Rodrigo Morales

Rodrigo Morales

Postdoctoral Researcher
Visiting address: L8:03, CMM, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset Solna, 17176 Stockholm
Postal address: K2 Medicin, Solna, K2 Imm o alle Villablanca E, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • My research goal is to understand the basis of inflammatory responses during damage at a cellular and molecular level, and specifically how different immune players can promote or prevent tissue repair and regeneration. In my scientific career I have specialized in the application of zebrafish models to study the role of immune cells during tissue damage and regeneration. I joined Eduardo Villablanca’s group at Karolinska Institutet with the goal of developing novel zebrafish tools to study in vivo the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in the initiation of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and during intestinal mucosal healing. My goal is to address with zebrafish clinically relevant questions which remain challenging due to the limitations of classical animal models or in vitro approaches. By leveraging the transparency of zebrafish, I aim to acquire novel insights on cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in IBD related processes such as intestinal immune responses, tissue damage and mucosal healing in vivo and at real-time.


  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of relapsing and remitting immune-mediated pathologies affecting the gastrointestinal tract with no available cure. Although the exact cause of IBD is yet unknown, it is believed to result from the complex interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors. However, the identification of individual or combination of factors promoting intestinal damage and inflammation is limited by the lack of tools and models that i) closely mimic the in vivo intestinal context, ii) are suitable to genetic manipulation, and iii) allow the efficient screening of hundreds of relevant environmental compounds. My long-term research goal is to develop an in vivo discovery platform to interrogate the effect of genetic and environmental factors to IBD. Towards this goal, I aim to build my independent research plan using the zebrafish larva as a cost-effective and ethically-sound model to study the intestinal responses to genetic and environmental risk factors in vivo.


All other publications

News from KI

Events from KI