New Professor in Clinical Immunology at the Department of Laboratory Medicine
On september 1, Peter Bergman was appointed Professor in Clinical Immunology at the Department of Laboratory Medicine. The position is combined with work as a physician at the clinical immunology laboratory and at the immunodeficiency unit.
What does this professorship mean to you?
I am delighted to be appointed professor at Karolinska Institutet. This means that I can continue to develop research, clinical work and teaching in microbiology and immunology in an even clearer and better way. I will continue to see patients at the immunodeficiency unit, be part of the diagnostic team at the clinical immunology laboratory and build up the unit for clinical immunology at Labmed. The collaboration with the hospital is extremely important both for education and research, and this new professorship provides excellent opportunities for that.
Does it make any difference to you in terms of research?
The fact that the new position is combined with clinical work at the infectious disease clinic and at the clinical immunology laboratory means that we can more easily carry out translational research projects, which is a unique strength for us at Labmed. I will continue with some basic research projects in natural immunity, but also try to build a good and long-term infrastructure for handling clinical samples that form the basis for translational research in the area of immunodeficiency.
You have also been appointed head of the Division of Clinical Immunology, which was more or less part of the Division of Clinical Microbiology for a couple of years. What are the plans for this now?
The goal is to build up the Division of Clinical Immunology by gathering the skills and competences of the people who work there. It also feels important to recruit more research groups to the division and to increase our share of the education. The need for courses and increased competence in immunology is increasing, which has not least been shown during the pandemic. I envision a strong collaboration with the hospital, both in education, but also through increased research efforts together with the clinical laboratory. It could, for example, be about more combined positions, joint doctoral students and more research projects that connect the hospital with KI and Labmed.
With all this, you will also leave your assignment as the Departmental Director of Education (GUA). What do you take away from that assignment?
Unfortunately, it will be difficult to manage being both Head of Division and GUA at the same time, so I will leave the GUA assignment at the end of 2022. My 4 years as GUA have been fantastically interesting and rewarding. I really want to take the opportunity to thank the educational management group and all the teachers at Labmed, who have done an incredible job during the pandemic. We have worked hard to build sustainable structures to run and develop the education at the Department. I think we have come very far with some major projects, such as a new education plan for the BMA program and setting up a completely new master's program in biomedical laboratory science. We have also developed new working methods for how different assignments at the department are handled and that the transparency within the educational economy has increased.
I feel truly happy and proud of all that we have done with the education during these years. Before my new role as Head of Division, I mainly take with me the importance of a leadership based on trust, transparency and openness. I am really looking forward to taking on all the challenges ahead.
Peter got his medical degree at KI and graduated in 2001. He began his doctoral studies directly after his medical degree and combined this with research AT at Karolinska University Hospital. In 2005, he completed his dissertation on a basic science thesis on antimicrobial peptides and infections in the central nervous system. He then began his clinical training and became a specialist in clinical microbiology in 2013. He was appointed associate professor in clinical microbiology the same year and was subsequently granted a 6-year clinical research position from the Swedish Research Council and was employed as a university lecturer at KI in 2016. After 10 years in clinical microbiology, he returned to patient work and since 2017 has been working on the immunodeficiency unit at the infectious disease clinic at Karolinska University Hospital. Since 2018, he has been responsible for basic education at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and is also a teacher representative at the committee for education at KI. Peter's research deals with the role of the immune system in various infectious conditions, where basic research is combined with clinical projects around congenital immune defects.