I am a Chief Scientist at AstraZeneca, adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute and Principal Investigator at the Integrated Cardio Metabolic Center at the Karolinska Institute (ICMC/KI) in Stockholm, Sweden.

I was recruited to AstraZeneca from Imperial College, London where I was Professor and Chair of Myocardial Genetics from 2009 to 2014. I was formerly Professor and Head of the Working Group of Cardiovascular Molecular Genetics at the Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany. I received my professional training as a Postgraduate Researcher and then Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego and clinical training at the University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University Berlin (Charité). I received my doctoral degree at the Max-Planck-Institute of Physiological and Clinical Research, Department of Experimental Cardiology, and was educated at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Medical School, Frankfurt and Justus Liebig University Medical School, Giessen.

I have received several prestigious awards, including the Fritz Acker Award of the German Cardiac Society (2007), the Theodor Frerichs Award of the German Society for Internal Medicine (2003) and an AstraZeneca Award in Basic Science (2002).

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. (Werner Heisenberg)

Professor Ralph Knöll Chief Scientist


German Cardiac Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie): Fritz Acker Award (one of the highest awards of the German Cardiac Society)


German Society for Internal Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medzin): Theodor Frerichs Award (highest scientific award of the German Society of Internal Medicine)


Second AstraZeneca Prize in Basic Science

Key Achievements

Chief Scientist

Project leader of the first Therapeutic Genome Editing project at AstraZeneca

Senior Scientist in the development of innovative strategies to treat heart failure

October 2017

Lecture at Stanford University – Karolinska Stanford initiative: Epigenetics and Heart Failure

  Featured publications

Association of cardiomyopathy with MYBPC3 D389V and MYBPC3Δ25bp intronic deletion in South Asian descendants

Viswanathan SK, Puckelwartz MJ, Mehta A et al. JAMA Cardiol. 2018; 1;3(6):481-488.

The cardiac mechanical stretch sensor machinery involves a z disc complex that is defective in a subset of human dilated cardiomyopathy.

Knöll R, Hoshijima M, Hoffman HM et al. Cell. 2002; 111:943-955.

A common mlp (muscle lim protein) variant is associated with cardiomyopathy.

Knöll R, Kostin S, Klede S et al. Circ Res. 2010; 106:695-704.

Telethonin deficiency is associated with maladaptation to biomechanical stress in the mammalian heart.

Knöll R, Linke WA, Zou P et al. Circ Res. 2011; 109:758-769.

Tcap gene mutations in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Hayashi T, Arimura T, Itoh-Satoh M et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004; 44:2192-2201.

Laminin-alpha4 and integrin-linked kinase mutations cause human cardiomyopathy via simultaneous defects in cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells.

Knöll R, Postel R, Wang J et al. Circulation. 2007; 116:515-525.

Asymmetric septal hypertrophy in heterozygous cmybp-c null mice.

Carrier L, Knöll R, Vignier N et al. Cardiovasc Res. 2004; 63:293-304.

Cardiac mechanotransduction and implications for heart disease.

Knöll R, Hoshijima M, Chien K. J Mol Med. 2003; 81:750-756.

Zebrafish integrin-linked kinase is required in skeletal muscles for strengthening the integrin-ecm adhesion complex.

Postel R, Vakeel P, Topczewski J, Knöll R, Bakkers J. Dev Biol. 2008; 318:92-101.

Relevance of brain natriuretic peptide in preload-dependent regulation of cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum ca2+ atpase expression.

Kögler H, Schott P, Toischer K et al. Circulation. 2006; 113:2724-2732.

Changes in gene expression following short coronary occlusions studied in porcine hearts with run-on assays.

Knöll R, Arras M, Zimmermann R, Schaper J, Schaper W. Cardiovasc Res. 1994; 28:1062-1069.