I started medical school (Karolinska Institutet) in 1969 and begun doing research (on a part time basis) with Erna and Göran Möller in 1971. After finishing medical school, I went into research full time and presented my PhD thesis (on cell stimulation with mitogens) in 1979. I subsequently completed my practical medical training (AT) and started specializing in clinical immunology, becoming a specialist in 1984. Ever since, I have been mixing clinical work with clinically oriented research.
Initially, I took on the post as a head of the clinical immunology laboratory (in 1997) but later devoted my time more to research and was appointed head of the division of Clinical Immunlogy in 1999, the same year that I became professor (and subsequently Distinguished professor, 2009) at the Karolinska Institutet. I still serve in this position, now having incorporated the transfusion service into our division.
My main research interests focus around immunogenetics and immunotherapy where I have published more than 500 papers to date. In the former area, we are mainly working on trying to understand the molecular basis of a variety of primary immunodeficiency diseases, including IgA deficiency (the most common form of primary immunodeficiency in Sweden) and common variable immunodeficiency. In the latter area, we are trying to develop novel forms of passive immunity that we can use to treat our patients, utilizing antibodies from different sources. Lately, we have turned to using genetically modified lactic acid bacteria as factories for producing antibody fragments in vivo and although most work has been performed in animal models, we are now preparing for clinical trials.
RAC2 loss-of-function mutation in 2 siblings with characteristics of common variable immunodeficiency. Alkhairy OK, Rezaei N, Graham RR, Abolhassani H, Borte S, Hultenby K, et al J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2015 May;135(5):1380-4.e1-5
A hypomorphic recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG1) mutation resulting in a phenotype resembling common variable immunodeficiency. Abolhassani H, Wang N, Aghamohammadi A, Rezaei N, Lee YN, Frugoni F, et al J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2014 Dec;134(6):1375-1380
Rice-based oral antibody fragment prophylaxis and therapy against rotavirus infection. Tokuhara D, Álvarez B, Mejima M, Hiroiwa T, Takahashi Y, Kurokawa S, et al J. Clin. Invest. 2013 Sep;123(9):3829-38
Ribosomal protein SA haploinsufficiency in humans with isolated congenital asplenia. Bolze A, Mahlaoui N, Byun M, Turner B, Trede N, Ellis SR, et al Science 2013 May;340(6135):976-8
Neonatal screening for severe primary immunodeficiency diseases using high-throughput triplex real-time PCR. Borte S, von Döbeln U, Fasth A, Wang N, Janzi M, Winiarski J, et al Blood 2012 Mar;119(11):2552-5
Primary immunodeficiency diseases: an update on the classification from the international union of immunological societies expert committee for primary immunodeficiency. Al-Herz W, Bousfiha A, Casanova JL, Chapel H, Conley ME, Cunningham-Rundles C, et al Front Immunol 2011 ;2():54
Association of IFIH1 and other autoimmunity risk alleles with selective IgA deficiency. Ferreira RC, Pan-Hammarström Q, Graham RR, Gateva V, Fontán G, Lee AT, et al Nat. Genet. 2010 Sep;42(9):777-80
Professor (guest professor) 1999 - (Beijing University, China)
Professor 1999 - (Karolinska Institutet)
Associate Professor in Clinical Immunology 1985 (Huddinge Hospital)
Specialist in Clinical Immunology 1984 (Huddinge Hospital)
Docent (lecturer) in Immunology 1979 (Karolinska Institutet)
Thesis 1979 (molecular basis of B lymphocyte activation)(Karolinska Institutet)
Doctoral exam 1975 (Karolinska Institutet)
Academic honours, awards and prizes
Received the EU Descartes research prize in 2005 for work on primary immunodeficiency
Received the Hilda and Alfred Erikssons prize from the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in 2009 for work on primary immunodeficiency
Received a distinguished professor award from the Karolinska Institutet 2009