Prof. Johan Agren

Uppsala University, University Children's Hospital


1) Present positions
Medical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care, University Children’s Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
Associate Professor, Uppsala University, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala, Sweden
2) Higher education
1993 MD (Uppsala University)  
3) Doctoral degree
2003 PhD (Uppsala University)
Title of thesis: Water transport through perinatal skin. Barrier function and aquaporin water channels
4) Post-doctoral positions
2004-2005 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD 2004-2005 Visiting Fellow in Neonatology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore MD
5) Licenses
2000 Pediatrics
2003 Neonatology
6) Positions held
1993-1995     Internship
1995-2000 Residency and Fellowship in Pediatrics  
2001-2003     Fellowship in Neonatology
2004-2008 Staff Neonatologist
7) Mentoring
PhD students
2021- Veronica Starke, RN, PhD (co-mentor)
2020- Anna Törn, MD (co-mentor)
2020- Sofia Arwehed MD (co-mentor)
2020- Karla Gonzalez Tamez MD (main mentor)
2018- Fanny Söderström, MD (main mentor)
2019- Nima Naseh, MD (co-mentor)
Clinical Victoria Karlsson RN (main mentor)
2018-2020 Eva Albinsson, Neonatology Fellow
2014-2017 Nima Naseh, Neonatology Fellow
2010-2013 Hugo Olsson, Neonatology Fellow
2006-2010 Åsa Neuman, Pediatric Resident



≈35 original peer-reviewed publications, reviews, editorials, and 10 book chapters.
9) Current research  
Clinical research on different aspects of neonatal care. The focus is on optimization of neonatal intensive care with the aim to maintain normal physiology and minimize central nervous system harm. The main interests are:
a) Optimizing fluid management of the tiniest (<24 weeks gestation) infants (with F Söderström, R. Sindelar, E Normann, M Rysavy, EF Bell)
b) Intra-operative monitoring, management, and oxidative stress in newborn infants during general anesthesia (with V. Karlsson, B. Sporre, F. Freden and S. Basu)
c) Physiological effects and physical environment during skin-to-skin care of extremely preterm infants (with V. Karlsson and Y. Thernström Blomqvist)
d) Perinatal asphyxia and intensive care management during hypothermia treatment (with M. Jonsson, Lena H Westas, and K Gonzalez).
Earlier research mainly related to the physiology of neonatal heat and fluid balance, and molecular mechanisms for trans-cellular water transport.
10) Publications 2017-2021
1. Späth C, Sjöström ES, Ahlsson F, Ågren J, Domellöf M. Sodium supply influences plasma sodium concentration and the risks of hyper- and hyponatremia in extremely preterm infants. Pediatr Res 2017 Mar;81(3):455-460. doi: 10.1038/pr.2016.264.
2. Karlsson V, Sporre B, Hellström-Westas L, Ågren J. Poor performance of main-stream capnography in newborn infants during general anesthesia. Pediatr Anesth 2017; doi:
3. Liljeström L, Wikström AK, Ågren J, Jonsson M. Maternal height, body mass index and the risk of neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2017; doi: 10.1111/aogs.13316.
4. Frid I, Ågren J, Kjellberg M, Normann E, Sindelar R. Critically ill neonates displayed stable vital parameters and reduced metabolic acidosis during neonatal emergency airborne transport in Sweden. Acta Paediatr 2018; doi:10.1111/apa.14295.
5. Backes C, Söderström F, Ågren J, Sindelar R, Rivera B, Shepherd E, Nelin L, Normann E. Outcomes Following a Comprehensive versus a Selective Approach for Infants Born at 22 Weeks of Gestation. J Perinatol 2018;
6. Söderström F, Normann E, Holmström G, Larsson E, Ahlsson F, Sindelar R, Ågren J. Reduced rate of treated retinopathy of prematurity after implementing lower oxygen saturation targets. J Perinatol 2019;
7. Biskop E, Paulsdotter T, Hellström Westas L, Ågren J, Thernström Blomqvist Y. Parental participation during therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Sex Reprod Healthc 2019;
8. Ågren J. Using skin-to-skin contact for thermal control in very and extremely preterm infants must optimise heat exchange in order to maintain body temperature. Acta Paediatr 2019; doi: 10.1111/apa.15117.
9. Malmqvist O, Ohlin A, Ågren J, Jonsson M. Seizures in newborn infants without hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy – antenatal and labor related risk factors: a casecontrol study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2020; doi:10.1080/14767058.2018.
10. Thernström Blomqvist Y, Dawit F, Karlsson V, Sindelar R, Ågren J. Physiological stability in very preterm infants during skin-to-skin contact as assessed by nearinfrared spectroscopy. Adv Neonatal Care 2020; doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000764.
11. Bäcke P, Hjelte B, Hellström Westas L, Ågren J, Thernström Blomqvist Y. When all I wanted was to hold my baby—The experiences of parents of infants who received therapeutic hypothermia. Acta Paediatr 2020; doi: 10.1111/apa.15431.
12. Söderström F, Normann E, Jonsson M, Ågren J. Outcomes of a uniformly active approach to infants born at 22–24 weeks of gestation. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2021; doi:10.1136/archdischild-2020-320486.
13. Rysavy MA, Mehler K, Oberthur A, Ågren J, Kusuda S, McNamara PJ, Giesinger RE, Kribs A, Normann E, Carlson SJ, Klein JM, Backes CH, Bell EF. An Immature Science: Intensive Care for Infants Born at ≤23 Weeks of Gestation. J Pediatr 2021;
14. Sindelar R, Shepherd EG, Ågren J, Panitch HB, Abman SH, Nelin LD. Established severe BPD: is there a way out? Change of ventilatory paradigms. Pediatr Res 2021; doi:
15. Söderström F, Ågren J, Sindelar R. Early extubation is associated with shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and lower incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Early Hum Dev 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105467.
16. Ågren J, Segar JL, Söderström F, Bell EF. Fluid management considerations in extremely preterm infants born at 22-24 weeks of gestation. Semin Perinatol 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2021.151541.
17. Ågren J. The proactive approach to mother-infant dyads at 22-24 weeks of gestation:
Perspectives from a Swedish center. Semin Perinatol 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2021.151536.
18. Thernström Blomqvist Y, Ågren J, Karlsson V. The Swedish approach to nurturing extremely preterm infants and their families: A nursing perspective. Semin Perinatol 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2021.151542.
11) Book Chapters
1. Neveus T, Ågren J (Eds). Handbook in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Uppsala University 2020; ISBN: 978-91-506-1960-7 (Swedish).
2. Ågren J. The Thermal Environment of the Intensive Care Nursery. In: Martin R, Fanaroff A, Walsh M (Eds.): Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2020; ISBN: 978-0-323-56711-4.
12) Memberships
Swedish Society of Medicine
Swedish Associations of Pediatrics and Neonatology European Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR)
European Society of Neonatology (ESN)
Society for Pediatric Research (SPR)
Tiny Baby Collaborative
Bronchopulmonary Collaborative

Bronchopulmonary Collaborative

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