used to study repetitive work tasks, knee-related instabilities among soccer players and back-pain in cross country skiers. A novel statistical approach for handling of motion analysis data has been developed (
Anabolic steroids

A recent thesis from our group (Thesis by Anders Eriksson, 2006 investigated the effects of anabolic steroids on muscle structure. In a WADA supported study, we are investigating the long term effect of anabolic steroids on elite athletes. Understanding for the molecular changes that occur as a result of anabolic steroid administration can be useful in treatments for people with wasting muscle disorders and to develop a doping test. Ongoing PhD Project.
Blood doping

By increasing the number of red blood cells in circulation performance in endurance events are enhanced. Blood transfusion is illegal, but undetectable if one's one blood is used (autologous blood doping). In a WADA financed project we are currently developing a novel method to detect this type of doping, using a proteomic approach. Included in this work is also a mechanistic study of RBC breakdown. Ongoing PhD Project. ( and
Physical work performance

A very extensive study, financed by the Swedish Rescue Service, is aimed at selecting the most relevant exercise tests to describe and predict physical performance among fire fighters. More than 9000 tests were performed during a period of 18 months. Ongoing PhD thesis on national limits for physical capacity of firefighters (
Diseases related to the musculoskeletal system

Several muscle diseases have unexplored causes. We are currently screening for pathological alterations in the Dystrophia Myotonica 2 (DM2) muscle proteome. Also, the large collection of muscle samples from a variety of muscle diseases stored at the department of Anatomy are of great interest to re-analyze samples using novel techniques in order to further explore disease mechanisms. Comparisons between different muscles include; eye, trapezius and vastus lateralis muscles. The eye muscle is seldom struck by disease, while the trapezius is often affected by over use symptoms, even though both muscles are in constant use. Comparing these muscles may give us ideas about the molecular structure responsible for the difference in pathology. A large scale study on exercise for 450 RA patients has been approved by the Swedish Research Council and initiated in 2010 in collaboration with researchers at the Dep. Rheumatology, Karolinska Institute (

Sports Medicine - Open, Springer 2021, Vol. 7, (1)
Jakobsson, Johan; Julin, A. Lennart; Persson, Glenn; et al.
International Journal of Exercise Science, Western Kentucky University 2021, Vol. 14, (3) : 1052-1069
Jakobsson, Johan; Theos, Apostolos; Malm, Christer B.
Sports Medicine International Open, Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2021, Vol. 5, (1) : E28-E36
Nilsson, Robert; Theos, Apostolos; Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; et al.
Vox Sanguinis, John Wiley & Sons 2020, Vol. 115, (8) : 647-654
Hult, Andreas; Toss, Fredrik; Malm, Christer B.; et al.
Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, Frontiers Media S.A. 2020, Vol. 2
Jakobsson, Johan; Malm, Christer; Furberg, Maria; et al.
Journal of Neuroimmunology, Elsevier 2020, Vol. 341
Shahidi, Seyed Houtan; Kordi, Mohammad Reza; Rajabi, Hamid; et al.
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, Edizioni Minerva Medica 2020, Vol. 60, (7) : 1040-1048
Yu, Ji-Guo; Isaksson, Andreas; Rova, Anton; et al.
International Journal of Exercise Science, Vol. 12, (2) : 57-68
Jakobsson, Johan; Malm, Christer
Sports, MDPI 2019, Vol. 7, (5)
Malm, Christer B.; Jakobsson, Johan; Isaksson, Andreas
Sports Medicine International Open, Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2018, Vol. 2, (4) : E105-E112
Nilsson, Robert; Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Theos, Apostolos; et al.
Idrottens samhällsnytta: en vetenskaplig översikt av idrottsrörelsens mervärden för individ och samhälle, Stockholm: Riksidrottsförbundet 2017 : 21-39
Malm, Christer; Isaksson, Andreas
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2016, Vol. 30, (8) : 2138-2144
Carlsson, Magnus; Carlsson, Tomas; Wedholm, Lars; et al.
21st Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science: Crossing borders through sport science
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Wiklund, Krister; Andersson, Magnus; et al.
PLOS ONE, Vol. 11, (6)
Malm, Christer B.; Khoo, Nelson S.; Granlund, Irene; et al.
Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 6 : 353-360
Carlsson, Tomas; Carlsson, Magnus; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public library science 2015, Vol. 10, (7)
Larsson, Helena; Tegern, Matthias; Monnier, Andreas; et al.
PLOS ONE, Vol. 10, (3)
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Oksa, Juha; Antti, Henrik; et al.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Vol. 9, (6) : 1040-1045
Carlsson, Magnus; Carlsson, Tomas; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Vol. 9, (1) : 12-18
Carlsson, Magnus; Carlsson, Tomas; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer 2014, Vol. 114, (12) : 2587-2595
Carlsson, Magnus; Carlsson, Tomas; Knutsson, Magnus; et al.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, Abingdon: Taylor & Francis 2014, Vol. 20, (2) : 309-321
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Malm, Christer; Oksa, Juha; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science 2014, Vol. 9, (3) : e91215-
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Oksa, Juha; Malm, Christer
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (JSSM), Vol. 13, (4) : 929-933
Mårtensson, Sandra; Nordebo, Kristina; Malm, Christer
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2014, Vol. 9, (9)
Yu, Ji-Guo; Bonnerud, Patrik; Eriksson, Anders; et al.
Journal of Sports Sciences, Taylor & Francis 2013, Vol. 31, (16) : 1753-1760
Carlsson, Tomas; Carlsson, Magnus; Felleki, Majbritt; et al.
Journal of Sports Sciences, Vol. 31, (6) : 582-588
Carlsson, Tomas; Carlsson, Magnus; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
Transfusion, John Wiley & Sons 2013, Vol. 53, (1) : 28-33
Hult, Andreas; Malm, Christer; Oldenborg, Per-Arne
PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science 2013, Vol. 8, (7) : e68047-
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Oksa, Juha; Gavhed, Désirée; et al.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 26, (6) : 1496-1504
Carlsson, Magnus; Carlsson, Tomas; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
Journal of Exercise Physiology - Online, American Society of Exercise Physiology 2012, Vol. 15, (1) : 40-46
Lindberg, Ann-Sofie; Malm, Christer; Hammarström, Daniel; et al.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg 2012, Vol. 138, (1) : 89-99
Malm, Christer; Yu, Ji-Guo
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 26, (1) : 246-250
Nordström, Anna; Högström, Gabriel; Eriksson, Anders; et al.
Military medicine, AMSUS - Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. 2011, Vol. 176, (7) : 785-790
Ekblom, Örjan; Ekblom, Björn; Malm, Christer
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, BioMed Central 2011, Vol. 12, (181) : 11-
Hadrevi, Jenny; Hellström, Fredrik; Kieselbach, Thomas; et al.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 105, (3) : 429-438
Piedrahita, Hugo; Oksa, Juha; Rintamäki, Hannu; et al.
The Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, Informa Healthcare 2008, Vol. 68, (8) : 793-800
Malm, Christer; Hadrevi, Jenny; Bergström, Sven-Anders; et al.
International Journal of Circumpolar Health, Vol. 67, (2-3) : 279-87
Piedrahita, Hugo; Oksa, Juha; Malm, Christer; et al.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 104, (2) : 183-91
Piedrahita, Hugo; Oksa, Juha; Malm, Christer; et al.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Vol. 16, (4) : 287-93
Ekblom, B; Ekblom, O; Malm, Christer
Histochemistry and Cell Biology, Vol. 124, (2) : 167-175
Eriksson, Anders; Kadi, Fawzi; Malm, Christer; et al.
Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, Vol. 16, (1) : 4-6
Malm, Christer
Läkartidningen, Vol. 102, (11) : 867-873
Malm, Christer; Celsing, F; Friman, G
Läkartidningen, Vol. 102, (11) : 867-8, 870, 873
Malm, Christer; Celsing, Fredrik; Friman, Göran
Räddningsverkets serie av forsknings- och utvecklingsrapporter, 2
Malm, Christer; Lindberg, Ann-Sofie
Sports Medicine, Vol. 34, (9) : 555-66
Malm, Christer
International journal of sports medicine, Vol. 25, (6) : 471-6
Malm, Christer; Ekblom, Ö; Ekblom, B
Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, Vol. 180, (2) : 143-55
Malm, Christer; Ekblom, Ö; Ekblom, B
The Journal of physiology, Vol. 556, (Pt 3) : 983-1000
Malm, Christer; Sjödin, Bertil; Sjöberg, Berit; et al.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology, Vol. 118, (1) : 29-34
Yu, J-G; Malm, Christer; Thornell, Lars-Eric
Histochemistry and Cell Biology, Springer 2002, Vol. 118, (1) : 29-34
Yu, Ji-Guo; Malm, Christer; Thornell, Lars-Eric
Published: 25 Nov, 2019