Published: 16-11-2022 12:42 | Updated: 24-11-2022 18:22

KIRI Fellows at MedS receive grants for interdisciplinary projects

Earlier this year, the Committee for Research established KI Research Incubator (KIRI) for junior researchers to encourage innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. This summer the KIRI-Fellows was invited to apply for funding for joint research projects. Three KIRI Fellows from the Department of Medicine Solna (MedS) have now, together with colleagues from other departments, received funding for interdisciplinary postdoc projects.

2 Photos withe Hanna Baumer and Nikolas Herold.
Hanna Brauner, photo: Lukas Ljungqvist. Nikolas Herold, photo: Private.

Hanna Brauner, Department of Medicine, Solna (Meds) and Nikolas Herold, Department of Women´s and Childrens Health (KBH) have received funding for a two year interdisciplinary project. The grant will fully cover the salary for a postdoc that will work in a collaborative project between the two labs. The project is entitled “The crosstalk of innate and adaptive immunity in cancer - Dissecting the role of SAMHD1 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma”.

"Cutaneous lymphoma is a rare subtype of lymphoma where the malignant cells are almost exclusively present in the skin. Some patients however develop more advanced disease characterised by involvement also of blood, lymph nodes or other organs and a markedly worse prognosis. This project combines our respective expertise in skin immunology and cutaneous lymphoma (Brauner) and haemato-oncology and cellular biology (Herold) to investigate factors controlling innate and adaptive immunity in cancer. Our ultimate aim is to understand the development of the advanced forms of cutaneous lymphoma and determine new cellular and molecular pathways to target in future therapeutic development”, says Hanna Brauner.

Photo of Eduardo Villablanca and Pekka Pekka Katajisto.
Eduardo Villablanca, photo: Patricia Torregrosa. Pekka Katajisto, photo: Private.

Eduardo Villablanca, Department of Medicine Solna, and Pekka Katajisto, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, received a two-year funding for the project “Immune-mediated mechanisms of impaired epithelial regeneration:  Modeling such interactions in a dish”.

Villablanca will combine his expertise in mucosal immunology with Katajisto’s expertise in epithelial organoid and recreate the interactions between immune cells and epithelial cells happening in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases in a petri dish. The main goal is to develop a platform, in which it will be possible to test drugs that might modulate such interactions.

Photo of Petter Brodin and Onur Parlak.
Petter Brodin, photo: Andreas Lundberg. Onur Parlak, photo: Magdalena Linden

Onur Parlak, Department of Medicine, Solna and Petter Brodin, Department of Women´s and Children´s health received two-year funding for the project ´´Development of microsampling devices for immunomonitoring and miniaturized diagnostic tests´´ 

In this interdisciplinary project, the teams will combine the development of skin microfluidics for fast and easy on-site sampling, storage and analysis. Building on the pioneering epidermal technology and immunological studies developed by Parlak and Brodin Labs in recent years; the project will accomplish (i) fast and pain-free sampling of body fluids and (ii) longitudinal immunomonitoring using an epidermal device. Ultimately, the technology proposed in the project will enable rapid, accurate, and safe sampling, allowing clinicians to improve treatment decisions for the benefit of patients.