Respiratory Medicine

We focus our research in pulmonary medicine on inflammatory states in the airways and in the lung parenchyma.

During several decades our main interest was in Interstitial Lung Disorders, ILD) and due to the early use of fiberoptic bronchoscopic techniques we could on site follow inflammatory and immunological reactions in disorders such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and the pulmonary involvement in systemic diseases as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The techniques, including repeated bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), have enabled us to study effects of exposure to environmental factors such as smoking and inhalation of particles and gases in car- and subway tunnels. We also managed to study the effects on the lungs of working in various environmental settings such as sawmills, aluminum factories and pig farms.

The BAL-techniques and much of the analytical methods of retrieved materials were developed in close collaboration between our related clinical and laboratory research units. We also have had intense cooperation with other well-renowned laboratories on local, national and international levels. These prerequisites have been most valuable also in studies of asthmatics before and after provocation with relevant allergens, in follow-up of COPD-patients and to evaluate the effects of different kinds of new therapies. The most intense and internationally recognized projects have during many years been on very well pheno- and genotyped patients with sarcoidosis. A large biobank has been created containing lots of data on different types of biological specimens collected during these studies and from healthy smokers and non-smokers as well. In combination with very good access in Sweden to different kind of registers of the citizens we have unique possibilities also for future studies pending on field of research interest.

A large number of treatment projects have been conducted in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies mostly in COPD and asthma. An intense collaboration is ongoing with epidemiologists at KI and with immunologists and specialists in genetics, proteomics and metabolomics. During the ongoing pandemic with Covid collaboration projects (parts of the SCAPIS initiative) have been initiated.

The Heart-Lung Foundation has during a long period of time been very supportive and financed e.g. a large number of research positions, projects and travel grants. Karolinska Institutet, the Medical Research Council, FAS, the City Council of Stockholm and the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Thoracic Society in the US, among others, have also been highly valued financial contributors.  

Research areas

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD - Magnus Sköld, Åsa Wheelock

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) - Magnus Sköld

Proteomics applications - Åsa Wheelock

Sarcoidosis - Johan Grunewald, Anders Eklund, Susanna Kullberg, Pernilla Darlington Lidin, Natalia Rivera

Head of Respiratory Division

Profile image

Åsa Wheelock

Principal Researcher

Research groups

Professor Magnus Sköld

Associate professor Åsa Wheelock

Members of Division

Olga Chuquimia, research engineer

Pernilla Darlington Lidin, MD, PhD

Anders Eklund, MD, professor emeritus

Giovanni Ferrara, associated, MD, PhD, professor

Jing Gao, MD, postdoc

Reza Karimi, MD, PhD

Susanna Kullberg, MD, PhD

Chuan-Xing Li (Tracy), senior postdoc

Avinash Padhi, postdoc

Natalia Rivera, assistant professor

Magnus Sköld, MD, professor

Åsa Wheelock, associate professor


Doctoral students

Main supervisor Magnus Sköld:

Ioanna Kotortsi, MD

Melvin Pourbazargan, MD

Ida Belo, MD

Dimitrios Kalafatis, pharmacist, Ph.D 17 June 2022

Lisa Carlson, RN, research nurse

Main supervisor Åsa Wheelock:

Marika Ström, Ph.D 14 October 2022

Benedikt Zöhrer

Main supervisor Susanna Kullberg:

Joanna Werner, MD


Technical & administrative staff

Maria Ahlsén, PhD, national co-ordinator BronchoScapis

Heléne Blomqvist, research nurse

Lisa Carlson, RN, research nurse, national co-ordinator IPF-registry

Margitha Dahl, RN, research nurse

Benita Dahlberg, biomedichal technician

Monika Ezerskyte, lab manager

Eva-Marie Karlsson, administrator

Susanne Schedin, RN, research nurse

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