Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Research projects

1. Mast cell and Basophil Biology

Mammalian mast cells and basophilic leukocytes; studies of their phenotype, function and development.
A number of cell type specific differentiation markers for human and rodent mast cells and basophilic leukocytes have been isolated by cloning of their corresponding cDNAs or genes. These markers are presently being used to study mast cell and basophil differentiation and in vivo distribution. Recombinant proteases are being produced for studies of cleavage specificity and function. 

2. IgE –Evolution and Homeostasis

Structure, function and evolution of IgE and IgE-like immunoglobulin isotypes.
To study the evolution of IgE and IgG like isotypes, four different isotypes has been isolated from the american opossum, a marsupial, and five isotypes from the australian platypus (an egg laying mammal). Our results show that modern IgG and IgE appeared already very early during mammalian evolution, possibly more than 250-300 million years ago.

3. Novel Treatment Strategies

Development of a novel allergy vaccine for the treatment of atopic allergies.
A novel approach for the treatment of atopic allergies is being developed. This is based on the induction of a strong therapeutic anti-IgE response in the host. The vaccine has been found to drastically reduce the allergen sensitivity after 8-10 weeks of treatment.