Research Division of Medical Inflammation Research

Humanity is suffering from many inflammatory diseases affecting specific tissues of the body. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joints of hands and feet are inflamed and destroyed, in multiple sclerosis the spinal chord and brain, in diabetes insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, in lupus the kidneys and in Sjögren's syndrome the salivary glands. In spite of very large research efforts we do not know why these diseases develop and we have no effective curative treatment for them.

At Medical Inflammation Research (MIR) we believe that it is necessary to take one step back to advance two steps forward. We need to analyse the basic mechanisms behind these diseases and for this work we need animal models. With the animal models we try to find out which genes are important for the human diseases and why the immune system suddenly starts to attack our own tissues. With the increased knowledge we hope to find new ways to predict the diseases, to develop new therapies to stop the disease process and optimally to find ways to completely abrogate development of disease in susceptible individuals.

Research interests

Our main goals are:

  1. To identify the genes that control animal models for rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  2. To use the animal models not only for understanding the basic mechanism of autoimmune disease but also as models for developing new diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic strategies.
  3. To understand the role of MHC class II genes in explaining the immune specificity of autoimmune disease.

Research Groups

Rikard Holmdahl

Kajsa Wing


Head of Division, Professor

Rikard Holmdahl

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 846 07
Organizational unit: Medical Inflammation Research


Angel Yao Mattisson

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 866 38
Organizational unit: Medical Inflammation Research


Division of Medical Inflammation Research

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB)

Karolinska Institutet

Scheeles väg 2, B2 Plan 4

SE-171 77 Stockholm



Fax: +46-8-524 877 50

Phone Central Lab: +46-8-524 877 15

Phone Central Lab: +46-8-524 863 37

Collaborations and Networks

National Networks


KI Temacenter (Chronic Infammatory Diseases)

Joint ID - Joint ID is a scientific project funded by SSF with an aim to develop a new diagnostic test for RA patients.


  • Rikard Holmdahl, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Co-ordinator)
  • Jan Khilberg, Uppsala University, Uppsala
  • Inger Gjetsson, Gotenborg University, Gotenborg

Center for Autoimmune Diseases

JointID-clinical treatment (Rikard Holmdahl, partner) - a network project funded by Science Research Council (VR) - A new unique diagnostic test for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cancer Redox (Rikard Holmdahl, partner) - a network project funded by Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelsen (KAW) - Targeting redox pathways for improved cancer therapy

International Collaborations

Be The Cure’ (BTCURE)



Southern Medical University, China