Clinical Physiology

The Clinical Physiology Laboratory, led by Dr. Marcus Carlsson, focuses on developing new understanding of the mechanisms of heart failure, by means of linking technical developments of new Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques to pre-clinical and clinical models of heart failure.

headshot of Dr. Marcus Carlsson

Senior Investigator Research Interests

Research Interests

Dr. Carlsson’s research interests are to understand the pathophysiological mechanism in heart failure, primarily using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. To this end, he has worked with both experimental and clinical research with the aim to quantify pumping physiology, myocardial perfusion, intraventricular blood flow, tissue viability, and valvular function. Of particular importance to him is developing and validating new methodologies in multi-disciplinary collaboration with engineers. In Lund, he has initiated and developed the research line on heart failure in congenital heart disease using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. This project aims to understand the mechanisms of heart failure by means of advanced computational modelling based on patient-specific input parameters derived from cardiac MRI during rest and stress. These modelling techniques will be used to guide interventional treatment in order to improve outcome for these patients. The method developed in his group has in few years gone from experimental validation to clinical use to guide catheter interventions in children with heart defects. Based on findings from his research on pumping physiology a start-up medical device company is currently developing a cardiac assist device that aims to restore longitudinal ventricular motion.

Meet the Team

headshot of Dr. Marcus Carlsson

Marcus Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D.

Tenure Track Investigator

Dr. Carlsson received his medical degree at the Lund University, Sweden, in 1998. He received his medical license after his internship in 1999. After his residency training in the specialty of Clinical Physiology 2000-2005, he received full certification as a specialist of clinical physiology from the Swedish Board of Health and Social Welfare in June 2005. His PhD degree was awarded in clinical physiology at Lund University, Sweden, in 2007 and won the award of best thesis of the year in medicine at Lund University. After his PhD he did a one-year post doctoral fellowship at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at University of California San Francisco. After returning to Lund, Sweden Dr. Carlsson also trained in Nuclear Medicine and received full certification as a specialist of Nuclear Medicine from the Swedish Board of Health and Social Welfare in 2013. Dr. Carlsson was appointed Associate Professor of Lund University in 2010. He was the clinical director of the department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine from 2010 to 2013. He was selected for tenured full professor and Department Head of Clinical Physiology at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm but decided to join the NHBLI to start the Clinical Physiology Laboratory at the DIR in January 2021.


Ana Barac, MD

Staff Clinician, Cardiologist Medstar Washington Hospital Center