Robert Harris' research group - our research

We aim to apply novel therapies derived from experimental studies into the human clinical setting.


The Applied Immunology group is dedicated to investigation of the pathogenesis of incurable diseases affecting the Central Nervous System /CNS), including chronic Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Glioblastoma brain tumors. There are currently no effective therapies for any of these diseases and so our primary aim is to develop new therapies for use in these diseases. Through study of experimental diseases,our ultimate aim is to apply this knowledge to the human clinical situation. 

We conduct a strongly interconnected research programme aimed at using knowledge gained from projects in basic science to applications in a clinical setting. These aims can be summarised as: 

  • Studying the heterogeneity of microglial function in the CNS 
  • Developing myeloid cell-targeted immunotherapies 
  • Development of novel immunotherapies using immunoparticles

Another major aim is the training of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. We contribute to teaching in the undergraduate programs for Allergy, Immunology & Inflammation, Neuroscience and Biomedicine. Students and clinicians are welcome to conduct projects in the laboratory. The research laboratory is located in the Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMM) at the Karolinska Hospital. Within CMM, we collaborate with research groups in rheumatology, immunology, cell biology and other disciplines. We are also engaged in active collaborations with research groups at MTC, Huddinge Hospital and several international institutions.

Research projects

  • Personalised myeloid cell therapy for treatment of chronic neuroinflammatory diseases 
  • Microglial depletion and repopulation treatment of neurodegenerative diseases 
  • Immunotherapy in neurological diseases using immunoparticles 

Research Group Leader

Robert Harris

Research Group Leader
K8 Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Selected publications

Competitive repopulation of an empty microglial niche yields functionally distinct subsets of microglia-like cells.
Lund H, Pieber M, Parsa R, Han J, Grommisch D, Ewing E, et al
Nat Commun 2018 11;9(1):4845

Fatal demyelinating disease is induced by monocyte-derived macrophages in the absence of TGF-β signaling.
Lund H, Pieber M, Parsa R, Grommisch D, Ewing E, Kular L, et al
Nat. Immunol. 2018 05;19(5):1-7

TGFβ regulates persistent neuroinflammation by controlling Th1 polarization and ROS production via monocyte-derived dendritic cells.
Parsa R, Lund H, Tosevski I, Zhang X, Malipiero U, Beckervordersandforth J, et al
Glia 2016 11;64(11):1925-37

BAFF-secreting neutrophils drive plasma cell responses during emergency granulopoiesis.
Parsa R, Lund H, Georgoudaki A, Zhang X, Ortlieb Guerreiro-Cacais A, Grommisch D, et al
J. Exp. Med. 2016 07;213(8):1537-53

Adoptive transfer of immunomodulatory M2 macrophages prevents type 1 diabetes in NOD mice.
Parsa R, Andresen P, Gillett A, Mia S, Zhang X, Mayans S, et al
Diabetes 2012 Nov;61(11):2881-92

Group members

Content reviewer: