Professor Robert A. Harris
Professor Robert A. Harris (Bob) was born in Harpenden in Southern UK in 1966. He conducted a Bsc.Hons undergraduate degree at Portsmouth Polytechnic, majoring in Parasitology in 1987. PhD studies at University College London studying innate immune agglutinins in Schistosoma host snail species with Terry Preston and Vaughan Southgate as supervisors culminated with a thesis defence in early 1991. A 2.5 year postdoc at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in Paul Kaye’s research group ensued, with focus on understanding the intracellular fate of Leishmania spp. protozoans in macrophages. Bob was awarded a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship that permitted his relocation to the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) in the spring of 1994. A postdoc period was spent split between the labs of Anders Örn and Tomas Olsson, in which he studied Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma bruceii protozoan proteins. Bob became an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in 1999, heralding his establishment as a PI. Bob started to work with autoimmune diseases in 1996 and began study of therapy using live parasite infections or parasite molecules. His research group has developed autoantigen-specific vaccines, defined the effects of post-translational biochemical molecules on autoantigenicity and developed a macrophage adoptive transfer therapy that prevents pathogenesis in several experimental disease models. He became Professor of Immunotherapy in Neurological Diseases in 2013. In recent years research focus has centred on understanding the immunopathogenesis of incurable neurodegenerative diseases, with particular emphasis on development of immunotherapies directed at microglial cells as potential therapeutic paradigms.
Bob Harris CV July 2020
ERIK HERLENIUS GROUP
Development of autonomic control
Immature or deficient autonomic control is a common problem in infants born at a premature age and is of central importance in apneas, secondary hypoxic brain damage and sudden infant death syndrome.
PER ERIKSSON GROUP
For better understanding of disturbances in respiratory control we study early development of cardiorespiratory control, brainstem neural networks and its associations with normal and pathological breathing. The conceptual change introduced by our recent data that endogenous prostaglandins are central pathogenic factors in respiratory disorders and the hypoxic response, open new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues that should significantly better the diagnostics and treatment of newborns and adult patients.
Inflammation is a major culprit in breathing disorders and we hypothesize that by using a newly developed urinary prostaglandin biomarker we can screen, detect and protect against inflammation related breathing disorders.
Our collaborative efforts enable us to move from a clinical problem to molecular understanding of the disease and studies are performed in patients, animal & in vitro models.
Our research is focused on the development of autonomic control with normal and paediatric patients as the target. Autonomic dysfunction in breathing and circulatory control often has its origin in neurodevelopment disorders. Furthermore, our basic research in developmental neuroscience how neural activity and stem cells form activity dependent networks is vital for the development of therapeutic interventions.
CENTER FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE
CECILIA SÖDERBERG NAUCLER GROUP
Cell and molecular immunology
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infects and is carried by 70-100% of the world’s population, but rarely gives symptoms in the healthy population. In immunosuppressed patients, such as organ or stem cell transplant patients, AIDS patients and neonates, CMV may cause very serious disease and even death.
CMV disease in these groups of patients has also high-lightened the role of the virus in the development of other diseases, in particular for vascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and possibly in certain types of cancer. We have developed new sensitive techniques for detection of CMV infection in tissues from patients with various autoimmune diseases, vascular diseases and cancers. We can now detect an active CMV infection in affected organs in a majority of these patients but not in healthy tissue from the same patients or in tissues from control patients.
We know that CMV is able control different cellular and immunological functions and may thereby precipitate disease development. Antiviral treatment strategies may therefore become useful to cure or control a variety of different diseases. Hence, our long-term goals are to further develop an understanding of how CMV is specifically involved in the development of different diseases, and to find new targets for treatment strategies.
The research in our laboratory is centered on mechanisms that regulate pain signaling, with a particular focus on exploring the role of autoantibodies, nerve growth factor (NGF) and pro/anti inflammatory factors in pain signal transmission in both peripheral and central nervous system. We are currently using several experimental pain models and clinical data/tissues from patient cohorts with the aim to pin point novel targets for the development of new pain therapeutics.
Söderberg-Nauclér C, Fornara O, Rahbar A. Cytomegalovirus driven immunosenescence -An immune phenotype with or without clinical impact? Mech Ageing Dev. 2016 Sep;158:3-13. Review.
Söderberg-Nauclér C. CMV and NK Cells: An Unhealthy Tryst? Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Mar 9;19(3):277-9.
Yaiw KC, Mohammad AA, Costa H, Taher C, Badrnya S, Assinger A, Wilhelmi V, Ananthaseshan S, Estekizadeh A, Davoudi B, Ovchinnikova O, Shlyakhto E, Rafnsson A, Khan Z, Butler L, Rahbar A, Pernow J, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Human Cytomegalovirus Up-Regulates Endothelin Receptor Type B: Implication for Vasculopathies? Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 24;2(4):ofv155.
Rahbar A, Cederarv M, Wolmer-Solberg N, Tammik C, Stragliotto G, Peredo I, Fornara O, Xu X, Dzabic M, Taher C, Skarman P, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Enhanced neutrophil activity is associated with shorter time to tumor progression in glioblastoma patients. Oncoimmunology. 2015 Aug 24;5(2):e1075693.
Fornara O, Odeberg J, Wolmer Solberg N, Tammik C, Skarman P, Peredo I, Stragliotto G, Rahbar A, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Poor survival in glioblastoma patients is associated with early signs of immunosenescence in the CD4 T-cell compartment after surgery. Oncoimmunology. 2015 Jun 5;4(9):e1036211.
Omarsdottir S, Casper C, Navér L, Legnevall L, Gustafsson F, Grillner L, Zweygberg-Wirgart B, Söderberg-Nauclér C, Vanpée M. Cytomegalovirus infection and neonatal outcome in extremely preterm infants after freezing of maternal milk. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 May;34(5):482-9.
Rahbar A, Peredo I, Solberg NW, Taher C, Dzabic M, Xu X, Skarman P, Fornara O, Tammik C, Yaiw K, Wilhelmi V, Assinger A, Stragliotto G, Söderberg-Naucler C. Discordant humoral and cellular immune responses to Cytomegalovirus (CMV) in glioblastoma patients whose tumors are positive for CMV. Oncoimmunology. 2015 Feb 25;4(2):e982391.
Taher C, Frisk G, Fuentes S, Religa P, Costa H, Assinger A, Vetvik KK, Bukholm IR, Yaiw KC, Smedby KE, Bäcklund M, Söderberg-Naucler C, Rahbar A. High prevalence of human cytomegalovirus in brain metastases of patients with primary breast and colorectal cancers. Transl Oncol. 2014 Dec;7(6):732-40.
Badrnya S, Schrottmaier WC, Kral JB, Yaiw KC, Volf I, Schabbauer G, Söderberg-Nauclér C, Assinger A. Platelets mediate oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced monocyte extravasation and foam cell formation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Mar;34(3):571-80.
Söderberg-Nauclér C, Peredo I, Stragliotto G. Valganciclovir in patients with glioblastoma. N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):2066-7.
Wolmer-Solberg N, Baryawno N, Rahbar A, Fuchs D, Odeberg J, Taher C, Wilhelmi V, Milosevic J, Mohammad AA, Martinsson T, Sveinbjörnsson B, Johnsen JI, Kogner P, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Frequent detection of human cytomegalovirus in neuroblastoma: a novel therapeutic target? Int J Cancer. 2013 Nov 15;133(10):2351-61.
Assinger A, Yaiw KC, Göttesdorfer I, Leib-Mösch C, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) induces human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) transcription. Retrovirology. 2013 Nov 12;10:132.
Stragliotto G, Rahbar A, Solberg NW, Lilja A, Taher C, Orrego A, Bjurman B, Tammik C, Skarman P, Peredo I, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Effects of valganciclovir as an add-on therapy in patients with cytomegalovirus-positive glioblastoma: a randomized, double-blind, hypothesis-generating study. Int J Cancer. 2013 Sep 1;133(5):1204-13.
Rahbar A, Orrego A, Peredo I, Dzabic M, Wolmer-Solberg N, Strååt K, Stragliotto G, Söderberg-Nauclér C. Human cytomegalovirus infection levels in glioblastoma multiforme are of prognostic value for survival. J Clin Virol. 2013 May;57(1):36-42.
Taher C, de Boniface J, Mohammad AA, Religa P, Hartman J, Yaiw KC, Frisell J, Rahbar A, Söderberg-Naucler C. High prevalence of human cytomegalovirus proteins and nucleic acids in primary breast cancer and metastatic sentinel lymph nodes. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56795. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056795.