Marie Wahren-Herlenius


About me

  • Professor of Experimental Rheumatologi, Karolinska Institutet 2006 -
  • Head of the Experimental Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, 2013 -
  • International postdoctoral experience from Norway, Japan and as visiting professor at Harvard Medical School 2007-2008
  • President, PhD student's association, Karolinska Institutet 1991
  • President of and lead the establishment of the Junior Faculty organization, Karolinska Institutet 2002-2005
  • Vice Head of Department of Medicine Solna 2006-2007
  • Faculty representative, Board of Research, KI 2002-2007, and University Board 2009-2014
  • Vice Coordinator Linné Center CERIC
  • Evaluator of science, the Swedish Research Council (2007-2009), The Heart-Lung Foundation (2013-2014) and for international organizations
  • President, The Scandinavian Society for Immunology 2010 -
  • Received eg Göran Gustafsson prize in Medicine for scientific accomplishments

Research description

Our research is focused on autoimmune, rheumatic diseases, and aims at understanding the pathogenesis and disease mechanisms. Our projects include basic investigations of cell and molecular biology character, studies in experimental models as well as clinical, patient-based investigations. The research groups include around 15 scientists from clinical and basic experimental disciplines.

Selected publications:

Ro/SSA autoantibodies directly bind cardiomyocytes, disturb calcium homeostasis, and mediate congenital heart block. Salomonsson S, Sonesson SE, Ottosson L, Muhallab S, Olsson T, Sunnerhagen M, et al J. Exp. Med. 2005 Jan;201(1):11-7

Loss of the lupus autoantigen Ro52/Trim21 induces tissue inflammation and systemic autoimmunity by disregulating the IL-23-Th17 pathway. Espinosa A, Dardalhon V, Brauner S, Ambrosi A, Higgs R, Quintana FJ, et al J. Exp. Med. 2009 Aug;206(8):1661-71

Maternal MHC regulates generation of pathogenic antibodies and fetal MHC-encoded genes determine susceptibility in congenital heart block. Strandberg LS, Ambrosi A, Jagodic M, Dzikaite V, Janson P, Khademi M, et al J. Immunol. 2010 Sep;185(6):3574-82

Variants at multiple loci implicated in both innate and adaptive immune responses are associated with Sjögren's syndrome. Lessard CJ, Li H, Adrianto I, Ice JA, Rasmussen A, Grundahl KM, et al Nat. Genet. 2013 Nov;45(11):1284-92

Immunopathogenic mechanisms of systemic autoimmune disease. Wahren-Herlenius M, Dörner T Lancet 2013 Aug;382(9894):819-31

A full list of publications is found below. 


  • PhD, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet 1994
  • Medical Degree, Karolinska Institutet 1995
  • Docent of Molecular Immunologi 1999
  • Licensed physician 2000