CERIC Center of Excellence for Research on Inflammation and Cardiovascular disease

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Rheumatology Unit, Dept of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital Solna CMM L8:04, SE-17176 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 517 756 09

Group members


Khaled Amara, PhD, assistant professor

Post doc

Karine Chemin, PhD; Fiona Murray, Johanna Steen PhD, Hannes Uchtenhagen PhD

PhD students

Aune Avik MD, Jessica Herrath, Christina Gerstner, Jayesh Pandya, Jennifer Pieper

Vivianne Malmström

Our research is focused around understanding adaptive immune response in autoantibody-positive rheumatic disease. We primarily study rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but also myositis, SLE and vasculitis, which all have in common a strong genetic association to HLA class II that further associtates with a subgroup of patients that develop a distinct set of autoantibodies. We believe that these patients could benefit from antigen-specific immune interventions and we want to contribute towards that.

We work with research samples from several different compartments of well-characterized patients (e.g. blood, joints, lungs and bone marrow) and study both T cells and B cells. For T cells we are interested in both regulatory and autoreactive CD4+ T cells and we do T cell epitope identification as well as immune phenotyping and monitoring. For B cells we study the local repertoire for autoreactive B cells and express recombinant antibodies from both memory B cells and plasma cells for down stream studies of effector functions.

Research interactions with CERIC

  • Both our T and B cell data on patient material can be further dissected in experimental models of disease (and vice versa).
  • Identify similarities to other chronic inflammatory diseases, e.g. study which T cells contribute to cardiovascular events in RA patients?