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Marika Kullberg is a senior lecturer in immunology at the Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) and HYMS. She obtained her BSc in Chemistry and Microbiology from Stockholm University (Sweden), and then went on to do a PhD in Immunology at Stockholm University and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) where she spent 2.5 years in the laboratory of Dr Jay Berzofsky. After a post-doc year at Stockholm University, Marika returned to the NIH for a post-doc in Dr Alan Sher's laboratory at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where she spent 8 years as a Visiting Fellow and a Research Fellow, investigating CD4 T-cell responses during bacterial-induced intestinal inflammation. In 2005, Marika joined the University of York and HYMS, and established her own research group. She also currently teaches at both undergraduate and graduate level at the Department of Biology and HYMS, and is the departmental coordinator for the intercalated BSc program.
The Kullberg lab is interested in the immunology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the mechanisms by which immune responses are initiated and regulated in the intestinal tract. It is now well established that the intestinal bacterial flora plays an essential role in IBD pathogenesis and that CD4 T lymphocytes are important in both the induction and regulation of the disease.
We are using a model of intestinal inflammation involving infection with Helicobacter hepaticus. Our research focuses on the pathogenic as well as the disease-protective arm of the immune response to Helicobacter hepaticus with special emphasis on CD4 T-cell responses. The overall aim of our studies is to define the mechanisms by which bacterial antigen/dendritic cell/CD4 T-cell interactions trigger colitis in disease-susceptible individuals and suppress its induction in disease-resistant hosts. Research areas include innate and adaptive immune responses to Helicobacter hepaticus, mechanisms of bacterial-induced host pathology, and mechanisms of disease-protective CD4 T-regulatory cell development. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of York, we are also using computational approaches to develop an in silico model of intestinal inflammation (see York Computational Immunology Lab).
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