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
LARS KLARESKOG GROUP
The main focus of our group is Rheumatoid arthritis, but our research has a strong relevance also for ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Taken together these diseases affect about 2 % of the population, and if they are not treated, they may lead to disability and joint destruction in most affected individuals.
Our research is aimed at understanding how environment/lifestyle interacts with genes, in giving rise to immune and inflammatory reactions that may cause arthritis. From a detailed understanding of these factors in different distinct subsets of arthritis disease, we will increasingly be able to prevent and treat patients based on knowledge of the specific disease-causing mechanisms active in that particular individual. We will also be able to advice healthy individuals (such as family members of these suffering from arthritis) a on preventive measures against arthritis.
Detailed molecular studies on immune reactions that cause arthritis in different genetic contexts are performed in the various research teams in CMM, with Leonid Padyukov being responsible for genetics, Vivianne Malmström for cellular immunology, Anca Catrina for studies of mode of action of anti-rheumatic therapies, and Jon Lampa for studies on interactions between the brain and the immune system in arthritis.. We also have a close collaboration with epidemiology temas led by Laprof Lars Alfredson and Johna Askling as well as with our clinical trials and treatment Unit at Karolinska, led by Prof Ronald van Vollenhoven.
Our group has a leading edge in the world concerning research aimed at understanding how genes, environment and immunity interact in causing disease. Thus, we use our large longitudinally followed patient cohorts as well as our control populations to perform detailed genetic studies on susceptibility genes. We use knowledge of methods to analyze gene-environment interactions describe such interactions in RA, and we use immunological studies to understand the fine specificity of immune reactions against citrullinated proteins/peptides and other autoantigenes that may be responsible for disease development in different subsets of RA.