Stephan Hjorth

Stephan Hjorth is Professor of Pharmacology. His research expertise focuses on mechanisms of drug action, mainly within the CNS area. He is also an avid mentor/educator in basic and continued pharmacological training contexts, with extensive experience from leading and advising in multiple drug Dx/Dev projects.
Stephan Hjorth is currently independent Pharma/BioTech consulting contractor. He has 40 years experience in pharmacology research in Academic as well as Big Pharma settings. He spent ~25 years in various positions at the Dept. of Pharmacology, Gothenburg Univ., and thereafter as full professor at the Dept. of Pharmacology & Clinical Neurosciences, Umeå Univ., doing research and teaching in both basic and graduate levels. His main responsibilities as Principal Scientist/Project Lead at the Bioscience Dept., AstraZeneca R & D, Mölndal included project management in preclinical drug discovery to early clinical evaluation stages in the CV&GI, metabolism area. In these contexts he focussed particularly on pharmacodynamic-pharmacokinetic (PK-PD) relationships, biomarkers and translation-related issues. He has published extensively, mainly in the field of preclinical neuro- & psychopharmacology, and also acted as editor for the Journal of Neural Transmission. He is a member of several national and international scientific societies, has reviewed grant applications to the EU Framework programme and other foreign grant bodies, and been external examiner at several PhD dissertations in Sweden and the EU. His current research primarily focuses on discovery and development of drugs for obesity and appetite control, including efforts towards animal models useful in translational modelling of PK-PD relationships.


Stephan Hjorth’s research interests span from mechanisms of drug action in neuropsychopharmacological and cognitive contexts to studies of appetite/body weight control, bariatric surgery and metabolic disease. He is also a dedicated advocate of integrated analysis and definitions of PK-PD (biomarker) relationships, including translational work in drug R&D, much of which is carried out in close collaboration with prof. Johan Gabrielsson. Stephan Hjorth is currently engaged both as senior scientific advisor to Biotech & Pharma and in a broad range of basic and supplementary educational frameworks, in as well as outside Academia, i.a., towards professionals in psychiatry. Optimal drug development and treatment strategies require a holistic approach that puts drug property knowledge in the framework of dynamic biological systems. Pharmacological dose-response-time analysis, pattern recognition and target-mediated kinetics are examples of activities that are of great importance in this regard.


  • 1976-1985 Assistant, demonstrator, PhD in Pharmacology @ Gothenburg University, Sweden (1983)
  • 1986-2000 Professor of Pharmacology, lecturer @ Gothenburg University, Sweden; postdoctoral Wellcome Research Fellow @ University of Oxford, UK (1988-89)
  • 2000-2001 Professor of Pharmacology @ Umeå University, Sweden
  • 2001-2013 Principal Scientist/Project Lead @ AstraZeneca, Sweden (+12 years experience Dx-to-Early Dev research)
  • 2013- Guest professor @ Uppsala University, Sweden; Researcher, Sahlgrenska Academy @ Gothenburg University, Sweden; independent consultant/expert advisory contractor to the Pharma/Biotech sector


Selected publications

  • Gabrielsson J, Hjorth S (2016) Pattern recognition in pharmacodynamic data analysis. The AAPS Journal 18: 64-91.
  • Gennemark P, Hjorth S, Gabrielsson J (2015) Modeling energy intake by adding homeostatic feedback and drug intervention. Journal of Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacodynamics 42: 79-96.
  • Hjorth S (1993) Serotonin 5-HT1A autoreceptor blockade potentiates the ability of the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram to increase nerve terminal output of 5-HT in vivo: A microdialysis study. Journal of Neurochemistry 60: 776-779.
  • Hjorth S (2016) Looking back (and in)to the future – A personal reflection on ‘Serotonin Autoreceptor Function and Antidepressant Drug Action’ (Hjorth et al., 2000). Journal of Psychopharmacology 30: 1129-1136.
  • RybergE, Larsson N, Sjögren S, Hjorth S, Hermansson NO, Leonova J, Elebring T, Nilsson K, Drmota T, Greasley PJ (2007) The orphan receptor GPR55 is a novel cannabinoid receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology 152: 1092-1101.
  • Hjorth S, Carlsson A, Clark D, Svensson K, Wikström H, Sanchez D, Lindberg P, Hacksell U, Arvidsson LE, Johansson A, Nilsson JLG (1983) Central dopamine receptor agonist and antagonist actions of the enantiomers of 3-PPP. Psychopharmacology 81: 89-99.



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Stephan Hjort

Stephan Hjort