T cell immunity to viral infections and cancer – Marcus Buggert group

We conduct innovative studies of cell-mediated immunity in health, cancer and viral disease.

A group of people sitting and standing up together.
Illustration, research
Illustration of project outlines in the Marcus Buggert research group.

About our research

Our group conducts research on cell-mediated immunity. More specifically, we are interested in understanding how memory T cells recognize and eliminates viral infections and tumors. Much of our research is focused on the CD8+ T cell arm of cell-mediated immunity. CD8+ T cells are absolutely critical for immune control of most viral infections, and also represent a major cellular component of immune therapies that have entirely revolutionized cancer care.

However, many still view CD8+ T cells solely as killer T cells eliminating virus-infected or tumor cells based on concepts from studies of peripheral blood. Emerging data from us and others have demonstrated that most memory CD8+ T cells in human tissues are resident cells with limited recirculation capacity back to peripheral blood. These CD8+ T cells in tissues show differential transcriptional, epigenetic, and functional programming from circulating CD8+ T cells. This is important, as these data indicate that previous studies in blood have largely failed to capture how memory CD8+ T cells function and potentially control human diseases in tissues.

Studies of different aspects of human memory T cell biology

Our group use cutting-edge bulk- and single-cell technologies including 30-parameter flow cytometry, gene-expression, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, TCR-seq and proteomics analysis to dissect the heterogeneity and function of memory T cell immunity. Through these platforms, we study different aspects of human memory T cell biology, with an overall aim toi) study the heterogeneity of circulating and resident memory T cells in human organ donors, ii) identify alternative functions of memory T cells in human tissues, and iii) understand how memory T cells maintain control of tumors and viral infections, such as HIV and SARS-CoV-2.

Collaborations

The research group's lab is located in a vibrant research environment at the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM) in the top modern ANA Futura laboratories. Here, we function in close conjunction with other research groups at CIM, and also collaborate with clinicians and surgeons at the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge to receive valuable samples. We also collaborate with other researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life laboratories in Sweden, as well with leading researchers in our field from universities in Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, and USA.

Open positions 

We are constantly looking for talented post docs with an ambition to explore new and unique aspects of human T cell immunology, tissue immunology, and related questions.

If interested, please contact the Group leader: marcus.buggert@ki.se 

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Publications

Selected publications

Funding

Research support

  • The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)  
  • The European Research Council (ERC)  
  • Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW)  
  • The Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden)  
  • Åke Wiberg Stiftelse  
  • Jeanssons Stiftelser  
  • The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden)  
  • The Swedish Heart Lung Foundation (Hjärt-Lungfonden)  
  • Center for Innovative Medicine (CIMED) 
  • The Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF)
  • PolyBio Research Foundation

Members and contact

Group leader

All members of the group