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
Ongoing Research Projects
Recent Selected Publications
JAKOB WIKSTRÖM GROUP
Cutting edge translational research of common and rare skin disease
Associate Professor Jakob Wikström (M.D., Ph.D.) is a clinical dermatologist as well as basic researcher with a background in mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum biology and has a current research focus on several aspects of skin disease. Skin is the largest human organ and has a complex architecture and regulation. With our research – rooted within the fields of metabolism and cell biology – we perform translational research aimed at developing better understanding and treatment of common and rare skin disease. We use techniques such as advanced patient cell culture, primary human skin explant culture, confocal microscopy, metabolomics, extracellular flux analysis and RNA-sequencing. In particular, we focus on patient samples and perform bed-to-bench studies to decipher the underlying mechanisms.
Ongoing Research Projects
1. Chronic leg ulcers cause great suffering in the elderly and consume 2 % of the health care budget; yet the wound healing process is incompletely understood and today´s treatments are often inadequate.
Metabolism in skin wound healing. In this project we use mass spectrometry based metabolomics to study how metabolism changes in wound healing and examine if targeting metabolism is a viable approach to enhancing human wound healing.
Mitochondria in skin wound healing. In this project we use several molecular biology methods to study a certain mitochondrial gene found to be altered in clinical wound samples and how this gene impacts normal and impaired human wound healing as well as normal skin homeostasis.
2. Psoriasis is a severe inflammatory common skin condition that affects both the skin as well as other organs. While there has been recent significant therapeutic advances, metabolic aspects of the disease is largely unexplored.
Metabolism in psoriasis. In this project we use mass spectrometry based metabolomics and proteomics to study a large amount of patient biopsies to characterize the metabolic changes occurring in psoriasis. We use in vitro and in vivo disease models to decipher the role of altered metabolites and proteins in psoriasis pathophysiology.
3. There are many rare skin diseases and most of them lack targeted efficient therapies. Darier disease is a genetic skin condition caused by mutations in the ATP2A2 gene that encodes for the endoplasmic reticulum pump SERCA2.
Novel treatments for Darier disease. In this project we use in vitro screening approaches to identify novel treatments. Our aim is to identify novel compounds and take them all the way to clinical trials.
Co-morbidities or Darier disease. In collaboration with epidemiologist Martin Cederlöf we perform clinical cohort studes and patient registry research to identify medical conditions associated with Darier disease. We have proposed that Darier disease in fact is a systemic condition not just confined to the skin.
We are always looking for highly motivated scientists interested in joining our group. We are also searching for patients with Darier disease or the related condition Hailey-Hailey disease as well as healthy volunteers that can donate small skin biopsies for wound healing studies.
Cell phone: 073-9611019
Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)
Swedish Society for Medical Research (Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning)
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (Marianne och Marcus Wallenbergs Stiftelse)
The Swedish Society of Medicine (Svenska Läkarsällskapet)
Magnus Bergvalls stiftelse
Åke Wibergs stiftelse
Orian Shirihai, UCLA (US)
Carmella Evans-Molina, Indiana University (US)
Nordiska kliniken, Stockholm (Sweden)
Recent Selected Publications
Chen CC, Chen BR, Wang Y, Curman P, Beilinson HA, Brecht RM, Liu CC, Farrell RJ, de Juan-Sanz J, Charbonnier LM, Kajimura S, Ryan TA, Schatz DG, Chatila TA, Wikstrom JD, Tyler JK, Sleckman BP. Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) activity is required for V(D)J recombination. J Exp Med. 2021 Aug 2;218(8):e20201708. doi: 10.1084/jem.20201708.
Bachar-Wikstrom E, Manchanda M, Bansal R, Karlsson M, Kelly-Pettersson P, Sköldenberg O, Wikstrom JD. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in human chronic wound healing: Rescue by 4-phenylbutyrate. Int Wound J. 2021 Feb;18(1):49-61. doi: 10.1111/iwj.13525.
Curman P, Bern J, Sand L, Cederlöf M, Bachar-Wikström E, Wikström JD. Patients with Darier Disease Exhibit Cognitive Impairment while Patients with Hailey-Hailey Disease Do Not: An Experimental, Matched Case-control Study. Acta Derm Venereol. 2021 Jun 22;101(6):adv00476. doi: 10.2340/00015555-3818.
Bachar-Wikstrom E, Curman P, Ahanian T, Leong IUS, Larsson H, Cederlöf M, Wikstrom JD. Darier disease is associated with heart failure: a cross-sectional case-control and population based study Scientific Reports 2020 Apr 23;10(1):6886.
Cederlöf M, Curman P, Ahanian T, Leong IUS, Brismar K, Bachar-Wikstrom E, Wikstrom JD. Darier disease is associated with type 1 diabetes: Findings from a population-based cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Dec;81(6):1425-1426. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.05.087.
Benador IY, Veliova M, Mahdaviani K, Petcherski A, Wikstrom JD, Assali EA, Acín-Pérez R, Shum M, Oliveira MF, Cinti S, Sztalryd C, Barshop WD, Wohlschlegel JA, Corkey BE, Liesa M, Shirihai OS. Mitochondria Bound to Lipid Droplets Have Unique Bioenergetics, Composition, and Dynamics that Support Lipid Droplet Expansion. Cell Metab. 2018 Apr 3;27(4):869-885.e6.
Full publication list can be found here.