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About me

Current positions

  • Associate professor, Institute of Environmental Medicine
  • Pediatric allergist, Sachs’ Children’s Hospital
  • PI of the BAMSE study


  • 2017: Specialist in Pediatric allergy
  • 2012: Associate Professor
  • 2012: Specialist in Pediatrics
  • 2009-10: Postdoc, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • 2006: PhD, Karolinska Institutet (Epidemiology). Title: Genetic studies on childhood asthma and allergy - role of interactions
  • 2005: License to practice (certified by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare)
  • 2001: MD, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Research description

Respiratory and allergic diseases in children; role of genetic and environmental factors

My research projects aim to advance the understanding about the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors involved in lung growth, respiratory and allergic diseases in children. The projects are primarily based on a Swedish birth cohort, BAMSE that allows for unique investigation of lung function, respiratory and allergic diseases in a large number of children up to 16 years. Detailed information about perinatal events, environmental exposures such as air pollution and tobacco smoke exposure from birth and onwards has been collected. To bridge childhood and adulthood research on respiratory and allergic diseases, we have just started a new follow-up when the participants are 22-24 years of age.

In our ongoing genetics projects, genome-wide approaches are primarily used (GWAS, global methylation analyses and RNA sequencing / microarray approaches) together with detailed clinical and epidemiological data. Extensive national and international collaboration is established (e.g. through the GABRIEL, EAGLE and MeDALL projects). Close collaboration with several colleagues within the Centre for Allergy Network as well as Sachs Children’s and Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospitals is ongoing. From this “Environmental genomics research platform” for advanced studies using clinical and epidemiological data sets, we are performing projects that will generate exciting new information in areas that have been little explored so far. For example, the long-term consequence of preterm birth on lung function in young adulthood; identification of subgroups of the population that are particularly vulnerable to air pollution exposures; clarification of new genetic mechanisms for disease development.


Research group (Pediatric Pulmonology & Genetics Group)

  • Olena Gruzieva, MD, researcher
  • Jenny Hallberg, PhD, researcher
  • Simon Kebede Merid, Bioinformatician, PhD student
  • Ashish Kumar, Bioinformatician / Statistician
  • Erica Schultz, MD, PhD
  • Per Thunqvist, MD, PhD
  • Anand Andiappan, PhD (guest researcher)
  • Maura Kere, MD student


  • ERC
  • The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation
  • VR
  • ALF
  • SFO Epidemiology, KI
  • KI-SLL (Klinisk forskare)
  • Frimurare Barnhuset, Stockholm
  • Cancer- och Allergifonden

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • Prins Daniel's young investigator award from The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation 2015 (link here)
  • Major research award from The Swedish Association For Allergology 2016 (link here)
  • PhARF / EAACI Allergy Award 2017
  • ERC Starting grant 2017
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In the news from our research group:

  • BAMSE participants now adults - see report in Astma & Allergiförbundets magazine Allergia here
  • Epigenetic changes in newborns related to school-age asthma; see our PACE consortium paper here
  • Welcom to an IMM / KI SFO Epi seminar on climate change, air pollution exposure and health effects on November 29, 13.00-16.00! World leading experts from Harvard and Brown University will give state-of-the-art lectures. Please register here 
  • WHO: More than 90% of children worldwide breath toxic air leading to hundreds of thousands deaths each year - link to the Swedish Radio interview with Erik Melén here.
  • An international BAMSE workshop at Finnhamn in the Stockholm archipelago was held in August 2018 to discuss "Respiratory and allergic diseases from childhood to adulthood - see workshop photo here
  • Why epigenetics matters and its relevance for public health actions - see this new ERS workshop report here
  • Epigenetic signatures in childhood asthma implicate eosinophil activation - paper published in The Lancet Resp Med today, link to press-releases here:
    and the paper here:  
  • "Everything you need to know about allergic rhinitis" - a comprehensive review just published, link here
  • ERC Starting grant to Erik Melén (see press-release from KI and ERC)
  • A comprehensive review on Lung function development now published, see full paper here
  • Heart-Lung Foundation releases the 2017 Lung report, see TV4 comments by Erik Melén here
  • Anna Gref's thesis defense, May 5th, Samuelssonsalen, KI.
  • Bad air - bad lungs; article series in Dagens Nyheter, DN
  • Gene-environment interaction effects on asthma identified, linking childhood asthma with COPD, please see press-release and full paper
  • Erica Schultz to defend her thesis on air pollution and lung function, December 2, lecture hall Hillarp.
  • BAMSE 24-year follow-up started! See press-release from SÖS and visit BAMSE on Facebook.
  • Maternal smoking strongly linked to DNA methylation profiles in offspring, see story in DN
  • Link to the paper here.