Stephan Meinke

Stephan Meinke

Research Specialist
Visiting address: NEO Medicinaren 25, HERM plan 7, Hälsovägen 7C (lastkaj), 14157 Huddinge/Stockholm
Postal address: H7 Medicin, Huddinge, H7 Hematologi Höglund, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am a research specialist in immunology, working both in the group of Petter Höglund and the group of Evren Alici at the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM).
    I received my PhD from Heidelberg University, Germany, in 2010 for a thesis titled "Regulation of human lymphocytes by SLAM-related receptors" and I have worked at KI since 2011 when I came here for my postdoctoral studies.


  • My research interests lie in two areas of immunology. One is the biology of Natural Killer (NK) cells and how they can be used in cancer immunotherapy. The other one is the immune system's reaction to platelet transfusions and how to help allo-immunized patients in need of platelet transfusions.

    NK cells can recognise virally infected or cancer cells through a large set of inhibitory and activating receptors. When activated, they can kill these cells and recruit other cells of the immune system and activate them. In patients with cancer this function of NK cells is often impaired. One aim of cancer immunotherapy is to restore and enhance the function of NK cells, so they can eliminate the malignant cells. This can be done by isolating NK cells from the patient's blood, grow and activate them in culture, and then infuse them back into the patient.
    I am interested in how these cells change in the culture and after they are infused and how their infusion affects the patient's immune system. Furthermore, I am also interested how NK cell function can be enhanced by genetic modification.

    Platelet transfusion are used to stop and prevent bleeding in patients with thrombocytopenia, e.g. patients with haematological malignancies. In some patients the transfused donor platelets are destroyed by the patients' immune system. This is often caused by antibodies against the human leukocyte antigens (HLA). It is common practice to use HLA-matched platelets for HLA-immunised patients, an approach requiring a large pool of HLA-typed donors and advanced logistics.
    I am interested in the alternative approach to remove HLA from donor platelets to make them suitable for immunised patients. One possibility is to use a low pH buffer to denature the antigens on the platelet surface. However, this treatment also affects platelet function and their persistence after transfusion. Balancing these factors is the challenge that we need to master before this approach can be of clinical use.


  • Co-supervisor for three PhD students, one current, two have defended their theses.


All other publications

News from KI

Events from KI