Division of Rheumatology

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Research at the Unit of Rheumatology at Karolinska Solna

At the Rheumatology Unit we combine clinical and molecular expertise in order to better understand and treat Rheumatologic diseases. Our researchers covers a wide range of topics related to Rheumatology.

About the Unit of Rheumatology

Rheumatology is the field of research, education and care for diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system. These diseases are very common, and comprise both inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, myositis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren's syndrome etc, and non-inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis.

Within the rheumatology field at Karolinska we are carrying out extensive research on the etiology, molecular pathogenesis, therapy and outcomes in several of the most severe chronic rheumatic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), myositis, Sjögren´s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The research is translational with several groups of independent but collaborating researchers working in our unit towards a common goal.

Our strategy is to take advantage of the unique and large patient groups that we can follow over time in our clinic, and benefit from the contribution from patients in this research. This clinical outcome and therapy-based research is combined with extensive biomedical and experimental animal research performed in our laboratory at the nearby Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM). Here, several groups are engaged in studies on molecular pathogenesis as well as in the development and validation of new therapies for inflammatory diseases.

Collaborations and networks

There are two other Units at the Department of Medicine in Solna with active research in Rheumatology that we collaborate with: Unit of Experimental Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology Unit. In addition, we have established extensive international networks, where typically members from 10-15 nations are active in our clinic and research groups. We are involved in a number of international as well as national networks for rheumatology and immunology research: Project 4D Arthritis, Swedish Rheumatology Register SRQ , Epidemiological Investigation of Reumatoid Arthritis EIRA, including coordination of two major IMI-funded integrated projects BTCure and ULTRA DD.

Head of Unit

Professor/senior physician

Anca Catrina

Organizational unit: Research Group A Catrina
E-mail: Anca.Catrina@ki.se

foto: Ulf Sirborn

Assistant Head of Unit


Marie Wahren-Herlenius

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 734 31
Organizational unit: Research Group M Wahren-Herlenius
E-mail: Marie.Wahren@ki.se

Research leaders

Professor, senior

Lars Klareskog

Organizational unit: group L Klareskog
E-mail: Lars.Klareskog@ki.se


Helena Erlandsson Harris

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 767 46
Organizational unit: Group H Harris
E-mail: Helena.Harris@ki.se


Per-Johan Jakobsson

Phone: +46-(0)70-483 80 18
Organizational unit: Group P-J Jakobsson
E-mail: Per-Johan.Jakobsson@ki.se


Vivianne Malmström

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 756 09
Organizational unit: Research Group V Malmström
E-mail: Vivianne.Malmstrom@ki.se

Adjunct professor

Elisabet Svenungsson

Organizational unit: Research Group E Svenungsson
E-mail: Elisabet.Svenungsson@ki.se



Stina Nordman

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 730 20
Organizational unit: Research Group A Catrina
E-mail: Stina.Nordman@ki.se


Sanna Tavakoli

Organizational unit: Research Group A Catrina
E-mail: sanna.tavakoli@ki.se

Research Coordinator

Project coordinator

Martina Johannesson

Organizational unit: group L Klareskog
E-mail: martina.johannesson@ki.se


Martina Johannesson


Phone: +46 737 849 094


Our research groups


Rheumatoid Arthritis  (PI Lars Klareskog)

Per-Johan Jakobsson

Paediatric rheumatology/The role of HMGB1 in chronic inflammatory diseases (PI Helena Harris)

Anti-rheumatic therapies (PI Anca Catrina)

Cellular immunology and rheumatic diseases (PI Vivianne Malmström)

Experimental Rheumatology (PI Marie Wahren)

Clinical Research Therapy (Anca Catrina)



Research Teams

Myositis and inflammatory diseases (PI Ingrid Lundberg)