Katarina Svanberg started her research career by studying laser light interaction in biological tissue. Her PhD thesis in Medical Science presented pre-clinical research work in experimental photodynamic therapy and tissue spectroscopy. Her postdoc research activity was focused on clinical application of the pre-clinical achievements. Svanberg has been an invited speaker at more than 100 international scientific conferences. She has 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is the co-author of 20 scientific review papers. She has combined her clinical activity with research work and was able to introduce a new cancer treatment modality in oncology (photodynamic therapy) at Lund University Hospital. The new modality was validated by two different randomized clinical studies at the hospital. She has been a key person in the collaboration in between several clinics and departments at the Lund University Hospital in introducing and applying laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy for early tumor detection. She has been instrumental in bringing this clinical research work to several other countries within scientific networks, including many countries in Europe, Africa and the United States.
Svanberg is a board member of Lund Laser Centre, and since 1991 she has been a board member of Lund University Medical Laser Centre, where she now is the director. She is also deputy Lund coordinator of an EU project for laser application in medicine, in which industrial and scientific partners collaborate. She is the President-Elect of SPIE and will serve as the Society's president in 2011.