• About
Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset


Our main area of research is in Inflammation and immune regulation during infection.

Infectious diseases remain a threat to human health and development. Globalization with rapid mobility and decreasing natural barriers promote a rapid spread of known infectious diseases, resistant pathogens, and emerging infectious diseases. However, the development of efficacious vaccines and novel biologics continues to be a lengthy and complicated process, emphasizing the great need for a better understanding of host-pathogen interactions and the development of protective immunity.

More specifically, Our research focuses on understanding the interplay between different infectious diseases and the immune system. In order to study the immune response after infection we use state-of-the-art technology to investigate the immune system on a cellular, molecular, and genetic level. We then use bioinformatics to analyse the high-dimensional data and combine the results with clinical variables. By comparing several diseases, we can identify unique features associated with the individual pathogens, which in turn can be useful for developing novel diagnostic tests or pin-point potential targets for therapeutics. We also achieve an improved understanding of how the immune system responds to a given infection on a systems scale, which we then further investigate mechanistically.

Research projects

  • Defining the immune landscape after malaria and tuberculosis. In these projects, we use systems immunology approaches and mechanistic studies to investigate the interplay between different immune cell subsets, plasma proteins, and antibodies and how they affect the clinical presentation.
  • Role and regulation of atypical B cells. In this project, we investigate the origin, dynamics, heterogeneity, and function of CD11c and T-bet expressing B cells.
  • Immune tolerance in tuberculosis and malaria. In this project, we investigate how tolerance develops and is maintained in infected individuals.
  • Development of novel diagnostics tools. We have several projects where we use data-driven approaches to identify biomarkers that are associated with disease etiology, progression, severity, or treatment success. We also have projects where we, together with industry partners, work to improve current clinical diagnostic methods.

Team Leader

Christopher Sundling, Associate Professor (Docent) and principal researcher at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine Solna. christopher.sundling@ki.se

Team Members

Margarida Correia-Neves, Professor, Affiliated, School of Medicine, University of Miho, Portugal, margarida.correia-neves@ki.se

Alan Dine Courey-Ghaouzi, PhD student, alan.dine.coureyghaouzi@ki.se

Linn Kleberg, Research Assistant, linn.kleberg@ki.se

Gunilla Källenius, Professor, gunilla.kallenius@ki.se

Maximilian Julius Lautenbach, PhD student, julius.lautenbach@ki.se

Zaynab Mousavian, Postdoc, zaynab.mousavian@ki.se

Carolina Sousa Silva, Postdoc, carolina.sousa.silva@ki.se

Christopher Sundling, Principal Researcher, and Team leader, christopher.sundling@ki.se

Pengjun Xi, PhD student, pengjun.xi@ki.se

Consortia and Networks

Director of the Centre for Tuberculosis Research (https://ki.se/en/research/centre-for-tuberculosis-research)

VALIDATE network investigator (https://www.validate-network.org/home)

Member of the TBnet network (https://www.tbnet.eu/)

Member of the ERASE-TB consortium (https://www.erase-tb.co.uk/)


The Swedish Research Council

The Heart-Lung Foundation

Karolinska Institutet

The Swedish Society of Medicine

Clas Groschinsky Foundation

Åke Wiberg Foundation

Prizes and Awards

Scandinavian Society for Immunology, young investigator award (to C. Sundling 2022)

Excellent supervision award for MD project student Vendela Brismar (2021)

Excellent supervision award for MD project student Ellen Von Horn (2021)

Jonas Söderquist’s stipend (to C. Sundling 2014).

PhD theses from the lab

Carolina Sousa Silva: The immune response to mycobacterial glycolipids in tuberculosis

Supervisors: Dr. Christopher Sundling, and Dr. João Carlos Sousa

Presented at University of Minho, April 19, 2023



Selected publications

Network-based analysis reveals a plasma protein signature associated with active tuberculosis. Mousavian Z, Folkesson E, Fröberg G, Foroogh F, Correia-Neves M, Bruchfeld J*, Källenius G*, Sundling C*#. iScience 2022 Nov 22;25(12):105652.  *shared last authorship #corresponding author.

Immunological hyporesponsiveness in tuberculosis: the role of mycobacterial glycolipids. Correia-Neves M, Nigou J, Mousavia Z, Sundling C*, Källenius G*. Frontiers in Immunology. 2022 Dec 2;13:1035122. *shared last author.

Alternative B cell differentiation during infection and inflammation. Courey-Ghaouzi AD, Kleberg L, Sundling C. Frontiers in Immunology. 2022 Jun 24;13:908034.

Systems analysis shows a role of cytophilic antibodies in shaping innate tolerance to malaria. Lautenbach MJ, Yman V, Silva CS, Kadri N, Boumou I, Chan S, Angenendt S, Sondén K, Plaza DF, Färnert A, Sundling C. Cell Reports 2022 Apr 19;39(3):110709.

High Dimensional Immune Profiling Reveals Different Response Patterns in Active and Latent Tuberculosis Following Stimulation With Mycobacterial Glycolipids.  Silva CS*, Sundling C*#, Folkesson E, Fröberg G, Nobrega C, Canto-Gomes J, Chambers BJ, Lakshmikanth T, Brodin P, Bruchfeld J, Nigou J, Correia-Neves M, Källenius G. Frontiers in immunology 2021 12; 727300 *shared first author #corresponding author.

Positive selection of IgG+ over IgM+ B cells in the germinal center reaction. Sundling C*, Lau* AWY, Bourne K, Young C, Laurianto C, Hermes JR, Menzies RJ, Butt D, Kräutler NJ, Zahra D, Suan D, Brink R. Immunity 2021 54;5 988-1001.e5 *shared first author

B cell profiling in malaria reveals expansion and remodelling of CD11c+ B cell subsets. Sundling C*#, Rönnberg C*, Yman V, Asghar M, Jahnmatz P, Lakshmikanth T, Chen Y, Mikes J, Forsell MN, Sondén K, Achour A, Brodin P, Persson KE, Färnert A. JCI insight 2019 5; *shared first author, #corresponding author

Link to all the publications in PubMed by the team leader:

About CMM

The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) is a foundation instituted by the Stockholm County Council (Region Stockholm). CMM is at the heart of a close partnership with the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, fueling advancements in biomedical and clinical research.


Center for Molecular Medicine Foundation, org. nr. 815201-3689

Karolinska University Hospital L8:05

Visionsgatan 18

171 76 Stockholm, Sweden


Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset