I work in sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis research using various omics data and high-throughput technologies in human population-based cohorts, including genome-wide genetics, transcriptomics, and epigenetics with the aim to understand molecular mechanisms of disease and identity clinical biomarkers. I am interested in dissecting the genetic architecture and pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases that are driven by chronic inflammation.
My current research focuses on the genetics of human complex diseases, particularly sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Our group's vision aim is to decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease and chronic inflammation coupled with cutting-edge bioinformatics and statistical approaches. Along the way, we work towards the identification of clinical biomarkers and molecular targets that can help the advancement of more realistic gene-based therapies and achieving the long-term goal for precision medicine. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please join MESARGEN – Multi-Ethnic Sarcoidosis Consortium for Genetic Studies. At present, MESARGEN is the largest international network that is solely dedicated to genomic investigations and translational studies in sarcoidosis.
For more info, see our publications https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/natalia%20v.rivera%20sifaki.1/bibli…
Current postdocs and students
2019 - 2021, Postdoc (Olga Chuquimia), Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
2019 - 2020, Master student (Patrick Kanyi Ndungu, BSc); Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Master Thesis “Assessment on whether vitamin D and calcium are causal risk factors in the development of Sarcoidosis: A Mendelian randomization study.”
2019 - 2020, Master student (Ying Xiong, BSc); Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Research Project “A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies sex-specific risk loci for sarcoidosis.”
2016 - 2020, Research student (Tomoko Iseda, MD), Department of Medicine, Respiratory Unit, Karolinska Institutet. Research Project “Genetics of disease chronicity in sarcoidosis”
2018 - 2019, Visiting Postdoc (Zdenka Navratlova, PhD), Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacky University Olomouc, Olomouc, Czech Republic
2018 summer, visiting student (Christine Scerbo), Pre-Medicine, Manhattan College, NY, USA
2017 - 2020, Doctoral student (Muntasir Abo Al Hayja, MD); Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Doctoral project “Pleiotropy assessment of genetic variants of sarcoidosis in lung cells”.
2016 - 2018, Research student (Vasiliki Vasila, MD); Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Research projects “Genetics of disease chronicity in sarcoidosis” and “Genetics of gender differences in sarcoidosis”
2016 - 2017, Master student (Karina Patasova, BSc); Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Master Thesis “Smoking assessment in sarcoidosis phenotypes, a gene-environment interaction study“
PhD in Molecular Medicine, Feb 2012. Dissertation title: "Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy". Doctoral School of Molecular Medicine, University of Milan, Segrate, Milan, Italy
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Specialization Genetic Epidemiology, Sept 2011. Thesis title: "Assessment of 9p21.3 locus with severity of Coronary Artery (CAD) in the presence and absence of Type 2 Diabetes". Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES), Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, Jan 2005. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Dec 1999. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA
Academic honours, awards and prizes
- 2020 - 2022, Project grant “Blood and lung-based DNA methylation in pulmonary sarcoidosis: Biomarker discovery and potential drug targets for clinical applications”, Swedish Medical Society, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2019 - 2020, Project grant “Genetic markers for diagnosis of sarcoidosis”, Tore Nilsons Foundation for Medical Research, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2019 - 2020, Project grant “Molecular biomarkers of sarcoidosis in the Multi-Ethnic Sarcoidosis Consortium for Genetic Studies (MESARGEN)”, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, Illinois, USA
- 2019 - 2020, Project grant “Genomic markers of sarcoidosis – a systemic inflammatory disease”, Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Minne Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2018 - 2020, Project grant “Elucidating mechanisms of chronic inflammation in ocular sarcoidosis”, Karolinska Institutet Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2018 - 2020, Project grant “Genetic investigations on chronic inflammatory diseases, such as cardiac sarcoidosis, Lars Hiertas Minne Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2018 - 2020, Project grant “The role of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) in lung cells of patients with sarcoidosis”, Karolinska Institutet Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2018 - 2019, Project grant “Clinical biomarkers for sarcoidosis disease”, Eva and Oscar Ahréns Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2017 - 2020, Project grant “Molecular biomarkers of sarcoidosis using MESARGEN, a multi-ethnic population-based consortium”, Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2017 - 2019, Project grant “Calcium levels and sarcoidosis, A Mendelian Randomization Study”, Lisa and Johan Grönbergs Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden