Research carried out by the recipents of the Young Investigator Grants (YIG)

One key mission of the Cardiovascular Program at KI is to support young and promising researchers in the cardiovascular field, preferably recruited from international top universities other than KI. To achieve this goal, CVP has announced Young Investigator Grants (YIG). All candidates are evaluated by three external referees.


Mikael Karlsson

Targeting Innate Lymphocytes in Cardiovascular Disease
The focus of our research is to define the mechanisms behind activation and regulation of innate inflammatory processes in disease, with emphasis on the interactions between macrophages and B cells. Since cardiovascular disease, is closely linked to autoimmunity and in particular Systemic Lupus Erythomatosus (SLE), we compare these two diseases and bridge knowledge available in the fields of rheumatology and cardiovascular research. An important focus point is studies of immune responses originating in the marginal zone of the spleen. The spleen is our largest lymphoid organ and the interface with the circulation, thus putting focus on this organ as important for atherosclerosis. The specific subtypes of macrophages and B cells that reside and are in majority in this region have access to the circulating blood, and the spleen is where a systemic immune response to blood borne antigens start. We now investigate if the imbalance in the immune system leading to systemic inflammatory disease also originates here.

Histological section showing the structure of the spleen in mice. B cells are stained Blue with high expressing Marginal zone B cells in Red aligning the splenic Marginal zone. As a boarder to the follicle Metallophilic macrophages (green) are able to capture antigen to start an immune response.