Evren Alici group

Gene therapy is one of the most exciting developments in medical research. Comprehending the full potential of this new therapeutic approach will have a significant impact on the treatment of many acquired and inherited disorders.

In recognition of this potential, the Gene Therapy Program at our institution was initiated and the first approvals from the Medical Products Agency and the Ethical committee at Huddinge Hospital to treat patients were granted in 1992.

The first patient received gene modified cells in December 1995

The first study tried to reveal the mechanism of relapse after autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma. The first patient received gene modified cells in December 1995 making this study the first gene therapy clinical trial in Sweden.

The program includes a number of targeted clinical and basic research projects.

Clinical research projects have been developed against cancer. Basic research programs have been developed in suicide gene technologies, stem cell and lymphocyte biology, immunotherapy, gene expression and cytogenetics.

Today, we have international leading competence in clinical grade, current good manufacturing practice (GMP) compatible cell and gene therapy applications.


Evren AliciGroup leader, Assistant Professor of Hematology

Dr. Evren Alici is an Assistant Professor of Hematology at Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden. He received his MD and did his residency at the Ege University. He received his Ph.D. in 2006 at Karolinska Institutet. His main research interest is natural killer cells, multiple myeloma, lentiviral and retroviral gene transfer, stem cell transplantation and immunology. He is a member of several international and national committees, advisory boards and scientific meetings. He has mentored many trainees, 3 PhD. students and 2 post docs.

Kelly Grahn, Administrator 

Mari Gilljam, Biomedical research analyst

Educated and highly experienced in GMP work. Developed a closed system for expansion of NK cells. Specializes in multi-color flow cytometry and primary cell culture under GMP conditions.

Michael ChrobokPhD Student

Received B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry from Leibniz University Hannover and M.Sc in Molecular Life Sciences from University of Hamburg. After finishing his master project at the Heinrich-Pette Institute in Hamburg he started recently his PhD studies in Evren Alici´s lab at the Karolinska Institutet.

Ann Wallblom, Biomedical research analyst

Carin Dahlberg , Project Manager 

Arnika Wagner, Postdoc

Alamdar Baloch, Postdoc
Dara Mohammad, Postdoc

Katharina Susek, PhD Student 

Maria Karvouni, PhD Student 

Associated People

Hareth Nahi, Associate Prof, Karolinska University Hospital.

Gösta Gahrton, Prof Emeritus, KI

Andreas Lundqvist, Associate Prof, KI.

Carina Modin, research nurse, Karolinska University Hospital.

Sofia Johansson, Senior Researcher, KI.

Stephan Meinke, Assistant professor, KI.

Magda-Liz Torres, PhD student (Supervisor: Lisa Westerberg), KI.

Charlotte Gran, PhD student (Supervisor: Hareth Nahi), KI.

Göran Wålinder, PhD student (Supervisor: Hareth Nahi), KI.

Thuy Luu Thanh‎, PhD student (Supervisor: Petter Höglund), KI.


Tolga Sütlü, PhD. Dissertation 2012: Expansion and genetic modification of human natural killer cells for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer. Opponent: Prof. Jeffrey S. Miller, University of Minnessota. Dr Sutlu left the lab for to do a postdoc at Sabanci University, Turkey. Dr Sutlu is now Assistant Professor at Sabanci University, Turkey.

Adil D. Duru, postdoc. Left the lab 2014 for a senior staff scientist position at Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, Florida, USA. Dr Duru is now Assistant Professor at Cell Therapy Institute, Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA.

Johan Lund, MD PhD (co-supervisor). Dissertation 2016: Clinical studies in multiple myeloma. Opponent: Prof. Frits van Rhee, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr Lund is now a hematology specialist and post doc in our group.

Katarina Uttervall, MD PhD (co-supervisor). Dissertation 2015: Biological markers and treatment as prognostic factors in multiple myeloma. Opponent: Prof. Ola Landgren, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr Uttervall is now working as an MD and is a post doc in our group.

Selected publications

In search of the molecular consequences of 8p21 deletion in multiple myeloma: commentary on Gmidéne et al.
Sutlu T, Alici E, Gahrton G, Nahi H
Med. Oncol. 2013 ;30(2):569

A combination regimen of bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and betamethasone gives quicker, better and more durable response than VAD/CyBet regimens: results from a Swedish retrospective analysis.
Uttervall K, Admasie J, Alici E, Lund J, Liwing J, Aschan J, et al
Acta Haematol. 2013 ;130(1):7-15 

Inhibition of intracellular antiviral defense mechanisms augments lentiviral transduction of human natural killer cells: implications for gene therapy.
Sutlu T, Nyström S, Gilljam M, Stellan B, Applequist S, Alici E
Hum. Gene Ther. 2012 Oct;23(10):1090-100

Tracheobronchial transplantation with a stem-cell-seeded bioartificial nanocomposite: a proof-of-concept study.
Jungebluth P, Alici E, Baiguera S, Blomberg P, Bozóky B, Crowley C, et al
Lancet 2011 12;378(9808):1997-2004

Ex vivo expansion of natural killer cells: a question of function.
Sutlu T, Alici E
Cytotherapy 2011 Jul;13(6):767-8

Clinical impact of chromosomal aberrations in multiple myeloma.
Nahi H, Sutlu T, Jansson M, Alici E, Gahrton G
J. Intern. Med. 2011 Feb;269(2):137-47

IPH-2101, a fully human anti-NK-cell inhibitory receptor mAb for the potential treatment of hematological cancers.
Alici E
Curr. Opin. Mol. Ther. 2010 Dec;12(6):724-33

GMP facilities for manufacturing of advanced therapy medicinal products for clinical trials: an overview for clinical researchers.
Alici E, Blomberg P
Curr Gene Ther 2010 Dec;10(6):508-15

Clinical-grade, large-scale, feeder-free expansion of highly active human natural killer cells for adoptive immunotherapy using an automated bioreactor.
Sutlu T, Stellan B, Gilljam M, Quezada H, Nahi H, Gahrton G, et al
Cytotherapy 2010 Dec;12(8):1044-55

Suicide gene therapy for graft-versus-host disease.
Georgoudaki A, Sutlu T, Alici E
Immunotherapy 2010 Jul;2(4):521-37

HematologyRegenerative Medicine