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The Centre for Allergy Research

Newsletter 24 May 2019


Congratulations, Erik Melén!

We congratulate Erik Melén who has been appointed Professor of Pediatrics at the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet (KI SÖS) combined with clinical duty as specialist in pediatrics from 1st June 2019.

Erik was member of the first group of graduate students recruited to the new multidisciplinary research school for allergy [J Clin Invest. 2003;112:816-20], supported by the Vårdal grant establishing CfA. Erik was then the first student in the group to obtain his PhD degree in 2006. His thesis “Genetic studies on childhood asthma and allergy-role of interactions” lay the foundations to continued successful work sequentially producing key findings relating to genetic and environmental factors in asthma and allergy.

Erik Melén

After clinical training, and a post doctoral period with Scott Weiss at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Erik has continued his work building on the BAMSE cohort where he now is the PI following the retirement of the creators of this unique birth-cohort.

In addition to a great number of high impact publications, Erik has been awarded the Prince Daniel’s Award for young investigators in respiratory medicine, and the PhARF Award for allergy research. Erik will continue his research engagement in the BAMSE study, where one current focus of his large team is the ERC funded TRIBAL study on the consequences of early lung function development for adult lung health.

Erik will also expand his clinical and translational research activities. As a specific assignment, Erik will be the director for a new Clinical Epidemiology Research Center at KI SÖS. CfA is proud of Erik’s achievements because he is the first CfA student to become full professor, and we look forward to his continued contributions to the CfA network.



From left to right: Gunnar Nilsson, Johanna Ungerstedt, Jennine Grootens, Theo Gülen, Joakim Dahlin

Jennine Grootens

Who successfully defended her thesis on 17th May 2019.

Title: Mast cell development in health and systemic mastocytosis

Main supervisor: Gunnar Nilsson,

Co-supervisors: Johanna Ungerstedt, Joakim Dahlin, Hans Hägglund, Theo Gülen

Opponent: Professor Alberto Orfao, Department of Medicine, University of Salamanca, Spain

Link to Jennine Grooten's thesis


The "Good food for all" project is progressing towards the formation of a Swedish Competence Centre for Food Allergy and other Hypersensitivity to Food

The "Good food for all" project has organised two successfull conferences recently. One conference was aimed at persons who live with food allergy and other hypersensitivity to food, and the other conference was aimed at those who work with it.

All ideas, opinions and input that we collected during the conferences are very valuable and we will use them when we now will start the formation of the Competence Centre for Food Allergy and other Hypersensitivity to Food.

Read reports from both conferences via the below link. There you can also find more information about the "Good food for all" project.

Good food for all


Recent publications by CfA researchers

Associations of atopic dermatitis and asthma with child behaviour: results from the PROBIT cohort. Ballardini N, Kramer MS, Oken E, Henderson AJ, Bogdanovich N, Dahhou M, Patel R, Thompson J, Vilchuck K, Yang S, Martin RM, Flohr C. Clin Exp Allergy. 2019 May 13. doi: 10.1111/cea.13417. [Epub ahead of print]

The potential role of CD16high CD62Ldim neutrophils in the allergic asthma. Ekstedt S, Stenberg H, Tufvesson E, Diamant Z, Bjermer L, Kumlien Georén S, Cardell LO. Allergy. 2019 May 9. doi: 10.1111/all.13861. [Epub ahead of print]

Genomic interactions with exposure to inhaled pollutants. London SJ, Melén E. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Apr 25. pii: S0091-6749(19)30541-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.04.008. [Epub ahead of print]

The complex pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis: scientific rationale for the development of an alternative treatment option.Bjermer L, Westman M, Holmström M, Wickman MC.Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2019 Apr 16;15:24. doi: 10.1186/s13223-018-0314-1. eCollection 2019. Review.

Epigenome-wide association studies in asthma: A systematic review. Edris A, den Dekker HT, Melén E, Lahousse L.Clin Exp Allergy. 2019 Apr 22. doi: 10.1111/cea.13403. [Epub ahead of print]

IL-17-high asthma with features of a psoriasis immunophenotype. Östling J, van Geest M, Schofield JPR, Jevnikar Z, Wilson S, Ward J, Lutter R, Shaw DE, Bakke PS, Caruso M, Dahlen SE, Fowler SJ, Horváth I, Krug N, Montuschi P, Sanak M, Sandström T, Sun K, Pandis I, Auffray C, Sousa AR, Guo Y, Adcock IM, Howarth P, Chung KF, Bigler J, Sterk PJ, Skipp PJ, Djukanović R, Vaarala O; U-BIOPRED Study Group. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Apr 15. pii: S0091-6749(19)30484-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.03.027. [Epub ahead of print]

Linking COPD epidemiology with pediatric asthma care; implications for the patient and the physician. Melén E, Guerra S, Hallberg J, Jarvis D, Stanojevic S. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2019 Apr 10. doi: 10.1111/pai.13054. [Epub ahead of print]

Sputum proteomic signature of gastro-oesophageal reflux in patients with severe asthma. Tariq K, Schofield JPR, Nicholas BL, Burg D, Brandsma J, Bansal AT, Wilson SJ, Lutter R, Fowler SJ, Bakke, Caruso M, Dahlen B, Horváth I, Krug N, Montuschi P, Sanak M, Sandström T, Geiser T, Pandis I, Sousa AR, Adcock IM, Shaw DE, Auffray C, Howarth PH, Sterk PJ, Chung KF, Skipp PJ, Dimitrov B, Djukanović R; U-BIOPRED Study Group. Respir Med. 2019 Apr;150:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2019.02.008. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Towards clinically applicable biomarkers for asthma - An EAACI position paper. Diamant Z, Vijverberg S, Alving K, Bakirtas A, Bjermer L, Custovic A, Dahlen SE, Gaga M, Gerth van Wijk R, Del Giacco S, Hamelmann E, Heaney L, Heffler E, Kalayci Ö, Kostikas K, Lutter R, Olin AC, Sergejeva S, Simpson A, Sterk PJ, Tufvesson E, Agache I, Seys SF. Allergy. 2019 Apr 6. doi: 10.1111/all.13806. [Epub ahead of print]

Mobile technology offers novel insights into the control and treatment of allergic rhinitis: The MASK study. Bédard A, Basagaña X, Anto JM, Garcia-Aymerich J, Devillier P, Arnavielhe S, Bedbrook A, Onorato GL, Czarlewski W, Murray R, Almeida R, Fonseca J, Costa E, Malva J, Morais-Almeida M, Pereira AM, Todo-Bom A, Menditto E, Stellato C, Ventura MT, Cruz AA, Stelmach R, da Silva J, Larenas-Linnemann D, Fuentes-Pérez JM, Huerta-Villalobos YR, Emuzyte R, Kvedariene V, Valiulis A, Kuna P, Samolinski B, Klimek L, Mösges R, Pfaar O, Shamai S, Annesi-Maesano I, Bosse I, Demoly P, Fontaine JF, Cardona V, Mullol J, Valero A, Roller-Wirnsberger RE, Tomazic PV, Chavannes NH, Fokkens WJ, Reitsma S, Bewick M, Ryan D, Sheikh A, Haahtela T, Toppila-Salmi S, Valovirta E, Makris M, Papadopoulos NG, Prokopakis EP, Psarros F, Cingi C, Gemicioğlu B, Yorgancioglu A, Bosnic-Anticevich S, O'Hehir RE, Bachert C, Hellings PW, Pugin B, Bindslev-Jensen C, Eller E, Kull I, Melén E, Wickman M, De Vries G, van Eerd M, Agache I, Ansotegui IJ, Dykewicz MS, Casale T, Wallace D, Waserman S, Laune D, Bousquet J; MASK study group. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Apr 3. pii: S0091-6749(19)30426-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.01.053. [Epub ahead of print]

Severe asthma: entering an era of new concepts and emerging therapies: Highlights of the 4th International Severe Asthma Forum, Madrid, 2018. Seys SF, Quirce S, Agache I, Akdis CA, Alvaro-Lozano M, Antolín-Amérigo D, Bjermer L, Bobolea I, Bonini M, Bossios A, Brinkman P, Bush A, Calderon M, Canonica W, Chanez P, Couto M, Davila I, Del Giacco S, Del Pozo V, Erjefält JS, Gevaert P, Hagedoorn P, Heaney L, Heffler E, Hellings PW, Jutel M, Kalayci O, Kurowski M, Loukides S, Nair P, Palomares O, Polverino E, Sanchez-Garcia S, Sastre J, Schwarze J, Spanevello A, Ulrik CS, Usmani O, Van den Berge M, Vasakova M, Vijverberg S, Diamant Z. Allergy. 2019 Apr 25. doi: 10.1111/all.13843. [Epub ahead of print]

Changes in the prevalence of asthma and respiratory symptoms in western Sweden between 2008 and 2016. Borna E, Nwaru BI, Bjerg A, Mincheva R, Rådinger M, Lundbäck B, Ekerljung L. Allergy. 2019 Apr 25. doi: 10.1111/all.13840. [Epub ahead of print]

Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies in neonates reveals widespread differential DNA methylation associated with birthweight. Küpers LK, Monnereau C, Sharp GC, Yousefi P, Salas LA, Ghantous A, Page CM, Reese SE, Wilcox AJ, Czamara D, Starling AP, Novoloaca A, Lent S, Roy R, Hoyo C, Breton CV, Allard C, Just AC, Bakulski KM, Holloway JW, Everson TM, Xu CJ, Huang RC, van der Plaat DA, Wielscher M, Merid SK, Ullemar V, Rezwan FI, Lahti J, van Dongen J, Langie SAS, Richardson TG, Magnus MC, Nohr EA, Xu Z, Duijts L, Zhao S, Zhang W, Plusquin M, DeMeo DL, Solomon O, Heimovaara JH, Jima DD, Gao L, Bustamante M, Perron P, Wright RO, Hertz-Picciotto I, Zhang H, Karagas MR, Gehring U, Marsit CJ, Beilin LJ, Vonk JM, Jarvelin MR, Bergström A, Örtqvist AK, Ewart S, Villa PM, Moore SE, Willemsen G, Standaert ARL, Håberg SE, Sørensen TIA, Taylor JA, Räikkönen K, Yang IV, Kechris K, Nawrot TS, Silver MJ, Gong YY, Richiardi L, Kogevinas M, Litonjua AA, Eskenazi B, Huen K, Mbarek H, Maguire RL, Dwyer T, Vrijheid M, Bouchard L, Baccarelli AA, Croen LA, Karmaus W, Anderson D, de Vries M, Sebert S, Kere J, Karlsson R, Arshad SH, Hämäläinen E, Routledge MN, Boomsma DI, Feinberg AP, Newschaffer CJ, Govarts E, Moisse M, Fallin MD, Melén E, Prentice AM, Kajantie E, Almqvist C, Oken E, Dabelea D, Boezen HM, Melton PE, Wright RJ, Koppelman GH, Trevisi L, Hivert MF, Sunyer J, Munthe-Kaas MC, Murphy SK, Corpeleijn E, Wiemels J, Holland N, Herceg Z, Binder EB, Davey Smith G, Jaddoe VWV, Lie RT, Nystad W, London SJ, Lawlor DA, Relton CL, Snieder H, Felix JF. Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 23;10(1):1893. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09671-3.

Asthma and affective traits in adults: a genetically informative study. Lehto K, Pedersen NL, Almqvist C, Lu Y, Brew BK. Eur Respir J. 2019 Apr 7. pii: 1802142. doi: 10.1183/13993003.02142-2018. [Epub ahead of print]

Metabolomics of neonatal blood spots reveal distinct phenotypes of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and potential effects of early-life nutrition. Petrick LM, Schiffman C, Edmands WMB, Yano Y, Perttula K, Whitehead T, Metayer C, Wheelock CE, Arora M, Grigoryan H, Carlsson H, Dudoit S, Rappaport SM. Cancer Lett. 2019 Jun 28;452:71-78. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Single-cell analysis reveals the KIT D816V mutation in haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in systemic mastocytosis. Grootens J, Ungerstedt JS, Ekoff M, Rönnberg E, Klimkowska M, Amini RM, Arock M, Söderlund S, Mattsson M, Nilsson G, Dahlin JS. EBioMedicine. 2019 Apr 8. pii: S2352-3964(19)30234-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.03.089. [Epub ahead of print]

Stopping when knowing: use of snus and nicotine during pregnancy in Scandinavia. Kreyberg I, Bains KES, Carlsen KH, Granum B, Gudmundsdóttir HK, Haugen G, Hedlin G, Hilde K, Jonassen CM, Nordhagen LS, Nordlund B, Sjøborg KD, Skjerven HO, Staff AC, Söderhäll C, Vettukatil RM, Lødrup Carlsen KC. ERJ Open Res. 2019 Apr 8;5(2). pii: 00197-2018. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00197-2018. eCollection 2019 Apr.


Upcoming conferences and meetings
in the asthma and allergy area

EAACI Annual Congress, 1-5 June 2019, Lisbon, Portugal

9th meeting of the European Mast Cell and Basophil Research Network (EMBRN), 17-19 June 2019, Uppsala, Sweden

ERS International Congress, 28 September-2 October 2019, Madrid, Spain

EAACI PAAM (Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting), 17-19 October 2019, Florence, Italy

16th International Conference "Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases", 20-23 October 2019, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

ERS Research Seminar "Early Origins of Lung Disease: an interdisciplinary approach", 11-12 November 2019, Lisbon, Portugal

EAACI ISMA (International Symposium on Molecular Allergology), 28-30 November 2019, Amsterdam, the Netherlands


About the Centre for Allergy Research
The Centre for Allergy Research (CfA) is a centre of excellence at Karolinska Institutet. Our aim is to improve treatment and care of individuals with asthma and allergy.

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The Centre for Allergy Research / Centrum för Allergiforskning
Director: Sven-Erik Dahlén, Director Clinical Research: Gunilla Hedlin,
Project Manager: Roelinde Middelveld
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