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Karolinska institutet
Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Hanna Brauner Team

Translational research on malignant and benign skin inflammation


Our main research interest is to understand pathways governing development of systemic inflammatory diseases and lymphoma and the link between those two, since patients with autoimmune diseases run an increased risk of developing lymphoma and other cancers. We investigate immune mechanisms and tumor properties in patients with autoimmunity, including dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

In addition, we focus on cutaneous T cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of lymphoma primarily engaging the skin. The unique accessibility of this disease allows for easy access to the tumor and the possibility to follow the development of the lymphoma and anti-lymphoma immune responses over time. Most of the patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma get an indolent disease, but for largely unknown reasons around 10-15% percent develop aggressive disease with high fatality.

In these efforts our ultimate aims are to increase fundamental knowledge on the pathogenesis of cutaneous lymphoma and cancer in autoimmunity and aid earlier identification of patients at risk of aggressive disease.

To reach our goal have set up a strong collaborative team of researchers and clinicians in dermatology, hematology, rheumatology, oncology, pathology, immunology and epidemiology to take a broad approach. Our research originates in clinical questions and patient material paired with cutting edge basic science experimental investigations.

The research is clearly translational, bridging from patients to basic science and hopefully back to the patients again, with the scientific questions always originating in the clinical disease.

Team leader

Hanna Brauner is associate professor in immunology at the Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMM), the Department of Medicine, Solna and specialist in dermatology at the Dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital. She defended her thesis in 2010, at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology, Karolinska Institutet (KI), supervised by professors Petter Höglund and Klas Kärre. Her first postdoctoral training was with professor James Di Santo, the Pasteur Institute, in 2012-2013. Thereafter she did a second postdoctoral period with associate professor Lisa Westerberg, KI, in 2015-2017. In 2018 Hanna Brauner was awarded a young investigator award from the Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF) and was recruited to the Department of Medicine, Solna and CMM. She is responsible for patients with cutaneous lymphoma at the Dermatology clinic, Karolinska University hospital, member of the group creating national treatment guidelines for cutaneous lymphoma and co-organizer for a Nordic network for cutaneous lymphoma.

Team members

Dawei Song, postdoc, dawei.song@ki.se

Berenice Fischer, postdoc, berenice.fischer@hispeed.ch

Lina Ivert, clinical postdoc, lina.ivert@ki.se

Julia Nenonen, PhD student, julia.nenonen@ki.se

Cornelia Olsson, medical student, associated VT-24, cornelia.olsson@stud.ki.se

Yiran Shi, medical student, associated VT-24, yiran.shi@stud.ki.se

Despoina Tsakona, master-student, associated VT-24, despoina.tsakona@stud.ki.se

Anna Winther, project student, associated, annahillert@gmail.com

PhD students (Brauner co-supervisor)

Pontus Jonsson (KI) 2021, pontus.jonsson@ki.se
Emma Belfrage (Lund uni) 2019, emma.belfrage@skane.se


Hanh Thi My Loung, postdoc -2023

Andrea Scheffschick, postdoc 2019-2021 (now postdoctoral student, University of Leipzig, Germany)

Sina Fuchs, postdoc 2019-2021 (now scientist, BioNTech, Mainz, Germany)

Mengmeng Xiang, MD, visiting PhD student 2022-2023

Sofi Vikström, MD, project student 2020-2021 (now PhD student, department of Oncology and Pathology, KI)

Ellinor Leijonhufvud, MD, project student 2019

Ida Mazaheri Khameneh, medical student, exam work 2022

Kajsa Enjin Jacobsson, medical student, exam work 2022

Wilma Lindström, medical student, exam work 2021

Elena Björnbom, medical student exam work 2019


Swedish Society for Medical Research, the Swedish Cancer Foundation, the

Swedish Medical Association, Region Stockholm (clinical research appointment

and ALF Medicine), Hudfonden and Clas Groschinsky, Åke Wiberg, Magnus

Bergvall, Radiumhemmet and Karolinska Institutet foundations. JN is supported

by a Karolinska Institutet PhD student grant (KID). MX was supported by the

KI-China Scholarship Council (CSC) programme.


We are always looking for highly motivated people to join our team! Please
contact Hanna Brauner if you are interested, at hanna.brauner@ki.se

Selected publications

Skin infiltrating NK cells in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are increased in number and display phenotypic alterations partially driven by the tumor. Scheffschick A, Nenonen J, Xiang M, Winther AH, Ehrström M, Wahren-Herlenius M, Eidsmo L, Brauner H. Front Immunol. 2023 Aug 25;14:1168684.

Identification of proteinase 3 autoreactive CD4+T cells and their T-cell receptor repertoires in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis. Sharma RK, Yoosuf N, Afonso M, Scheffschick A, Avik A, Bartoletti A, Horuluoglu B, Diaz Boada JS, Boddul SK, Jonasdottir AD, Lövström B, Brauner H, Raposo B, Chemin K, Bruchfeld A, Gunnarsson I, Malmström V. Kidney Int. 2023 May;103(5):973-985. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2023.01.023.

MHC Class I-Dependent Shaping of the NK Cell Ly49 Receptor Repertoire Takes Place Early during Maturation in the Bone Marrow. Wickström SL, Wagner AK, Fuchs S, Elemans M, Kritikou J, Mehr R, Kärre K, Johansson MH*, Brauner H*. J Immunol. 2022 Aug 15;209(4):751-759. *shared last author

Overall survival and registration of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients in Sweden: a multi-center cohort and validation study. Nenonen J, Winther A, Leijonhufvud E, Belfrage E, Ekström-Smedby K, Brauner H. Acta Oncol. 2022 Mar 25:1-5.

Kidney infiltrating NK cells and NK-like T cells in lupus nephritis – presence, localization and the effect of immunosuppressive treatment. Scheffschick A, Fuchs S, Malmström V, Gunnarsson I, Brauner H. Clin Ex Immunol. 2021 Dec 28:uxab035.

Constitutive activation of WASp leads to abnormal cytotoxic cells with increased granzyme B and degranulation response to target cells. Kritikou JS, Oliveira MMS, Record J, Saeed MB, Nigam SM, He M, Keszei M, Wagner AK, Rentouli S, Brauner H, Sendel A, Sedimbi S, Rentouli S, Lane DP, Snapper SB, Kärre K, Vandenberghe P, Orange JS, and Westerberg LS. JCI Insight. 2021, 22 Mar 2021, 6 (6): 140273.

An intronic deletion in Megakaryoblastic Leukemia 1 is associated with hyperproliferation of B cells in triplets with Hodgkin lymphoma. Record J, Sendel A, Kritikou JS, Kuznetsov NV, Brauner H, He M, Nagy N, Oliveira MMS, Griseti E, Haase CB, Dahlström J, Boddul S, Wermeling F, Thrasher AJ, Liu C, Andersson J, Claesson H-E, Winqvist O, Burns SO, Björkholm M, and Westerberg LS. Heamatologica 2020, May;105(5):1339-1350

Constitutive activation of WASp in X-linked neutropenia renders neutrophils hyperactive. Keszei M, Record J, Kritikou JS, Wurzer H, Geyer C, Thiemann M, Drescher P, Brauner H, Köcher L, James J, He M, Baptista MA, Dahlberg CI, Biswas A, Lain S, Lane DP, Song W, Pütsep K, Vandenberghe P, Snapper SB, Westerberg LS. J Clin Invest. 2018 Aug 31.

IL-2 in the tumor microenvironment is necessary for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein deficient NK cells to respond to tumors in vivo. Kritikou JS, Dahlberg CIM, Baptista MAP, Wagner AK, Banerjee PP, Gwalani LA, Poli C, Panda S, Kärre K, Kaech SM, Wermeling F, Andersson J, Orange JS, Brauner H, Westerberg LS. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 1.

Retuning of Mouse NK Cells after Interference with MHC Class I Sensing Adjusts Self-Tolerance but Preserves Anticancer Response. Wagner AK, Wickström SL, Tallerico R, Salam S, Lakshmikanth T, Brauner H, Höglund P, Carbone E, Johansson MH, Kärre K. Cancer Immunol Res. 2016 Feb;4(2):113-23.


 Full list of publications


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