Tim Willinger group
Studying Mucosal Immunity and Inflammation In Vivo
My research group studies immune responses in the mucosal tissues gut and lung. We want to understand how the immune system helps maintain healthy organ function and how disturbed immune function causes chronic tissue inflammation.
Inflammatory diseases of the intestine and lung are very common, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, today no cure is available for these important human diseases.
Our studies focus on two types of tissue-resident immune cells that carry out specialized functions to maintain organ homeostasis: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) and macrophages. These cells sense and respond to signals from their environment, such as microbes, dietary factors, and metabolites. To make our studies relevant to humans, we have developed innovative models that allow us to study the cells and function of the human immune system in vivo.
Innate lymphoid cell migration
ILCs are a recently described family of immune cells that are enriched in tissues interacting with the outside world. We are particularly interested in how ILCs migrate within the body and to sites of inflammation. We have recently discovered that cholesterol metabolites (so-called oxysterols) guide the movement of ILCs and promote the formation of lymphoid tissue in the large intestine. Article in Immunity
Development and function of human macrophages
Macrophages are the most abundant immune cells in the airways. Due to their strategic location, they protect us from airborne pathogens, while performing tissue repair after injury or infection. However, not much is known about the development and function of lung macrophages in humans. To overcome this limitation, we have created a unique model to study human macrophages in vivo. More info
Development and function of human innate immune cells in a humanized mouse model
Understanding the development of lung macrophages will provide important information that is relevant to human diseases like COPD, asthma, influenza infection, and tuberculosis.
Center for Innovative Medicine (CIMED), Karolinska Institutet/SLL
Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)
Åke Wibergs Stiftelse
European Union (Horizon 2020)
Richard Flavell (Yale University, USA)
Henrique Veiga-Fernandes (Champalimaud Center, Portugal)
Burkhard Ludewig (Institute of Immunobiology, Switzerland)
João Pereira (Yale University, USA)
Lucie Peduto (Pasteur Institute, France)
Matthew Hepworth (Manchester University, UK)
Samuel Huber (Hamburg University, Germany)
At Karolinska Institutet
Magnus Westgren (Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Apostolos Bossios (Department of Respiratory Medicine, Huddinge)
Eduardo Villablanca (Department of Medicine, Solna)
Anna Smed Sörensen (Department of Medicine, Solna)
Helen Jongsma Wallin, Lab technician
Hana Kammoun, Postdoc (Marie Curie Fellow)
Johanna Emgård, PhD student
Linda Moet, Master student
Inés Có, Bachelor student (ERASMUS)
Dynamin 2-dependent endocytosis sustains T-cell receptor signaling and drives metabolic reprogramming in T lymphocytes.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015 Apr;112(14):4423-8
Development and function of human innate immune cells in a humanized mouse model.
Nat. Biotechnol. 2014 Apr;32(4):364-72
Dynamin 2-dependent endocytosis is required for sustained S1PR1 signaling.
J. Exp. Med. 2014 Apr;211(4):685-700
Human hemato-lymphoid system mice: current use and future potential for medicine.
Annu. Rev. Immunol. 2013 ;31():635-674
Canonical autophagy dependent on the class III phosphoinositide-3 kinase Vps34 is required for naive T-cell homeostasis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012 May;109(22):8670-5
Improving human hemato-lymphoid-system mice by cytokine knock-in gene replacement.
Trends Immunol. 2011 Jul;32(7):321-7
Human IL-3/GM-CSF knock-in mice support human alveolar macrophage development and human immune responses in the lung.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Feb;108(6):2390-5
Human thrombopoietin knockin mice efficiently support human hematopoiesis in vivo.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Feb;108(6):2378-83
A mouse model for the human pathogen Salmonella typhi.
Cell Host Microbe 2010 Oct;8(4):369-76
We are looking for talented and highly motivated students and postdocs to join our new research group. To apply, submit cover letter, CV with publication list, and contact information of three references to the group leader Tim Willinger (firstname.lastname@example.org).