Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam Group

Research Description

Infection Immunology

We are interested in understanding how early interactions between foreign antigens and immune cells influence the development of specific B cell responses and how such responses evolve over time. In several projects, we study properties of vaccine-induced B cell responses at the clonal level by single-cell sorting B cells for sequence analysis of antibody V(D)J transcripts and for isolation of antigen-specific monoclonal antibodies. We also apply next generation sequencing to analyze antibody repertoires and to trace specific antibody lineages in specific immune compartments. Because gene assignment is a critical first step of lineage tracing, and there is considerable genetic variation in germline V genes/alleles between subjects, we recently developed a computational tool that allows the generation of individualized germline V gene databases, IgDiscover. This is a major technical advance that will enable the use of individualized germline databases to become a standard element of high quality immunological studies in both humans and experimental animals. By applying these methods we can obtain new and highly detailed information about the establishment of long-lived immunity in response to immunization. We also study mice with specific mutations in pathways affecting B cell development or activation, allowing us to investigate processes regulating B cell selection and differentiation.




B cell repertoire analysis following immunization

Isolation and analysis of vaccine-elicited monoclonal antibodies

Mechanistic studies of mice with defects in humoral immune responses


Affiliated project leaders

Jonathan Coquet Project Group


Selected Publications

CD138 and CD31 Double-Positive Cells Comprise the Functional Antibody-Secreting Plasma Cell Compartment in Primate Bone Marrow.
Martinez-Murillo P, Pramanik L, Sundling C, Hultenby K, Wretenberg P, Spångberg M, et al
Front Immunol 2016 ;7():242

NF-κB signaling in B-1 cell development.
Pedersen G, Ádori M, Karlsson Hedestam G
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 2015 Dec;1362():39-47

Real-time resolution of point mutations that cause phenovariance in mice.
Wang T, Zhan X, Bu C, Lyon S, Pratt D, Hildebrand S, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015 Feb;112(5):E440-9

Diverse antibody genetic and recognition properties revealed following HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein immunization.
Phad G, Vázquez Bernat N, Feng Y, Ingale J, Martinez Murillo P, O'Dell S, et al
J. Immunol. 2015 Jun;194(12):5903-14

Slc15a4 function is required for intact class switch recombination to IgG2c in response to TLR9 stimulation.
Dosenovic P, Ádori M, Adams W, Pedersen G, Soldemo M, Beutler B, et al
Immunol. Cell Biol. 2015 Feb;93(2):136-46

MAVS, cGAS, and endogenous retroviruses in T-independent B cell responses.
Zeng M, Hu Z, Shi X, Li X, Zhan X, Li X, et al
Science 2014 Dec;346(6216):1486-92

B-1a transitional cells are phenotypically distinct and are lacking in mice deficient in IκBNS.
Pedersen G, Àdori M, Khoenkhoen S, Dosenovic P, Beutler B, Karlsson Hedestam G
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Sep;111(39):E4119-26

Enhanced HIV-1 immunotherapy by commonly arising antibodies that target virus escape variants.
Klein F, Nogueira L, Nishimura Y, Phad G, West A, Halper-Stromberg A, et al
J. Exp. Med. 2014 Nov;211(12):2361-72

HIV-1 receptor binding site-directed antibodies using a VH1-2 gene segment orthologue are activated by Env trimer immunization.
Navis M, Tran K, Bale S, Phad G, Guenaga J, Wilson R, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2014 Aug;10(8):e1004337

Single-cell and deep sequencing of IgG-switched macaque B cells reveal a diverse Ig repertoire following immunization.
Sundling C, Zhang Z, Phad G, Sheng Z, Wang Y, Mascola J, et al
J. Immunol. 2014 Apr;192(8):3637-44

Vaccine-elicited primate antibodies use a distinct approach to the HIV-1 primary receptor binding site informing vaccine redesign.
Tran K, Poulsen C, Guenaga J, de Val N, de Val Alda N, Wilson R, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Feb;111(7):E738-47

A forward genetic screen reveals roles for Nfkbid, Zeb1, and Ruvbl2 in humoral immunity.
Arnold C, Pirie E, Dosenovic P, McInerney G, Xia Y, Wang N, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012 Jul;109(31):12286-93

High-resolution definition of vaccine-elicited B cell responses against the HIV primary receptor binding site.
Sundling C, Li Y, Huynh N, Poulsen C, Wilson R, O'Dell S, et al
Sci Transl Med 2012 Jul;4(142):142ra96

BLyS-mediated modulation of naive B cell subsets impacts HIV Env-induced antibody responses.
Dosenovic P, Soldemo M, Scholz J, O'Dell S, Grasset E, Pelletier N, et al
J. Immunol. 2012 Jun;188(12):6018-26

Soluble HIV-1 Env trimers in adjuvant elicit potent and diverse functional B cell responses in primates.
Sundling C, Forsell M, O'Dell S, Feng Y, Chakrabarti B, Rao S, et al
J. Exp. Med. 2010 Aug;207(9):2003-17

A mutation of Ikbkg causes immune deficiency without impairing degradation of IkappaB alpha.
Siggs O, Berger M, Krebs P, Arnold C, Eidenschenk C, Huber C, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 Feb;107(7):3046-51

The challenges of eliciting neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1 and to influenza virus.
Karlsson Hedestam G, Fouchier R, Phogat S, Burton D, Sodroski J, Wyatt R
Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2008 Feb;6(2):143-55


Further publications

Further Publications 2005-2015 on PubMed

Further Publications before 2005 on PubMed 

Group Members


Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam

Telefon: 08-524 869 55
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp

Senior forskningsspecialist

Martin Corcoran

Telefon: 08-524 869 43
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp

Senior forskningsspecialist

Monika Àdori

Telefon: 08-524 869 46
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Elina Eriksson

Telefon: 08-524 869 52
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Paola Andrea Martinez Murillo

Telefon: 08-524 869 43


Martina Soldemo

Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Ganesh Phad

Telefon: 08-524 869 43
Enhet: Institutionen för mikrobiologi, tumör- och cellbiologi (MTC), C1


Sharesta Khoenkhoen

Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Néstor Vázquez Bernat

Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Pradeepa Pushparaj

Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp

Jonathan Coquet Project:


Jonathan Coquet

Telefon: 08-524 869 52
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Chris Tibbitt

Telefon: 08-524 869 46
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Julian Stark

Telefon: 08-524 869 46
Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


Mohamed Mohamed Eltahir

Telefon: 852486952


Leona Rohrbeck

Enhet: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam grupp


PhD students (name and year of graduation)

Main supervisor:

Åsa Hidmark, 2007
Åsa defended her PhD in 2007 after which she received the Jonas Söderqvist’s Prize for basic research in virology and immunology. Åsa moved on to a post-doctoral position at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, where she is now active as a senior research scientist in the field of immunology and diabetes.
Mattias Forsell, 2008
Mattias defended his PhD in 2008. Part of his doctoral research was carried out at the National Institutes of Health in Washington. After this, he received an Early career investigator AMFAR award for post-doctoral work, which was carried out at Karolinska Institutet. He recently obtained a position as Assistant Professor at Umeå University where he now leads his own research group.
Pia Dosenovic, 2012
Pia defended her PhD in 2012 after which she obtained 3 years of funding from the Swedish Research Council to pursue a post-doc at the Rockefeller University in New York. Pia is currently active in several research consortia including CHAVI-ID, as a member of the Nussenzweig laboratory.
Christopher Sundling, 2012
Christopher defended his PhD in 2012 and in the last year of his studies he was awarded the Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation Prize. He subsequently also received the Jonas Söderqvist’s Prize for basic research in virology and immunology and Sven Gard’s prize for best thesis in virology. He is currently pursuing a post-doc in the Brink laboratory at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Cornelia Gujer, 2011
Kai Eng, 2012
Lina Josefsson, 2013
Lotta Pramanik Sollerkvist, 2014

MSc students (name and year of graduation)

Christopher Sundling, 2007
Martina Soldemo, 2009
Nick Huynh, 2011
Max Reiss, 2011
Flavio Lombardo, 2013
Néstor Vázquez Bernat, 2014
Sharesta Khoenkhoen, 2014

Previous post-docs

Iyadh Douagi
Marjon Navis


International collaborators
John Mascola, Vaccine Research Center, NIH
Richard Wyatt, The Scripps Research Center
Larry Shapiro, Columbia University
Michael Cancro, University of Pennsylvania
Lynn Morris, Johannesburg
Bruce Beutler, UT Southwestern
Roberto Cattaneo, Mayo Clinic
Michel Nussenzweig, Rockefeller University
Joe Sodroski/Navid Madani, Harvard Medical School

National collaborators
Joan Yuan, Lund University
Robin Löving/Henrik Garoff, Dept. of Biosciences and Nutrition, KI
Karin Loré, CIM, KI
Mikael Karlsson, MTC, KI
Stephen Malin, Dept. of Medicine, KI
Mats Persson, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, KI


We gratefully receive financial support for our research from several organizations, currently from:

Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR)
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
Karolinska Institutet (KID medel)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Wenner-Gren Foundation
KI-Mayo Clinic Collaborative Grants
David och Astrid Hageléns stiftelse
European Union, H2020


Visiting Address

Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology Karolinska Institutet P.O. Box 280 Nobels väg 16 SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden