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Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Maja Jagodic Group

Translational and functional epigenetics


Our vision is to explain how epigenome integrates instructions from genetic and lifestyle factors rendering immune cells aggressive and brain cells vulnerable in persons affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

Our goal is to better understand disease etiology and to improve disease management through novel personalized treatments and more specific and sensitive biomarkers.

We are a highly cooperative international group committed to spearhead translational epigenetics research. Our research is driven by pertinent clinical questions and combines deep molecular profiling in unique clinical materials using cutting-edge tools with advanced functional experimental

Group Leader

Maja Jagodic (Professor): maja.jagodic@ki.se

Group members

From left to right on the picture:

Maria Kalomoiri (PhD student): maria.kalomoiri@ki.se

Yufei Cheng (PhD student): yufei.cheng@ki.se

Yanan Han (PhD student): yanan.han@ki.se

Chandana Rao Prakash (Research assistant): chandana.rao.prakash@ki.se

Antonino Giordano (MD, PhD, affiliated researcher): antonino.giordano@ki.se

Chiara Sorini (Postdoctoral researcher): chiara.sorini@ki.se

Maria Needhamsen (PhD, head bioinformatician): maria.needhamsen@ki.se

Rasmus Berglund (MD, Postdoctoral researcher): rasmus.berglund@ki.se

Maja Jagodic (Professor): maja.jagodic@ki.se

Ewoud Ewing (Postdoctoral researcher): ewoud.ewing@ki.se

Lara Kular (Assistant Professor): lara.kular@ki.se

Tejaswi Badam (Postdoctoral researcher): tejaswi.badam@ki.se

Majid Pahlevan Kakhki (Postdoctoral researcher): majid.pahlevan.kakhki@ki.se

Nils Hallen (Teaching assistant); nils.hallen@ki.se

Milena Zeitelhofer Adzemovic (Associate professor, team leader at KI); milena.zeitelhofer.adzemovic@ki.se

Josephine Savard (Postdoctoral researcher): josephine.savard@ki.se

Georgios Gavriilidis (Postdoctoral researcher): georgios.gavriilidis@ki.se

Faiez Al Nimer (team leader at KI): faiez.al.nimer@ki.se

Klara Asplund Högelin (PhD student): klara.asplund@ki.se

Björn Evertsson (PhD student): bjorn.evertsson@ki.se


Fatma Sağır (Visiting PhD student)

Eliane Piket (PhD student)

Galina Zheleznyakova (Postdoctoral researcher)

Chiara Starvaggi Cucuzza (Visiting neurologist)

Francesco Marabita (Assistant Professor)

Muhammad Ahsan (Postdoctoral researcher)

Sabrina Ruhrmann (PhD student)

Petra Bergman (PhD student)

Manuel Zeitelhofer (Postdoctoral researcher)

Tatiana Kramarova (Postdoctoral researcher)

Pernilla Stridh (PhD student)

Consortia & Networks

  • International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics consortium (IMSGC)
  • International Human Epigenome consortium (IHEC)
  • European School of Neuroimmunology (ESNI)
  • European Consortium (EUbOPEN)
  • European Consortium (MultipleMS)
  • Karolinska Neuroimmunology & Multiple Sclerosis centre (KNIMS)

Current Research Funding

  • European Research Council (ERC) – ERC grants for research on MS
  • Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation – KAW awards
  • EU/Horizon2020 (co-coordinator) – MultipleMS
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Stockholm County Council (ALF Project)
  • Margaretha af Ugglas Foundation
  • Brain Foundation
  • NEURO-fonden
  • Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation
  • StratNeuro

Prizes and Awards

2022 – Chiara Sorini was awarded research grants from Neurofonden and Swedish MS Research Foundation.

2022 – Majid Pahlevan Kakhki received a postdoctoral scholarship from StratNeuro and a research grant from Gunvor och Josef Anérs foundation.

2022 – Lara Kular was awarded a research grant from the Swedish Brain Foundation and a grant for doctoral fellow.

2021 – Lara Kular was awarded a research grant from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish MS Research Foundation, Norlins Foundation and Magnus Bergvall Foundation.

2020 – Lara Kular, Maria Needhamsen and Majid Pahlevan Kakhki received research grants from Neurofonden.

2020 – Majid Pahlevan Kakhki and Eliane Piket received Best Young Investigator Poster Presentations award at the MSVirtual2020.

2019 – Eliane Piket won the best short talk prize at the Karolinska Institutet Inflammation and Immunology (KIIM) network retreat and the best poster prize at the 3rd International Conference on the Long and the Short of Non-Coding RNAs.

2019 – Lara Kular was awarded research grants from Petrus och Augusta Hedlunds Foundation.

2018 – Majid Pahlevan Kakhki was awarded the MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald fellowship and won a poster prize at the 34th Ernst Klenk Symposium.

2018 – Lara Kular was awarded a grant from Karolinska Institutets Funds specifically supporting young researchers

2017 – Lara Kular was awarded a research grant from Åke Wiberg Foundation.

 2015 – Maja Jagodic received the KI Postdoc association Best PI at KI award in 2015: Best PI at KI (2015)


Interview with Maja Jagodic in Swedish Television, Rapport (September 3, 2020):  SVT – Jagodic

Interview with Maja Jagodic, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (2020): Developing molecular tools to slow MS

​KI News (October 16, 2020): Study explains the process that exacerbates MS

European Research Council (ERC) grant (November 29, 2018): ERC grant for research on MS

KI News and Science daily (June 19, 2018): Mechanism controlling multiple sclerosis risk identified

​​Multiple Sclerosis News Today (November 22, 2017): Smoking induces DNA methylation changes in multiple sclerosis patients


We are always looking for motivated students and postdoctoral fellows who share our passion for translational epigenetics to join our lab! If you have a background in experimental (wet-lab) and/or computational (dry-lab) life sciences and want to join a dynamic team that values creativity, innovation and collaboration, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your resume and motivation letter. There are various funding opportunities, including but not limited to, programs like Erasmus, Marie Curie fellowship, MSIF, ECTRIMS that can support your stay with us.

Selected publications

For full list of publications, please visit Google Scholar link.

Integration of small RNAs from plasma and cerebrospinal fluid for classification of multiple sclerosis. Needhamsen M, Khoonsari PE, Zheleznyakova GY, Piket E, Hagemann-Jensen M, Han Y, Gierlich J, Ekman D, Jagodic M. Front Genet. 2022 Nov 17;13:1042483. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.1042483

Epigenetic clock indicates accelerated aging in glial cells of progressive multiple sclerosis patients. Kular L, Klose D, Urdánoz-Casado A, Ewing E, Planell N, Gomez-Cabrero D, Needhamsen M, Jagodic M. Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Aug 24;14:926468. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.926468.

DNA methylation changes in glial cells of the normal-appearing white matter in Multiple Sclerosis patients. Kular L, Ewing E, Needhamsen M, Pahlevan Kakhki M, Covacu R, Gomez-Cabrero D, Brundin L, Jagodic M. Epigenetics. 2022 Nov;17(11):1311-1330. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2021.2020436.

Comparison of EM-seq and PBAT methylome library methods for low-input DNA. Han Y, Zheleznyakova GY, Marincevic-Zuniga Y, Kakhki MP, Raine A, Needhamsen M, Jagodic M. Epigenetics. 2022 Oct;17(10):1195-1204. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2021.1997406.

Small noncoding RNA profiling across cellular and biofluid compartments and their implications for multiple sclerosis immunopathology. Zheleznyakova GY, Piket E, Needhamsen M, Hagemann-Jensen M, Ekman D, Han Y, James T, Khademi M, Al Nimer F, Scicluna P, Huang J, Kockum I, Faridani OR, Olsson T, Piehl F, Jagodic M.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2021 Apr 27; 118(17): e2011574118. PMID: 33879606

Microglial autophagy-associated phagocytosis is essential for recovery from neuroinflammation. Berglund R, Guerreiro-Cacais AO, Adzemovic MZ, Zeitelhofer M, Lund H, Ewing E, Ruhrmann S, Nutma E, Parsa R, Thessen-Hedreul M, Amor S, Harris RA, Olsson T and Jagodic M. Science Immunology, 16 October 2020doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abb5077. PMID: 33067381

Methylome and transcriptome signature of bronchoalveolar cells from multiple sclerosis patients in relation to smoking. Ringh MV, Hagemann-Jensen M, Needhamsen M, Kullberg S, Wahlström J, Grunewald J, Brynedal B, Jagodic M, Ekström TJ, Öckinger J, Kular L. Mult Scler. 2021 Jun;27(7):1014-1026. doi: 10.1177/1352458520943768

Epigenetic insights into multiple sclerosis disease progression. Kular L, Jagodic M. J Intern Med. 2020 Jul;288(1):82-102.  doi: 10.1111/joim.13045. PMID: 32614160

C-type lectin receptors Mcl and Mincle control development of multiple sclerosis-like neuroinflammation. N’diaye M, Brauner S, Flytzani S, Kular L, Warnecke A, Adzemovic MZ, Piket E, Min JH, Edwards W, Mela F, Choi HY, Magg V, James T, Linden M, Reichardt HM, Daws MR, van Horssen J, Kockum I, Harris RA, Olsson T, Guerreiro-Cacais AO, Jagodic M. J Clin Invest. 2019 Nov 14. pii: 125857. doi: 10.1172/JCI125857. PMID: 31725411

Neuronal methylome reveals CREB-associated neuro-axonal impairment in multiple sclerosis. Kular L, Needhamsen M, Adzemovic MZ, Kramarova T, Gomez-Cabrero D, Ewing E, Piket E, Tegnér J, Beck S, Piehl F, Brundin L, Jagodic M. Clin Epigenetics. 2019 May 30;11(1):86. doi: 10.1186/s13148-019-0678 1. PMID: 31146783

Multiple sclerosis genomic map implicates peripheral immune cells and microglia in susceptibility. International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium. Science. 2019 Sep 27;365(6460). pii: eaav7188. doi: 10.1126/science.aav7188. PMID: 31604244

Gsta4 controls apoptosis of differentiating adult oligodendrocytes during homeostasis and remyelination via the mitochondria-associated Fas-Casp8-Bid-axis. Carlström K, Zhu K, Ewing E, Krabbendam IE, Harris RA, Mendanha Falcão A, Jagodic M, Castelo-Branco G, Piehl F. Nat Commun. 2020. 11(1):4071. PMID: 32792491

Tobacco smoking induces changes in true DNA methylation, hydroxymethylation and gene expression in bronchoalveolar lavage cells. Ringh MV, Hagemann-Jensen M, Needhamsen M, Kular L, Breeze CE, Sjöholm LK, Slavec L, Kullberg S, Wahlström J, Grunewald J, Brynedal B, Liu Y, Almgren M, Jagodic M, Öckinger J, Ekström TJ.  EBioMedicine. 2019 Aug;46:290-304. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.07.006. PMID: 31303497

Therapeutic efficacy of dimethyl fumarate in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis associates with ROS pathway in monocytes. Carlström KE, Ewing E, Granqvist M, Gyllenberg A, Aeinehband S, Enoksson SL, Checa A, Badam TVS, Huang J, Gomez-Cabrero D, Gustafsson M, Al Nimer F, Wheelock CE, Kockum I, Olsson T, Jagodic M, Piehl F.  Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 12;10(1):3081. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11139-3. PMID: 31300673

Combining evidence from four immune cell types identifies DNA methylation patterns that implicate functionally distinct pathways during Multiple Sclerosis progression. Ewing E, Kular L, Fernandes SJ, Karathanasis N, Lagani V, Ruhrmann S, Tsamardinos I, Tegner J, Piehl F, Gomez-Cabrero D, Jagodic M. EBioMedicine. 2019 May;43:411-423. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.04.042. PMID: 31053557

DNA methylation as a mediator of HLA-DRB1*15:01 and a protective variant in multiple sclerosis. Kular L, Liu Y, Ruhrmann S, Zheleznyakova G, Marabita F, Gomez-Cabrero D, … […] …, Piehl F, Ekström TJ, Kockum I, Feinberg AP, Jagodic M. Nat Commun. 2018. 9(1):2397. PMID: 29921915

Fatal demyelinating disease is induced by monocyte-derived macrophages in the absence of TGF-β signaling. Lund H, Pieber M, Parsa R, Grommisch D, Ewing E, Kular L, … […] …, Jagodic M, Zhang XM, Harris RA. Nat. Immunol. 2018. 19(5):1-7. PMID: 29662171

Low-Frequency and Rare-Coding Variation Contributes to Multiple Sclerosis Risk. International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC). Cell. 2019. 175:1679-1687. PMID: 30343897

Smoking induces DNA methylation changes in Multiple Sclerosis patients with exposure-response relationship. Marabita F, Almgren M, Sjöholm LK, Kular L, Liu Y, James T, Kiss NB, Feinberg AP, Olsson T, Kockum I, Alfredsson L, Ekström TJ, Jagodic M. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 6;7(1):14589. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14788-w.

Functional genomics analysis of vitamin D effects on CD4+ T cells in vivo in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Zeitelhofer M, Adzemovic MZ, Gomez-Cabrero D3,4,5, Bergman P, Hochmeister S, N’diaye M, Paulson A, Ruhrmann S, Almgren M, Tegnér JN, Ekström TJ, Guerreiro-Cacais AO, Jagodic M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 28;114(9):E1678-E1687. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1615783114.

Circulating miR-150 in CSF is a novel candidate biomarker for multiple sclerosis. Bergman, P., E. Piket, M. Khademi, T. James, L. Brundin, T. Olsson, F. Piehl, Jagodic M. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2016. 3: e219. PMID: 27144214

Genetic risk and a primary role for cell-mediated immune mechanisms in multiple sclerosis. International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC). Nature. 2011. 476: 214-219. PMID: 21833088

A role for VAV1 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Jagodic M, Colacios C, Nohra R, Dejean AS, Beyeen AD, … […]… Padyukov L, Hillert J, Clanet M, Edan G, Fontaine B, Fournie GJ, Kockum I, Saoudi A, Olsson T. Sci Transl Med. 2009. 1: 10ra21. PMID: 20368159

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