T-cell immunology in rheumatic diseases: effector function and TCR diversity

Karine Chemin


T-cell immunology in rheumatic diseases: effector function and TCR diversity

Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

2020: Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) team leader, https://www.cmm.ki.se/sv/web/guest/vivianne-malmstrom-group1/teams

2018-: Senior researcher in T-cell biology, Rheumatology Division, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

2014-2018: Assistant Professor in T-cell biology, Rheumatology Division, Prof. Malmström´s group, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

2011-2014: Postdoctoral position, Rheumatology Division, Prof. Malmström´s group, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. “The contribution of CD4+ T cells to Rheumatoid Arthritis” ,https://www.cmm.ki.se/sv/web/guest/vivianne-malmstrom-grupp1

2006-2010: Postdoctoral position, Dr. C. Hivroz´s group, Immunity and Cancer U932, Curie Institute, Paris, France. “Cellular mechanisms controlling IFN-g and IL-2 secretion in human CD4+ T cells” , https://science.institut-curie.org/research/integrated-biology/u932-immunity-and-cancer/team-hivroz/

2002-2006: PhD student (Hematology), Supervisor: Dr. JC. Bories, Unit of Immunopathology, Hôpital Saint Louis Paris, France. “Molecular mechanisms of T and B cell differentiation in mouse”, https://irsl.u-paris.fr/

2001-2002: Master student, Supervisor: Dr. JC. Bories, Unit of Immunopathology, Hôpital Saint Louis Paris, France

1999: ERASMUS exchange, Center of Immunology Turku, Finland


Research description

Although the etiology of autoimmune diseases is unknown, a complex interplay between genetics, environment and epigenetics is proposed to be the cause of self-tolerance failure. In my team, we are interested in the function of T cells in the pathogenesis of two autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM). In these two inflammatory disorders, the strongest genetic risk factor is the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus highlighting the importance of T cells in the pathogenesis. T cells are vital for defending the body against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria whereas, in autoimmune diseases, T cells mistakenly attack our own body. We believe that, by studying T cells at the site of inflammation, we can understand their pathogenic effector function, their antigen specificity and the mechanisms implicated in their migration and retention in the tissue. We also have a specific interest in the subset of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells sharing common effector functions with CD8+ T cells. We use single cell technologies (SmartSeq2 and 10X genomics) in association with conventional cell biology/molecular biology techniques on clinical samples to investigate the diversity of T-cell populations. Our translational research relies on strong collaborations with the Rheumatology Clinic, KI (Prof Ingrid Lundberg´s team) as well as with geneticist/bioinformatics expert (Dr. Lina Diaz-Gallo). Our ambition is to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms driving RA and IIM to improve diagnosis and clinical care.

Teaching portfolio

2013-2020: Teaching at PhD courses KI: Basic immunology, #2302, Basic inflammation, #2705, Cell signaling #3049, Cytokines in Inflammation #1626, Translational medicine in the Field of Autoimmunity #2760, Clinical and Experimental NeuroImmunology #3200

2013-2020: Teaching at the Biomedicine Master Programme, KI 

2017 and 2019: Organisation of the PhD course Cytokines in Inflammation, #1626, KI

2019 and 2020: Organisation of the PhD course Basic Immunology, #5229, KI


2006: PhD in Hematology, University Paris 7, France

2002: Master degree: Hematology, 2002, University Paris 7, France

2000: Bachelor degree: Cell Biology, 2000, University Rennes 1, France

1999: Laboratory technician certificate, 1999, University Quimper, France


Academic honours, awards and prizes

Research support from Nanna Svartz foundation, Reumatikerfonden, the Konung Gustaf V:s 80-års foundation, the Ulla och Gustaf af Ugglas foundation, the Börje Dahlin foundation

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