Division of Rheumatology

Research at the Division of Rheumatology at Karolinska Solna
At the Division of Rheumatology 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 Division 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 Division 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 Divisions at the Department of Medicine in Solna with active research in Rheumatology that we collaborate with: Division of Experimental Rheumatology and Division of Clinical Epidemiology 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 Rheumatoid Arthritis EIRA, including coordination of two major IMI-funded integrated projects BTCure and ULTRA DD.

Head of Division

Per-Johan Jakobsson

Professor/specialist physician
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Research leaders

K2 Department of Medicine, Solna
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Elisabet Svenungsson

Affiliated to research
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Carmen Gerlach

Assistant professor
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Liv Eidsmo

K2 Department of Medicine, Solna


Stina Nordman

K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Sanna Tavakoli

K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Research Coordinator

Martina Johannesson

Project coordinator
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Phone: +46 737849094

Our research groups


Rheumatoid Arthritis (PI Lars Klareskog)

Translational medical research in inflammatory diseases (PI Per-Johan Jakobsson)

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

Anti-rheumatic therapies

Cellular immunology and rheumatic diseases (PI Vivianne Malmström)

Experimental Rheumatology (PI Marie Wahren)

Understanding T cell responses.
The Gerlach lab studies immune responses mediated by T cells, in particular CD8 T cells
.(PI Carmen Gerlach)


Research Teams

Myositis and inflammatory diseases (PI Ingrid Lundberg)

Team Experimental Immunology (PI Fredrik Wermeling)

The Pathobiology of Autoantibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis (PI Karin Lundberg)

Team Genetics of Autoimmunity, PI Leonid Padyukov