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About me

My passion for science and my interest in infection biology, immunology and the magic world host-parasite interaction has taken me from initial projects as an undergrad on Hepatitis C replication, virulence factors in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria), a PhD at Uppsala university on the molecular mechanisms of how the gastrointestinal parasite Giardia establishes infection, to New Zealand and hookworm infections in ruminants and their effect on the immune system of sheep until I landed in pulmonary immunology and the development and activities of Alveolar Macrophages. After a 2-year post doc period in the lab of Professor Judith E. Allen at the University of Edinburgh, I continued with an independent research line on emphysema development and injury resolution in the Nippostrongylus brasiliensis model of COPD, at the Respiratory Medicine unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet. In 2018, I left my independent research and joined first the Research Group of Åsa Wheelock at the same department for a postdoctoral project on sorting live monocytes, macrophages and T-cells from young adult's with known pulmonary limitations due to premature birth (LUNAPRE cohort). From there I have now started a position at CIM, Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Research Group Tim Willinger. My current research project investigate alveolar macrophage ontology using humanized mice and primary human cells. 





2010. PhD in Microbiology. Uppsala University. Thesis title: Host-Pathogen Responses during Giardia infections. Supervisor: Prof. Staffan G. Svärd, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.[PMID:16299316]. [PMID:18359106]. [PMID:21074536]. [PMID:21276445].

2003. MSc in Molecular Biology. Södertörn University College.

Research description

I am working on the ontology and activity of human alveolar macrophages in health and disease (chronic bronchitis and COPD), and foremost in the neonate life. 

During  my postdoc (2012-2015) and following couple of years (2015-2018) I studied the molecular pathways of emphysema formation in the Nippostrongylus brasiliensis mouse model, and comparing our findings with the molecular pattern in emphysematic lung tissue of human chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.


Academic honours, awards and prizes

2015. Wenner-Gren Research Fellow (2 year salary including research funding)

2010. Wenner-Gren Postdoctoral Fellow (3 year international postdoc). Application and interview process, 5% success rate.

  • 2012-2015. Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, Universtiy of Edinburgh. Professor Judith E. Allen group. Project: The molecular and immunological basis of emphysema development in a rodent hookworm model.
  • 2010-2012. AgResearch, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Equivalent of 1 year full time. Project: Immunomodulation of Dendritic Cells by ruminant helminths.

2009. Scholarship. Lennanders stiftelse. 3 months post-doctoral research project funding including living cost scholarship.

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I have a new position! Today I start with Tim Willinger at Center for Infectious Medicine in KI Huddinge. Very exciting project on Alveolar macrophage ontology and response to different stimuli. We work with the humanized mouse model MISTRG and human monocytes, macrophages and macrophage progenitors. 


Working with Åsa Wheelock's group has been wonderful. Now the sorting is optimised and samples can be prepared for the next step. Both Åsa and I have applied for funding to continue my research on the LUNAPRE cohort. Watch this space for Yay or Nay late autumn 2018.



I have joined the Pulmonomics Resesarch Group of Åsa Wheelock at the Respiratory Medicine Unit, MedS. My first project is to define and sort bronchoalveolar immune cells with a special interest in Alveolar Macrophage activation. I will be part of a large team working with the cohort LUNAPRE evaluating the impact of premature birth and ventilator support on pulmonary function in young adulthood. From functional pulmonary assessments we know that almost 30% of the preterm subgroup have clinical COPD, but how does the individual cells and the cell populations look on activation and function? My project is to sort the cells for Transcriptomics and Proteomics!


My independent funding for studies of emphysema initiation and lung injury repair in the N. brasiliensis model is over, it has been a fantastic experience! Watch this space for a future closing publication from these years. Negative data is also data..! 


We have a new publication in Science on macrophage proliferation! The research was part of my postdoc at University of Edinburgh with Prof. Judith Allen (now at University of Manchester), and has continued during my time at Karolinska Institutet. Read it here:

Local amplifiers of IL-4Rα-mediated macrophage activation promote repair in lung and liver. Minutti CM et al., Science. 2017 Jun 9;356(6342):1076-1080. doi: 10.1126/science.aaj2067. 


Madeleine Sjösten has joined the lab for her Bachelor Thesis project. Madeleine will do a 10-week project on immunohistopathology of damage resolution and emphysema initiation in the N. brasiliensis mouse model. Welcome Madeleine!


Sarah Mwangi, PhD in Bioinformatics from SANB, South Africa, has joined the group. Sarah will combine large scale RNA-sequencing data with genomics to furhter elucidate emphysema progressive traits in COPD and emphysema models. Welcome Sarah!