About me

Academic Vice-President of Doctoral Education 2019-present

Visiting address: Aula Medica, Nobels väg 6, floor 7

Professor of Immunotherapy in Neurological Diseases 2013-present

President of ORPHEUS doctoral education organization 2014-present

Central Director of Doctoral studies at Karolinska Institutet 2008-2018

Director of Doctoral studies at Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institutet 2005-2018

Awarded Karolinska Institutet’s Pedagogy Prize 2014

124 publications and 5 review – Web of Science h index = 45 Google Scholar H index = 39, i index = 95 (as of 27th April 2021)

Currently receives research funding from Swedish Medical research Council, CancerFonden, Alltid Litt Sterkere, Ulla Carin Lindquist Stiftelse and Karolinska Institutet

Currently supervises 3 PhD students, co-supervises 5 PhD students, 2 Postdoctoral Fellow and one undergraduate student

 

Professor Robert A. Harris (Bob) was born in Harpenden in Southern UK in 1966. He conducted a Bsc.Hons undergraduate degree at Portsmouth Polytechnic, majoring in Parasitology in 1987. PhD studies at University College London studying innate immune agglutinins in Schistosoma host snail species with Terry Preston and Vaughan Southgate as supervisors culminated with a thesis defence in early 1991. A 2.5 year postdoc at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in Paul Kaye’s research group ensued, with focus on understanding the intracellular fate of Leishmania spp. protozoans in macrophages. Bob was awarded a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship that permitted his relocation to the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) in the spring of 1994. A postdoc period was spent split between the labs of Anders Örn and Tomas Olsson, in which he studied Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma bruceii protozoan proteins. Bob became an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute in 1999, heralding his establishment as a PI. Bob started to work with autoimmune diseases in 1996 and began study of therapy using live parasite infections or parasite molecules. His research group has developed autoantigen-specific vaccines, defined the effects of post-translational biochemical molecules on autoantigenicity and developed a macrophage adoptive transfer therapy that prevents pathogenesis in several experimental disease models. He became Professor of Immunotherapy in Neurological Diseases in 2013.

Research description

HOW CAN WE TREAT OR CURE NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES? There is currently no cure for the diseases we study, including ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Glioblastoma brain tumors, and existing medications are only partly effective.

Our main interest is thus on developing new strategies to reduce or abrogate disease symptoms.

We focus on using the body’s own myeloid cells as a means of treating the same individual through ‘personalised cell therapy.’

We currently have focus on:

1. Enforced microglia repopulation therapy

We develop a protocol for pharmacological depletion of microglia in the CNS, followed by adoptive transfer of monocyte-derived microglia-like cells .

2. DNA-origami drug delivery to myeloid cells

DNA origami constructs are loaded with repurposed FDA-approved drugs and targeted to myeloid cells.

Teaching portfolio

Courses taught at a postgraduate level:

High Performance Chromatography Methods - Applications in Analysis of Biologically Significant Molecules

Trypanosomiasis and Lesihmanisasis protozoan infection biology

I IUIS Course “Infections & Immunology: Views Towards the XXI Century”

Molecular Immunology

Cellular and Molecular Infection Biology

Winter Immunology School

Summer School in Immunology, “Translational Medicine in the field of Autoimmunity”

New Vaccines – advances in current vaccinology

Clinical and Experimental

Neuroimmunology

Cytokines in inflammation

Basic Immunology

Neurovirology

Immune, Gene and Cell therapy

Translational Medicine in the Field of Autoimmunity

 

Courses taught at an undergraduate level:

Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Experimental and Clinical Neuroimmunology

Immunological mechanisms in autoimmune diseases

Tropiska parasiter och svenska

Eukaryot mikrobiologi

Basic Immunology - Macrophages

 

Leadership courses for faculty:

Introduction course for PhD students at KI

Basic course for supervisors at KI

Advance course in pedagogy for supervisors at KI

Future Academic Leaders at KI

 

Workshops:

Conflict prevention, management and resolution

Intended Learning Outcomes - formulation and examination

Professional responsbility as a PhD supervisor

 

These teaching activities are primarily conducted at locally at KI, but also both nationally in Swedish universities as well as internationally.

Education

University Education

BSc (Hons) Biology - Upper Second Class Portsmouth Polytechnic, UK 1987

 

PhD Training

’Haemolymph proteins and the snail immune response’ University College London, UK 1991

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Wellcome Trust Travel Fellow award recipient, 1994 British Council Visiting Professor award recipient, 1995

Docent in Molecular Medicine, 1999, Karolinska Institutet

Professor Immunotherapy in Neuroinflammation, 2013, Karolinska Institutet

Pedagogy Prize, 2014 Karolinska Institutet

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