Professor of Viral Immunology at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge since 2013.
Innate and adaptive immune mechanisms work together to contain viral infections including human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). We investigate basic aspects of cell-mediated immunity as well as the immunopathogenesis of these infections. We do this with a basis in our solid understanding of fundamental immunology that we apply towards patient-based research and develop into translational approaches. The majority of T lymphocytes carry diverse T cell receptors (TCRs) that display classical MHC-restriction. However, the T cell compartment also includes invariant T cell subsets that recognize antigens presented by non-classical MHC-like molecules. Several of these invariant T cell subsets are evolutionarily conserved, display innate-like characteristics, and play important roles in immune control of pathogens. The group is particularly interested in the role of adaptive T cell responses mediated by CD8 T cells, and in the role that innate-like T cells such as the invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells play in host defense.
Selected recent publications:
1. Dias, J., Leeansyah, E., and Sandberg J. K. (2017) Multiple layers of heterogeneity and subset diversity in human MAIT cell responses to distinct microorganisms, and innate to cytokines. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 114: E5434-E5443. doi:10.1073/pnas.1705759114. [pubmed: 28630305]
2. Paquin-Proulx, D., Gibbs, A., Bächle, S., Checa, A., Introini, A., Leeansyah, E., Wheelock, C. E., Nixon, D. F., Broliden, K., Tjernlund, A., Moll, M., and Sandberg, J. K. (2016) Innate iNKT cell recognition of HIV-1 infected dendritic cells is an early detection mechanism targeted by viral immune evasion. J. Immunol. 197: 1843-1851. [pubmed: 27481843]
3. Leeansyah, E., Svärd, J., Dias, J., Buggert, M., Nyström, J., Quigley, M. F., Moll, M., Sönnerborg, A., Nowak, P., and Sandberg J. K. (2015) Arming of MAIT cell cytolytic antimicrobial activity is induced by IL-7 and defective in HIV-1 infection. PLoS Pathogens. 11: e1005072. [pubmed: 26295709]
4. Leeansyah, E., Loh, L., Nixon, D. F. and Sandberg, J. K. (2014) Acquisition of innate-like microbial reactivity in mucosal tissues during human fetal MAIT cell development. Nature Communications. 5:3143. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4143. [pubmed: 24452018]