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2004 Bachelor of Science, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

2005 Master of Science, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

2010 PhD in Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

2010-2013 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, Paris, France

2014 - current Assistant Professor, Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Research description

Local bacterial infections trigger a complex host response whose primary function is to clear the infection and prevent systemic spread of the pathogen. The roles of inflammation and vascular coagulation in this response, and the cross-talk between them is fast gaining recognition as a crucial element in the progression of infectious diseases. How these different systems interact to isolate and clear infection, or the mechanisms by which bacteria disseminate and cause sepsis, are currently unknown. In our work we aim to understand how the innate immune and coagulation systems respond to local bacterial infections during the first hours of infection. We study the first line of these dynamic host responses and how they interact to contribute to infection outcome.


Innovative in vivo infection models combined with intravital imaging are used to visualize infection progression in vivo with single cell resolution. Techniques including transgenic animals, antibody depletion, adoptive transfer, 3D cell tracking and novel imaging probes are used to study the molecular details of the infections.


Our focus currently is on two local bacterial infections that are commonly implicated in sepsis; Staphylococcus aureus skin infection and uropathogenic Escherichia coli kidney infection.


Organic bioelectronics in medicine
Löffler S, Melican K, Nilsson Kpr, Richter-dahlfors A
Journal of internal medicine 2017;282(1):24-36

Microbial pathogenesis revealed by intravital microscopy: pros, cons and cautions
Stolp B, Melican K
FEBS letters 2016;590(13):2014-26

Nondestructive, real-time determination and visualization of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin by luminescent oligothiophenes
Choong Fx, Bäck M, Steiner Se, Melican K, Nilsson Kp, Edlund U, et al
Scientific reports 2016;6():35578-

Real-time optotracing of curli and cellulose in live Salmonella biofilms using luminescent oligothiophenes
Choong Fx, Bäck M, Fahlén S, Johansson Lb, Melican K, Rhen M, et al
NPJ biofilms and microbiomes 2016;2():16024-

Humanized mouse model to study bacterial infections targeting the microvasculature
Melican K, Aubey F, Duménil G
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE 2014;(86):-

Reducing background cytokine expression in epithelial cells without serum starvation
Antypas H, Libberton B, Melican K
MethodsX 2014;1():251-3

Adhesion of Neisseria meningitidis to dermal vessels leads to local vascular damage and purpura in a humanized mouse model
Melican K, Michea Veloso P, Martin T, Bruneval P, Duménil G
PLoS pathogens 2013;9(1):e1003139-

A humanized model of microvascular infection
Melican K, Duménil G
Future microbiology 2013;8(5):567-9

Assessment of the interplay between blood and skin vascular abnormalities in adult purpura fulminans
Lerolle N, Carlotti A, Melican K, Aubey F, Pierrot M, Diehl Jl, et al
American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 2013;188(6):684-92

Vascular colonization by Neisseria meningitidis
Melican K, Dumenil G
Current opinion in microbiology 2012;15(1):50-6

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli P and Type 1 fimbriae act in synergy in a living host to facilitate renal colonization leading to nephron obstruction
Melican K, Sandoval Rm, Kader A, Josefsson L, Tanner Ga, Molitoris Ba, et al
PLoS pathogens 2011;7(2):e1001298-

Novel innate immune functions revealed by dynamic, real-time live imaging of bacterial infections
Melican K, Boekel J, Ryden-aulin M, Richter-dahlfors A
Critical reviews in immunology 2010;30(2):107-17

Multiphoton imaging of host-pathogen interactions
Melican K, Richter-dahlfors A
Biotechnology journal 2009;4(6):804-11

Real-time live imaging to study bacterial infections in vivo
Melican K, Richter-dahfors A

Role of alpha-hemolysin induced Ca2+ signaling in the progression of uropathogenic E-coli infection within the urinary tract
Richter-dahlfors A, Melican K, Boekel J, Mansson L, Sandoval Rm, Tanner Ga, et al
FEBS JOURNAL 2009;:51-51

Bacterial infection-mediated mucosal signalling induces local renal ischaemia as a defence against sepsis
Melican K, Boekel J, Mansson Le, Sandoval Rm, Tanner Ga, Kallskog O, et al
CELLULAR MICROBIOLOGY 2008;10(10):1987-98

Progression of bacterial infections studied in real time - novel perspectives provided by multiphoton microscopy
Mansson Le, Melican K, Molitoris Ba, Richter-dahlfors A
CELLULAR MICROBIOLOGY 2007;9(10):2334-43

Real-time studies of the progression of bacterial infections and immediate tissue responses in live animals
Mansson Le, Melican K, Boekel J, Sandoval Rm, Hautefort I, Tanner Ga, et al

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