Medical Inflammation Research at Karolinska Institutet
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.
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.
Medical Inflammation Research (MIR) is a division within the department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB) at Karolinska Institutet (KI). It is located in the Scheele house (main lab with all animal model work) and the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) (with all clinical part of the research).
For an overview on RA animal models, see below:
Holmdahl, R. (2015), "Animal models for rheumatoid arthritis", in Hansen, A.K. (ed.), Animal Models in Biomedical Research, The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London (For online version, click here Link to the Talk)