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Our overall goal is to increase understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of lymphoma and autoimmunity, and factors controlling disease progression to improve diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of these patients. Our laboratory is strategically placed close to the Karolinska University hospital, enabling easy access of clinical samples. We use a broad array of laboratory techniques, including cellular immunology assays, spatial investigations and genetic studies of unique clinical material. 

Our main research interest is to understand pathways governing development of systemic inflammatory diseases and lymphoma and the link between those two, since patients with autoimmune diseases run an increased risk of developing lymphoma and other cancers. We investigate possible immune mechanisms and tumor properties governing cancer development in patients with autoimmunity, including dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

In addition, we focus on cutaneous T cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of lymphoma primarily engaging the skin. The unique accessibility of this disease allows for easy access to the tumor and the possibility to follow the development of the lymphoma and anti-lymphoma immune responses over time. Most of the patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma get an indolent disease, but for largely unknown reasons around 10-15% percent develop aggressive disease with high fatality.

In these efforts our ultimate aims are to increase fundamental knowledge on the pathogenesis of cutaneous lymphoma and cancer in autoimmunity and aid earlier identification of patients at risk of aggressive disease. 

To reach our goal have set up a strong collaborative team of researchers and clinicians in dermatology, hematology, rheumatology, oncology, pathology, immunology and epidemiology to take a broad approach. Our research originates in clinical questions and patient material paired with high level basic science experimental investigations.

The research is clearly translational, bridging from patients to basic science and hopefully back to the patients again, with the scientific questions always originating in the clinical disease.


Team leader

Hanna Brauner is principal investigator and associate professor at the Department of Medicine, Solna, Team Leader at the Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMM), and specialist in dermatology at the Dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital. She defended her thesis in 2010, at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology, Karolinska Institutet (KI), supervised by professors Petter Höglund and Klas Kärre. Her first postdoctoral training was with professor James Di Santo, the Pasteur Institute, in 2012-2013. Thereafter she did a second postdoctoral period with associate professor Lisa Westerberg, KI, in 2015-2017. In 2018 Hanna Brauner was awarded a young investigator award from the Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF) and was recruited to the Department of Medicine, Solna and CMM. She is responsible for patients with cutaneous lymphoma at the dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital, member of the group creating national treatment guidelines for cutaneous lymphoma and co-organizer for a Nordic network for cutaneous lymphoma. 


Team members

Julia Nenonen, MD, PhD student

Hanh Thi My Long, MD, postdoctoral student

Mengmeng Xiang, MD, visiting PhD student

Lina Ivert, MD, clinical postdoctoral student

Ida Mazaheri Khameneh, medical student, exam work

Kajsa Enjin Jacobsson, medical student, exam work

Anna Winther, MD, project student


Team members alumni

Andrea Scheffschick, postdoc (now postdoctoral student, University of Leipzig, Germany)

Sina Fuchs, postdoc (now scientist, BioNTech, Mainz, Germany)

Sofi Vikström, MD, project student (now PhD student, department of Oncology and Pathology, KI)

Ellinor Leijonhufvud, MD, project student

Wilma Lindström, medical student, project student

Elena Björnbom, medical student, project student

Team members


Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF, young investigator award), the Swedish Cancer Society (clinical research months), Region Stockholm (clinical research appointment and ALF medicine), and Clas Groschinsky, Åke Wiberg, Magnus Bergvall, Welander’s, Karolinska Institutet and Rheumatology and Karolinska Institutet foundations (project grants, KID-grant, KIRI Fellow grant for interdisciplinary postdoc), Radiumhemmet research foundation, China Scholarship Council.



Interested in joining the team: We are always looking for highly motivated people to join our team. Please contact Hanna Brauner if you are interested, at


Selected publications

Mohanty S, Kamolvit W, Scheffschick A, Björklund A, Tovi J, Espinosa A, Brismar K, Nyström T, Schroeder J, Ostenson CG, Aspenström P, Brauner H, and Brauner A. Diabetes downregulates the antimicrobial peptide psoriasin and increases E. coli burden in the urinary bladder. Nat. Commun. 2022 Sep 20;13(1):4983. 


Wickström SL, Wagner AK, Fuchs S, Elemans M, Kritikou J, Mehr R, Kärre K, Johansson MH*, Brauner H*. MHC Class I-Dependent Shaping of the NK Cell Ly49 Receptor Repertoire Takes Place Early during Maturation in the Bone Marrow.J Immunol. 2022 Aug 15;209(4):751-759. *shared last author


Nenonen J, Winther A, Leijonhufvud E, Belfrage E, Ekström-Smedby K, Brauner H. Overall survival and registration of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients in Sweden: a multi-center cohort and validation study

Acta Oncol. 2022 Mar 25:1-5.


Scheffschick A, Fuchs S, Malmström V, Gunnarsson I, Brauner H. Kidney infiltrating NK cells and NK-like T cells in lupus nephritis - presence, localization and the effect of immunosuppressive treatment.

Clin Exp Immunol. 2021 Dec 28:uxab035.


Kritikou JS, Oliveira MMS, Record J, Saeed MB, Nigam SM, He M, Keszei M, Wagner AK, Rentouli S, Brauner H, Sendel A, Sedimbi S, Rentouli S, Lane DP, Snapper SB, Kärre K, Vandenberghe P, Orange JS, and Westerberg LS. Constitutive activation of WASp leads to abnormal cytotoxic cells with increased granzyme B and degranulation response to target cells.

JCI Insight (2021), 22 Mar 2021, 6 (6): 140273.


Wagner A.K., Gehrmann U., Hiltbrunner S, Carannante V, Luu T.T., Näslund T.I., Brauner H, Kadri N, Kärre K and Gabrielsson S. Soluble and exosome-bound α‑Galactosylceramide mediate preferential proliferation of educated NK cells with increased anti-tumor capacity.

Cancers (2021), 15 Jan 2021, 13, 298


Record J, Sendel A, Kritikou JS, Kuznetsov NV, Brauner H, He M, Nagy N, Oliveira MMS, Griseti E, Haase CB, Dahlström J, Boddul S, Wermeling F, Thrasher AJ, Liu C, Andersson J, Claesson H-E, Winqvist O, Burns SO, Björkholm M, and Westerberg LS. An intronic deletion in Megakaryoblastic Leukemia 1 is associated with hyperproliferation of B cells in triplets with Hodgkin lymphoma. Haematologica. 2019 Oct 3


Keszei M, Record J, Kritikou JS, Wurzer H, Geyer C, Thiemann M, Drescher P, Brauner H, Köcher L, James J, He M, Baptista MA, Dahlberg CI, Biswas A, Lain S, Lane DP, Song W, Pütsep K, Vandenberghe P, Snapper SB, Westerberg LS. Constitutive activation of WASp in X-linked neutropenia renders neutrophils hyperactiveJ Clin Invest. 2018 Aug 31;128(9):4115-4131.

Kritikou JS, DahlbergCIM, Baptista  MAP, Wagner AK, Banerjee PP, Gwalani LA, Poli C, Panda S, Kärre K, Kaech SM, Wermeling F, Andersson J, Orange JS, Brauner H,Westerberg LS. IL-2 in the tumor microenvironment is necessary for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein deficient NK cells to respond to tumors in vivo. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 1. 

Wagner AK, Wickström SL, Tallerico R, Salam S, Lakshmikanth T, Brauner H, Höglund P, Carbone E, Johansson MH, Kärre K. Retuning of Mouse NK Cells after Interference with MHC Class I Sensing Adjusts Self-Tolerance but Preserves Anticancer Response. Cancer Immunol Res. 2016 Feb;4(2):113-23. 

Brauner H, Hall HT, Flodström-Tullberg M, Kärre K, Höglund P, Johansson S. Depletion of IL-2 receptor β-positive cells protects from diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Immunol Cell Biol. 2016 Feb;94(2):177-84.

Brauner H, Lüthje P, Grünler J, Ekberg NR, Dallner G, Brismar K, Brauner A. Markers of innate immune activity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and the effect of the anti-oxidant coenzyme Q10 on inflammatory activity. Clin Exp Immunol.2014 Aug;177(2):478-82. 

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