Published: 2021-03-26 12:50 | Updated: 2021-03-26 13:59

Benedikt Strunz is awarded the Sven Gard scholarship year 2021

Benedikt Strunz at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge (MedH), receives the award for his thesis "Human Innate lymphocytes in host defense, tissue funcition and reproduction."

Benedikt Strunz_photo by Bildmakarna
Benedikt Strunz, Photo by Bildmakarna

The motivation from the expert group;

"In his dissertation, Benedikt Strunz has focused on the innate immune system in hepatitis C virus infection. More specifically, he has studied how natural killer cells (NK cells) and mucosa-associated invariant cells (MAIT cells) react in connection with chronic hepatitis C virus infection and after antiviral treatment, which cures the infection.

Among other things, he found that the changes that the viral infection had on NK cells and MAIT cells largely remained even after the infection was eradicated by antiviral treatment. Benedikt Strunz also studied MAIT cells in ascites in liver cirrhosis, a disease common in chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

MAIT cells were more common and with increased functionality in ascites than in blood. MAIT cells were also found to be the most recruited immune cells to the peritoneal cavity in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Finally, Benedikt Strunz found that NK cells in the uterus were gradually differentiated during endometrial regeneration and pregnancy and presented a model in which NK cells are continuously differentiated during the menstrual cycle.

Benedikt Strunz is the sole first author for two of the dissertation's works and has a shared first authorship for the other two. All works are published or accepted for publication in reputable scientific journals.

In summary, Benedikt Strunz is a worthy recipient of the award for best dissertation in virology."

Benedikt Strunz´s disseration "Human Innate lymphocytes in host defense, tissue funcition and reproduction."

Sven Gard's scholarship is awarded annually for the best dissertation in virology. The scholarship takes place as a result of nomination.


Kia Olsson Administrative officer