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The Centre for Allergy Research

Newsletter October 2021










Gunnar Lilja

Photo: Rainer Tihvan Fotogruppen SöS

Gunnar Lilja


Our friend and colleague Gunnar Lilja, associate professor and consultant at Sachs Children’s Hospital, has passed away following a period of illness. Gunnar has been of great importance to allergy research, both at a national and international level. He has been a mentor, supervisor and research associate to many colleagues from a range of professions.

One of Gunnar’s specific areas of interest was the link between maternal nutrition and the development of allergy in children. His findings form the basis of the guidelines given to pregnant women today. Gunnar’s studies span many generations and we continue to study the children and grandchildren of the mothers that he first recruited around 30 years ago. The importance of correct allergy diagnostics has also been an important topic for Gunnar. He has initiated and taken part in a vast number of studies that have contributed to improved and more specific methods for allergy diagnosis. In recognition of his successful research he was the first recipient of the SFFA (Svenska föreningen för allergologi) big stipend when it was first established and presented in 2009.

Gunnar has also been an active member of the Centre for Allergy Research, both as an invited speaker and advisor. He has also made important contributions to several different educational programmes for doctors and nurses. In his so characteristic humble and unobtrusive way he has played a big part in motivating clinical colleagues to pursue scientific research, always with the best interest of the patients at heart.

We will miss Gunnar.

On behalf of all research colleagues,

Erik Melén, Caroline Nilsson, Johan Alm, Fredrik Stenius and Inger Kull


Villa Aske

MacNet 2021


The 2021 MacNet meeting was a great start to the autumn term, held in Villa Aske in beautiful countryside near Bro and enabling fellow mast cell enthusiasts to meet and interact! Invited mast cell expert, Ulrich Blank from Paris held an excellent talk on mast cell signaling and exocytosis, and PhD students and Post-Docs from Stockholm, Uppsala and Lund demonstrated the importance of mast cells in allergic processes, cancer and infections, as well as the heterogeneity of these cells and the plasticity they display in different microenvironments. Thank you to the organisers Magnus Åbrink, Jenny Hallgren, Sara Wernersson, Lars Hellman, Gunnar Nilsson and Gunnar Pejler!


Funding opportunity


Konsul Th C Berghs foundation, a Swedish funding body, provides financial support for allergy research and each year donates 1 miljon SEK to Swedish scientists working within this field. Applications are welcome between 28th October 2021 and 16th December 2021. For more information click here


Forthcoming asthma and allergy conferences


PAAM DIGITAL 2021 The EAACI Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting will take place digitally on 12–13 November 2021

EAACI WINTER SCHOOL 27-30 Jan 2022 on basic immunology research in allergy and clinical immunology. Hybrid meeting, Semmering, Austria

Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA) symposium, 22-26 May, 2022, entitled Shifting Paradigms in Allergy and Immune Disease: Diagnosis & Management will be held in Montréal, Quebec

EAACI 1-3 July 2022, Hybrid meeting, Prague, Czech Republic

American Thoracic Society 13-18 May 2022, San Francisco, CA, USA. Abstract deadline 3 November 2021

European Respiratory Society 4-6 September 2022, Barcelona, Spain


Recent publications by CfA researchers


Just accepted in the European Respiratory Journal:

Urinary metabotype of severe asthma evidences decreased carnitine metabolism independent of oral corticosteroid treatment in the U-BIOPRED Study. Reinke S, Naz S, Chaleckis R, Ayala H, Kolmert J, Kermani N, Tiotiu A, Broadhurst D, Lundqvist A, Olsson H, Wheelock Å, Strom M, Gomez C, Ericsson M, Sousa A, Riley J, Bates S, Schofield J, Loza M, Baribaud F, Bakke P, Massimo C; Chanez P, Fowler S, Geiser T, Howarth P, Horváth I, Krug N, Montuschi P, Behndig A, Singer F, Musial J, Shaw D, Dahlén B, Hu S, Lasky-Su J, Sterk P, Chung KF, Djukanovic R, Dahlén SE, Adcock I, Wheelock C.

Plasma proteins elevated in severe asthma despite oral steroid use and unrelated to Type-2 inflammation. Sparreman Mikus M, Kolmert J, Andersson LI, Östling J, Knowles RG, Gómez C, Ericsson M, Thörngren JO, Emami Khoonsari P, Dahlén B, Kupczyk M, De Meulder B, Auffray C, Bakke PS, Beghe B, Bel EH, Caruso M, Chanez P, Chawes B, Fowler SJ, Gaga M, Geiser T, Gjomarkaj M, Horváth I, Howarth PH, Johnston SJ, Joos G, Krug N, Montuschi P, Musial J, Niżankowska-Mogilnicka E, Olsson HK, Papi A, Rabe KF, Sandström T, Shaw DE, Siafakas NM, Uhlén M, Riley JH, Bates S, Middelveld RJM, Wheelock CE, Chung KF, Adcock IM, Sterk PJ, Djukanovic R, Nilsson P, Dahlén SE, James A, on behalf of the U-BIOPRED (Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Disease outcome) Study Group and the BIOAIR (Longitudinal Assessment of Clinical Course and Biomarkers in Severe Chronic Airway Disease) Consortium.

Monensin induces selective mast cell apoptosis through a secretory granule-mediated pathway. Maccarana M, Liu J, Lampinen M, Rollman O, Adner M, Pejler G, Paivandy A.Allergy. 2021 Oct 27. doi: 10.1111/all.15157.

Filaggrin mutations in relation to skin barrier and atopic dermatitis in early infancy. Hoyer A, Rehbinder EM, Färdig M, Asad S, Lødrup Carlsen KC, Endre KMA, Granum B, Haugen G, Hedlin G, Monceyron Jonassen C, Katayama S, Konradsen JR, Landrø L, LeBlanc M, Mägi Olsson CA, Rudi K, Skjerven HO, Staff AC, Vettukattil R, Bradley M, Nordlund B, Söderhäll C. Br J Dermatol. 2021 Oct 26. doi: 10.1111/bjd.20831.

The Role of PPAR-γ in Allergic Disease. Stark JM, Coquet JM, Tibbitt CA. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2021 Oct 25;21(11):45.

The majority of children sensitized before school-age develop allergic disease before adulthood: a longitudinal population-based study. Bunne J, Hedman L, Perzanowski M, Bjerg A, Winberg A, Andersson M, Lundbäck B, Platts-Mills T, Rönmark E. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Oct 22:S2213-2198(21)01142-9.

ALPHA-GAL SENSITIZATION AMONG YOUNG ADULTS IS ASSOCIATED WITH MALE SEX AND POLYSENSITIZATION. Westman M, Asarnoj A, Ballardini N, Andersson N, Kiewiet MBG, Borres MP, Apostolovic D, Kull I, Bergström A, Melén E, van Hage M. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Oct 20:S2213-2198(21)01137-5.

Parental socioeconomic status and asthma in children - using a population-based cohort and family design. Caffrey Osvald E, Gong T, Lundholm C, Larsson H, Katie Brew B, Almqvist C. Clin Exp Allergy. 2021 Oct 22.

3TR: a pan-European cross-disease research consortium aimed at improving personalised biological treatment of asthma and COPD. Porsbjerg C, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Brusselle G, Canonica GW, Agusti A, Faner R, Vogelmeier CF, Nawijn M, van den Berge M, Rusconi F, Pilette C, Ramiconi V, Coleman C, Chaudhuri R, Chung KF, Wedzicha J, Saglani S, Van der Schee MP, Heaney L, Bourdin A, Roberts G, Djukanovic R, Kuna P, Kupczyk M, Axmann J, Staudinger H, Clarke GW, Dahlen SE, Brightling C. Eur Respir J. 2021 Oct 21;58(4):2102168.

Uncontrolled asthma from childhood to young adulthood associates with airflow obstruction. Mogensen I, Hallberg J, Ekström S, Bergström A, Melén E, Kull I. ERJ Open Res. 2021 Oct 18;7(4):00179-2021.

Transcriptome changes during peanut oral immunotherapy and omalizumab treatment. Björkander S, Merid SK, Brodin D, Brandström J, Fagerström-Billai F, van der Heiden M, Konradsen JR, Kabesch M, van Drunen CM, Golebski K, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Potočnik U, Vijverberg SJH, Nopp A, Nilsson C, Melén E. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2021 Oct 20. doi: 10.1111/pai.13682.

Allergy-related diseases in childhood and risk for abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders at 16 years-a birth cohort study. Sjölund J, Kull I, Bergström A, Järås J, Ludvigsson JF, Törnblom H, Simrén M, Olén O.Sjölund J, et al. BMC Med. 2021 Sep 16;19(1):214.

Preterm birth reduces the risk of IgE sensitization up to early adulthood: A population-based birth cohort study.Mitselou N, Andersson N, Bergström A, Kull I, Georgelis A, van Hage M, Hedman AM, Almqvist C, Ludvigsson JF, Melén E.Mitselou N, et al. Allergy. 2021 Sep 6. doi: 10.1111/all.15077.


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: Anna James
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