Hanna Brauner Team

Our overall goal is to increase understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of lymphoma and autoimmunity, and factors controlling disease progression to improve diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of these patients. Our laboratory is strategically placed close to the Karolinska University hospital, enabling easy access of clinical samples. We use a broad array of laboratory techniques, including cellular immunology assays, spatial investigations and genetic studies of unique clinical material.

Translational immunology

Our main research interest is to understand pathways governing development of systemic inflammatory diseases and lymphoma and the link between those two, since patients with autoimmune diseases run an increased risk of developing lymphoma and other cancers. We investigate possible immune mechanisms and tumor properties governing cancer development in patients with autoimmunity, including dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

In addition, we focus on cutaneous T cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of lymphoma primarily engaging the skin. The unique accessibility of this disease allows for easy access to the tumor and the possibility to follow the development of the lymphoma and anti-lymphoma immune responses over time. Most of the patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma get an indolent disease, but for largely unknown reasons around 10-15% percent develop aggressive disease with high fatality.

In these efforts our ultimate aims are to increase fundamental knowledge on the pathogenesis of cutaneous lymphoma and cancer in autoimmunity and aid earlier identification of patients at risk of aggressive disease. 

To reach our goal have set up a strong collaborative team of researchers and clinicians in dermatology, hematology, rheumatology, oncology, pathology, immunology and epidemiology to take a broad approach. Our research originates in clinical questions and patient material paired with high level basic science experimental investigations.

The research is clearly translational, bridging from patients to basic science and hopefully back to the patients again, with the scientific questions always originating in the clinical disease.

Team leader

Hanna Brauner

Affiliated to research
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Hanna Brauner is team leader at the Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMM), the Department of Medicine, Solna and physician at the Dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital. She defended her thesis in 2010, at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology, Karolinska Institutet (KI), supervised by professors Petter Höglund and Klas Kärre. Her first postdoctoral training was with professor James Di Santo, the Pasteur Institute, in 2012-2013. Thereafter she did a second postdoctoral period with associate professor Lisa Westerberg, KI, in 2015-2017. In 2018 Hanna Brauner was awarded a young investigator award from the Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF) and was recruited to the Department of Medicine, Solna and CMM. She is responsible for patients with cutaneous lymphoma at the dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital, member of the group creating national treatment guidelines for cutaneous lymphoma and part of forming a Nordic network for cutaneous lymphoma.

Team members

Julia Nenonen

PhD student
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Anna Winther, MD, project student

Sofi Vikström, MD, project student

Team Hanna Brauner summer gathering

Team Hanna Brauner in garden
Team Hanna Brauner Photo: Hanna Brauner


Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF, young investigator award), the Swedish Cancer Society (clinical research months), Region Stockholm (clinical research appointment), and Clas Groschinsky, Åke Wiberg, Magnus Bergvall, Welander’s, Karolinska Institutet Rheumatology and Karolinska Institutet foundations.

Selected publications

Constitutive activation of WASp leads to abnormal cytotoxic cells with increased granzyme B and degranulation response to target cells.
Kritikou JS, Oliveira MM, Record J, Saeed MB, Nigam SM, He M, Keszei M, Wagner AK, Brauner H, Sendel A, Sedimbi SK, Rentouli S, Lane DP, Snapper SB, Kärre K, Vandenberghe P, Orange JS, Westerberg LS
JCI Insight 2021 Mar;6(6):

Pyoderma gangrenosum with plasma cell dyscrasia should be subject for anti-myeloma treatment.
Nahi H, Afram G, Brauner H, Talme T, Kuzmina N
Int J Dermatol 2021 Jul;60(7):e271-e273

Soluble and Exosome-Bound α-Galactosylceramide Mediate Preferential Proliferation of Educated NK Cells with Increased Anti-Tumor Capacity.
Wagner AK, Gehrmann U, Hiltbrunner S, Carannante V, Luu TT, Näslund TI, Brauner H, Kadri N, Kärre K, Gabrielsson S
Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan;13(2):

An intronic deletion in megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 is associated with hyperproliferation of B cells in triplets with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Record J, Sendel A, Kritikou JS, Kuznetsov NV, Brauner H, He M, Nagy N, Oliveira MMS, Griseti E, Haase CB, Dahlström J, Boddul S, Wermeling F, Thrasher AJ, Liu C, Andersson J, Claesson HE, Winqvist O, Burns SO, Björkholm M, Westerberg LS
Haematologica 2020 05;105(5):1339-1350

Constitutive activation of WASp in X-linked neutropenia renders neutrophils hyperactive.
Keszei M, Record J, Kritikou JS, Wurzer H, Geyer C, Thiemann M, Drescher P, Brauner H, Köcher L, James J, He M, Baptista MA, Dahlberg CI, Biswas A, Lain S, Lane DP, Song W, Pütsep K, Vandenberghe P, Snapper SB, Westerberg LS
J Clin Invest 2018 08;128(9):4115-4131

IL-2 in the tumor microenvironment is necessary for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein deficient NK cells to respond to tumors in vivo.
Kritikou JS, Dahlberg CI, Baptista MA, Wagner AK, Banerjee PP, Gwalani LA, Poli C, Panda SK, Kärre K, Kaech SM, Wermeling F, Andersson J, Orange JS, Brauner H, Westerberg LS

Markers of innate immune activity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and the effect of the anti-oxidant coenzyme Q10 on inflammatory activity.
Brauner H, Lüthje P, Grünler J, Ekberg NR, Dallner G, Brismar K, Brauner A
Clin Exp Immunol 2014 Aug;177(2):478-82

Estrogen supports urothelial defense mechanisms.
Lüthje P, Brauner H, Ramos NL, Ovregaard A, Gläser R, Hirschberg AL, Aspenström P, Brauner A
Sci Transl Med 2013 Jun;5(190):190ra80

Distinct phenotype and function of NK cells in the pancreas of nonobese diabetic mice.
Brauner H, Elemans M, Lemos S, Broberger C, Holmberg D, Flodström-Tullberg M, Kärre K, Höglund P
J Immunol 2010 Mar;184(5):2272-80

Nucleobindin-2/nesfatin in the endocrine pancreas: distribution and relationship to glycaemic state.
Foo KS, Brauner H, Ostenson CG, Broberger C
J Endocrinol 2010 Mar;204(3):255-63
Sci Rep 2016 08;6():30636

Depletion of IL-2 receptor β-positive cells protects from diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.
Brauner H, Hall HT, Flodström-Tullberg M, Kärre K, Höglund P, Johansson S
Immunol Cell Biol 2016 Feb;94(2):177-84

Interested in joining the team

We are always looking for highly motivated people to join our team. Please contact Hanna Brauner if you are interested, at hanna.brauner@ki.se