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Anca Catrina, Wallenberg Clinical Scholar 2020

Anca Catrina, Wallenberg Clinical Scholar 2020

We congratulate our CMM researcher Professor Anca Catrina, Group Leader at Karolinska Institutet and senior physician, who has been appointed Wallenberg Clinical Scholar 2020. 

Anca Catrina is searching for molecular events that may trigger rheumatoid arthritis. Although more efficient treatments have been developed over the past few years, the treatment response varies largely among patients, and there is no cure or established preventive measure. The identification of disease-triggering factors will help to better explain the molecular mechanisms leading to rheumatoid arthritis and eventually to find better and preventive treatments.

A well-known risk factor is smoking, which changes the structures of proteins in the mucosal membrane in the lungs. These proteins irritate the immune system, likely contributing to the development of a pathogenic systemic autoimmunity long before development of chronic joint inflammation. Some of Anca Catrina’s research topics involve the understanding of the molecular mechanisms and environmental triggers responsible for generation of pathogenic autoimmunity at mucous membranes and its subsequent spreading to the joints.

In this search, Professor Anca Catrina combines molecular investigations with clinical data, including the study of people who present with musculoskeletal complains and already developed autoimmunity and that are therefore at increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, but not yet having the disease. The long-term aim is to enable early-stage identification of these individuals and development of new management strategies and treatments that prevent the immune system from causing chronic damage to the joints. 

Wallenberg Clinical Scholars receive SEK 15 million funding over a five-year period, with the opportunity to extend this for an additional five years.

Press release: https://kaw.wallenberg.org/hon-vill-bota-ledgangsreumatism

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