About me

Professor at Karolinska Institutet. Director of Doctoral Studies and Head of International Affairs at Department of Dental Medicine.

Margaret Sällberg Chen received her D.D.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Karolinska Institutet. Following postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA, where she developed T cell receptor transgene models for immunological studies of viral infection and cancer, she was recruited to the former Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control to study experimental vaccines and infection immunology. She became full professor in clinical oral immunology in 2020 at KI. She has published 80 scientific articles which have received over 3500 citations, she has active commitments on numerous scientific and editorial board. 

Research description

The lab is broadly interested in immunological mechanisms effective in eliminating microbial pathogens associated with chronic diseases and tumors. The research pursues several lines investigating cellular functions capable of sensing and killing intracellular pathogens and tumors, and the target identification. The models are exclusively human infectious diseases and the methodologies employed include synthetic genetics, genetically modified cells and animals, viral and non-viral vectors, and next generation sequencing.

Major research area: infection and cancer immunity, redirection of lymphocytes, T cell receptors, viral and neo-antigens, human microbiome and immune cell interactions, therapeutic targets in oral diseases including tumors and endodontic infections.

Group members

Dr. Michal Sobkowiak, Postdoc, Dr Sobkowiak holds a PhD in mucosal immunology 

Dr. Katie Healy, postdoc, Dr. Healy holds a PhD degree in innate T cells and T cell engineering.

Dr. Pooja Tajpara, Postdoc, Dr. Tajpara holds a Master in Biotechnology and a PhD in human tissue immunology.

Dr. Mahin Ghorbani, Postdoc, Dr Ghorbani has a PhD in metatranscriptome analysis of gut microbiome and biomarker discovery.

Dr. Sabrina Naud, Postdoc, Dr Naud holds a PhD in human microbiota, culturomics approach as well as bioinformatics.

PhD students: Rahul Harshad Nagadia (DDS, MD, Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery), Khaled Al-Manei (DDS, MSc Specialist in Endodontics),Liyan Lu (DDS).

Co-supervisor to PhD students Asif Halimi (MD, Specialist in Surgery), Zeeshan Ateeb (MD), Ann Morgell (MD)


Tanja Näslund PhD degree 2009, Anna Pasetto PhD degree 2012, Haleh Davanian PhD degree 2014, Michal Sobkowiak PhD degree 2019. Hassan Alkharaan PhD degree 2021.

Dr. Anila Yasmeen, Postdoc. Dr. Balasiddaiah Anangi, Postdoc. Dr Rogier Gaiser, Dr Haleh Davanian

Research awards

Cancerfonden, Vetenskapsrådet, KI KID faculty funds, CIMED, Johnson & Johnson Innovation Award, KI/SLL SOF, ALF Stockholm, Radiumhemmets Forskningsfond, NBIS/SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Long-term Support

Teaching portfolio

Formal courses taught at university level

Course director “Exam Work in Oral Sciences”, 30 credits, Dentistry Programme KI, 2015 – present

Course director “Medical Microbiology, 30 credits, Medical Programme KI, 2002

Curriculum Director, Year 2, Dentistry Programme KI, 2014- present

Clinical instructor for Dentistry Students (Year 3-5), Dentistry Programme KI, 2008-2017