Maike Sperk

Affiliated to research

About me

I came to KI in March 2017 as a master student and completed my master thesis in Anders Sönnerberg group with supervision by Ujjwal Neogi, at the Division of Clinical Microbiology. At that point I started to work in the multi-omics field connected to HIV-1 infection and HIV-1 Elite controllers. This group in HIV-positive patients is able to control the infection without any therapy.

Since March 2018 I am PhD student in Ujjwal Neogis group and I am still trying to reveal the secrets of HIV-1 Elite controller by using proteomics and metabolomics approaches.

Research description

In my PhD studies I focus on targeted and untargeted proteomic studies as well as metabolomics studies in different groups of HIV-infected patients. So called Elite controllers (EC) constitute one of the study groups and include HIV-positive individuals that are able to control the infection without any antiviral therapy. EC are a really rare heterogeneous group among HIV-infected individuals (<1%) and the mechanisms of how they achieve low or even undetectable viral loads remain unclear. With the proteomic and metabolomics studies I want to discover novel biomarkers that are associated with immune control in EC. Moreover, a cell subset-specific proteome network shall be generated. Proximity extension assay and mass spectrometry are the two approaches that I use for generating proteomic high throughput data, and also for metabolomics mass spectrometry is used. Findings that are made in high throughput approaches, are confirmed and specific pathways as well as their involvement in HIV-1 infection are examined in mechanistic studies.

My PhD project is part of a multi-omics research program, where genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomics data shall be collected and subsequently integrated to map cellular pathways that are significantly modulated in EC and might therefore contribute to EC immune protection. The role of specific pathways in HIV-1 infection shall then be revealed. This knowledge may be helpful to develop functional HIV-1 cure and/or vaccine in the future


since March 2018

Doctoral student at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, Tübingen University, Germany


B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, Tübingen University, Germany