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Jenny Mjösberg group

The purpose of our research is to characterize the role for innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in intestinal inflammation and cancer.

ILCs is a group of cells that was recently described in humans. The function of these cells is mainly as protectors of mucosal barrier function in the gut and other organs, but more and more data indicate that they might also be involved in disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer in the gut. We are trying to gain insight into basic ILC biology; how these cells are differentiated, regulated and interact with other cells in the immune system in the context of gut inflammation and cancer.

Our research is set up in a truly translational fashion, where we address complex immunological questions in unique tissue material from patients with inflammation or tumors. For this, we use advanced 16-color flow cytometry analysis and sorting, in vitro cell assays as well as several molecular-based techniques such as RNA-sequencing.

Read more about innate lymphoid cells

Mjösberg J. Innate Lymphoid Cells. Peer-reviewed poster produced for Nat Immunol, Nat Rev Immunol and StemCell Technologies. 2015.

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Current clinical collaborations

  • Dr. Danielle Friberg, CLINTEC, KI
  • Dr. Ulrik LIndforss, CLINTEC, KI
  • Prof. Sven Almer, MedS, KI
  • Dr. Charlotte Höög, MedH, KI
  • Dr. Peter Thelin Schmidt, MedS, KI
  • Dr. Franscesca Bresso, MedS, KI
  • Prof. Annika Bergquist, Clinical Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Dr. Ewa Ellis, CLINTEC, KI

Current collaborators and networks in academia and industry

  • Hergen Spits, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Akos Heinemann, Graz University, Austria
  • Alasdair Leslie, Kwazulu Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV, Durban, South Africa
  • Jonas Halfvarsson, Örebro University, Sweden
  • Mauro D’Amato, BioCruces Health Research Institute, Bilbao, Spain
  • Johan Söderholm, Linköping University, Sweden
  • cHAMP (CfA highlights Asthma Markers of Phenotype), allergy network at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden including Henric Olsson and Carla Winkler, AstraZeneca Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity (RIA) iMED, Mölndal, Sweden
  • MIIC (Mucosal Immunology and Infection Center, Linköping University, Sweden)
  • SOIBD (Swedish Organization for IBD)

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden:

  • Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Jakob Michaelsson J, Yenan Bryceson, Mattias Svensson, Peter Bergman, Rickard Sandberg, Gunnar Nilsson, Eduardo Villablanca, Liv Eidsmo

Current funding

  • Knut och Alice Wallenberg Foundation (Wallenberg Academy Fellow)
  • Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF; Ingvar Carlsson Award)
  • The Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF)
  • The Swedish Research Council (VR)
  • The Swedish Cancer Society
  • Marie Sklodowska Curie Postdoc Fellowship (for Viktoria Konya)
  • Åke Olsson Foundation
  • Jonas Söderqvist Foundation
  • Torsten Söderberg Foundation
  • Karolinska Institutet
Lab members
Jenny Mjösberg, group leader

She earned her PhD in reproductive immunology at Linköping University in 2010, and immediately joined Professor Hergen Spits at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. As a postdoctoral fellow in Prof Spits’ lab she has made important discoveries in the field of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) focusing especially on human type 2 ILCs and their role in allergic inflammation. She is now an Assistant Professor at CIM where she is continuing her research on ILCs, focusing on the role for ILCs in gastrointestinal inflammation and cancer.

Marianne Forkel, PhD student

She received her Diploma degree from the Philipps-University of Marburg in 2011. She studied Human Biology with a focus on Neurobiology and Immunology. Before she came to KI she worked at the NCL Foundation in Hamburg. She joined the group as a PhD student in September 2013, working on ILCs in gut and liver inflammation.

Avinash Ravindran, PhD student

He is working on the project ‘‘Interaction between mast cells and innate lymphoid cells 2 (ILC-2) and their implication for acute and chronic airway inflammation’’ in Dr. Gunnar Nilsson’s group, Solna. He is working in Dr. Jenny Mjösberg’s group (Co-Supervisor) learning about ILCs and their role in various diseases. He received his Master Degree in Immunology and Immunogenetics from The University of Manchester, UK in 2011. Before he came to KI he worked as a Research assistant (Bioinformatics, Dr. Michael Poidinger's lab) in Singapore Immunology Network, ASTAR, Singapore.

Karin Thourot Nouchi, research nurse

Anna Rao, PhD, postdoc

Anna completed her Bachelors studies in Biology at Philipps University in Marburg (Germany) and obtained her Master's degree in Molecular Medicine at Charité University Clinics, Berlin. During her Doctoral studies at the German Rheumatism Research Center in Berlin she worked on characterizing the immunophenotype, physiology and antigen specificity of memory T cells from the human bone marrow. She joined the group in September 2015 as a postdoc and is now working on ILCs and their cross-talk with T cells in colorectal cancer.

Luca Mazzurana, PhD student

He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Hawaii in 2013 and his master degree from Stockholm University in 2015, where he worked on the functional characterization of a Crohn’s disease associated gene. He joined the group in November 2015 as a PhD student, focusing on the heterogeneity and role of innate lymphoid cells in inflammatory bowel disease

Efthymia Kokkinou, PhD student

She received her Bachelor's Degree in Greece in 2014 and her Master's Degree from Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute in 2016. In her Master's thesis she addressed the characterization and development of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in premature infants under the influence of probiotic supplementation. She joined Jenny Mjösberg's group in June 2016 as a research assistant to work on a project focused on the role of Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs) in human colorectal cancer. In May 2017 she registered as a PhD student to investigate the regulation of human ILC plasticity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Aline Van Acker, postdoc

Aline completed her Bachelor's degree, and a Master's degree in Molecular Biology, at the Free University Brussels (Belgium) in 2011. During her Doctoral studies at Ghent University (Belgium) she focussed on the role of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) and ILCs in mediating mucosal immunity and disease. She joined the group in August 2016 as a postdoc and is now studying the role of ILCs in paediatric IBD.

Previous group members
Adrian Carlsson, MD student
Sophie van Tol, master student
Lena Berglin, PhD, postdoc
Viktoria Konya, PhD, postdoc

Selected publications

Show all publications (PubMed)

Mjösberg J. Innate Lymphoid Cells. Peer-reviewed poster produced for Nat Immunol, Nat Rev Immunol and StemCell Technologies. 2015. (URL:

Björklund ÅK, Forkel M, Picelli S, Konya V, Theorell J, Friberg D, Sandberg R, Mjösberg J. The heterogeneity of human CD127+ innate lymphoid cells revealed by single-cell RNA-sequencing. Nature Immunology. 2016 Apr;17(4):451-60. doi: 10.1038/ni.3368. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Kløverpris HN, Kazer SW, Mjösberg J, Mabuka JM, Wellmann A, Kamya P, Yadon M, Nhamoyebonde S, Muenchhoff M, Simoni Y, Andersson F, Kuhn W, Garrett N, Burgers WA, Ndhlovu Z , Pretorius K, Dong K, Moodley A, Newell EW, Kasprowicz V, Karim SSA, Goulder P, ShaleK AK,, Bruce D. Walker BD, Ndung’u T and Leslie A. Irreversible depletion of innate lymphoid cells in early acute HIV-1 infection in the absence of viral suppression. Immunity. 2016 Feb 16;44(2):391-405. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Konya V, Mjösberg J., Innate Lymphoid Cells in Graft-Versus-Host Disease. Am J Transplant. 2015; Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/ajt.13394

Mjösberg J, Eidsmo L. Update on innate lymphoid cells in atopic and non-atopic inflammation in the airways and skin. Clin Exp Allergy. 2014; Aug;44(8):1033-43.

Munneke JM, Björklund AT, Mjösberg JM, Garming-Legert K, Bernink JH, Blom B, Huisman C, van Oers MH, Spits H, Malmberg KJ, Hazenberg MD. Activated innate lymphoid cells are associated with a reduced susceptibility to graft-versus-host disease. Blood. 2014; Jul 31;124(5):812-21

Teunissen MBM, Munneke M, Bernink J, Spuls PI, Res PCM, te Velde A, Cheuk S, Brouwer MWD, Menting SP, Eidsmo L, Spits H, Hazenberg MD and Mjösberg J. Composition of innate lymphoid cell (ILC) subsets in the human skin: Enrichment of NCR+ ILC3 in psoriatic skin inflammation. J Invest Dermatol. 2014; Sep;134(9):2351-60,.

Forsberg A, Bengtsson M, Eringfält A, Ernerudh J, Mjösberg J and Jenmalm M. GATA3+ group 2 innate lymphoid cells are present in cord blood and at higher frequency in male than female neonates. J Allergy Clin Immunol (JACI). 2014; Jul;134(1):228-30.

Xue L, Salimi M, Panse I, Mjösberg J, McKenzie A, Spits H, Klenerman P and Ogg G, Prostaglandin D2 activates group 2 innate lymphoid cells via CRTH2. JACI. 2014; Apr;133(4):1184-94.

Sonnenberg G, Mjösberg J, Spits H and Artis D. Snapshot: Innate lymphoid cells. Immunity. 2013; 19;39(3):622-622.

Björkström NK, Kekäläinen E and Mjösberg J. Tissue-specific effector functions of innate lymphoid cells. Immunology 2013; 139(4):416-27.

Bernink J, Peters C, Munneke M, te Velde A, Meijer S, Weijer K, Hreggvidsdottir H, Heinsbroek S, Legrand N, Buskens C, Bemelman W, Mjösberg J and Spits H. Human type 1 innate lymphoid cells accumulate in inflamed mucosal tissues. Nature Immunology. 2013; 14:221-9.

Mjösberg J, Bernink J, Golebski K, Karrich JJ, Peters CP, Blom B, Te Velde AA, Fokkens WJ, van Drunen CM, Spits H. The Transcription Factor GATA3 Is Essential for the Function of Human Type 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells. Immunity. 2012; 19;37(4):649-59.

Spits H, Mjösberg J. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor: a sentinel safeguarding the survival of immune cells in the gut. Immunity. 2012; 27;36(1):5-7.

Mjösberg JM, Trifari S, Crellin NK, Peters CP, van Drunen CM, Piet B, Fokkens WJ, Cupedo T, Spits H. Human IL-25- and IL-33-responsive type 2 innate lymphoid cells are defined by expression of CRTH2 and CD161. Nature Immunology. 2011; 11;12(11):1055-62.

Open positions
We always want to get in touch with highly motivated students and potential post-docs. If you are interested in doing research within our group please contact the group leader Jenny Mjösberg.