Our main scientific interest is in inflammatory pulmonary diseases, with a certain emphasis on sarcoidosis, where we study disease mechanisms and origin e.g. by applying a method pioneered by our group to identify disease-specific antigens. We combine clinical research with studies involving cellular immunology, protein analyses, epidemiology and genetics. Our studies have identified accumulations of T cells with a certain specificity in the lungs of sarcoidosis patients, which we use in order to identify sarcoidosis-specific antigens. Strong associations between particular gene variants and the prognosis of the disease have been identified, and testing sarcoidosis patients for these genes is now part of the routine clinical investigation.
In a novel project we aim to investigate why smoking is a strong risk factor for several autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. How are various immune cells in the lungs affected by smoking? An extensive study of clinically well-characterized patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including matched smoking and non-smoking controls, has recently been performed. Samples from the deep airways were collected for immunological analyses of lung cells, and for protein analyses. A new study is being planned with the aim to investigate prematurely born children, who often required oxygen treatment. These individuals, now in adult age, have an increased risk of developing a COPD-like disease, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.
Several studies on asthma have also been performed at the unit, often in collaborations with other research groups at KI, with the aim to characterize the local immune response in the lungs after provocation with allergy-triggering substances.
If you would like to support this area of research you could do that by using the following accounts:
State: Johan Grunewald
If you are outside of Sweden, please use the following information:
Bank: SEB, Stockholm, Sweden
Account No. 5201-11 370 12
Iban-number: SE16 5000 0000 0520 1113 7012
Bic-code (the bank´s electronic address): ESSESESS
Account holder: Center for Molecular Medicine Foundation
L8:05, Karolinska University Hospital
171 76 Stockholm, Sweden