Gums & Joints

a FP7 EU collaborative project, with an aim to investigate protein citrullination as a link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis main page

Lars Klareskog

Professor, Head of Rheumatology Research Unit
Karolinska Institute
Department of Medicine
Rheumatology Unit
Karolinska University Hospital, Solna
Building D2:02
SE-171 76 Stockholm, SWEDEN

    Prof Lars Klareskog has a background in basic immunology, and was responsible for the original description of MHC class II dependent T cell activation as a pathogenetic principle in RA, and was also active in the development of the collagen arthritis and simple adjuvant arthritis rodent disease models, and was chair of clinical immunology (Uppsala University, Sweden) before being appointed professor and chairman of Rheumatology at Karolinska (1993). After that the rheumatology unit at Karolinska has contributed to all most major clinical trials of currently used biologics. The unit has also established a unit for translational research in rheumatology, currently involving about 40 persons (senior scientists, postdocs, clinicians/scientists, PhD students, research nurses and technicians). Among other commitments, he is member of the Nobel Assembly since 1995 and has also been member of the Nobel Committee and served as the president of the European Rheumatology Congress in 2002.
  • Education and university positions:
    • MD, Uppsala University 1974
    • PhD, Uppsala University 1978 (Medical and Physiological Chemistry; On the structure and function of MHC class II transplantation antigens).
    • Research fellow in experimental Rheumatology (Swedish Medical Research Council) 1979-82
    • Associate prof in Immunology, Uppsala University 1982-83
    • Clinical fellow in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine (and part-time research), Uppsala University Hospital 1983-1990
    • Professor and Chairman, Clinical Immunology, Uppsala Universitet 1990-93
    • Professor and Chairman, Rheumatology Clinic and Rheumatology Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Hospital 1993- present
    • Visiting scientist, Harvard Medical School, February-May 2004;
    • visiting professor Dept of Medicine, University of Colorado (Denver) 2006
    • visiting professor (Physician in chief pro tempore) Hospital for Special Surgery NY/Cornell ,Nov 07 Heraklion Greece 2009
    • Visiting prof Imperial College, London (Kennedy Institute Rheumatology) March 2010
  • Additional positions (elected):
    • Chairman, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet/Karolinska Hospital 1993-1999
    • Member Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet 1995 - present
    • Member Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet 1995-97, and 2009-present
    • Chairman Nobel Assembly 2011
    • President, Annual European Congress of Rheumatology, Stockholm, 2002
    • Member Scientific Committee EULAR 2001-2003 and 2006-2009
    • Chairman Center for Pharmaco-epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet 2005-
    • Chairman European Standing Committee for Investigative Rheumatology 2006-2008
    • Member UK Ministry of Health Commission for investigation of phase I trials (the anti-CD28 commission) 2006
    • Director, Center for Molecular Medicine (Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital) Aug 08 -
  • Recognition:
    • Recent: Jaan van Bremer medal 2004 (The Dutch Rheumatology Society International Prize for Rheumatology research)
    • Haasinga lecturer 2004 (Deutsche RheumaForschungsZentrum, Berlin/Charité)
    • First Wyeth Rheumatology Prize 2004 (Swedish Society for Rheumatology)
    • European League against Rheumatism Annual Meeting State of the Art 2007
    • The International Carol Nachman Prize for Rheumatoloy Research 2008
    • American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting State of the Art Lecture on RA 2008: The Söderberg Prize (Swedish Society for Medicine) 2009/10
    • Recipient of senior investigator grant from European Research Council 2010-2014
  • Editorial Boards:
    • Arthritis & Rheumatism (to 2005); Annals of Rheumatic Diseases; Arthritis Research and Therapy
    • Current Opinion in Rheumatology; Rheumatology; Nature Clin Practice Rheumatol
  • Networks on academia and society:
    • Chairman, Scientific Board of the Swedish Rheumatism Association (patient organisation) 1997 - 2006
    • vice chairman 2006-present; Scientific advisor, Swedish Medical Products Agency 2000-2005
    • Scientific advisor/Member International Advisory Boards of several pharmaceutical and biotech companies. European coordinator of a major FP6 EU-funded project in rheumatology (the integrated project AutoCure) from 2006
    • European pi of NIH supported project on MHC genetics in RA (Imagen)
    • Coordinator of the national (Swedish) program for "chronic inflammation" (Combine) (from 2008)
    • Partner and steering committee member in FP7 EU IP project (Masterswitch) (from 2008). Member steering group Linneaus Center for Research in Inflammation and Cardiovascular Research (CERIC) from 2008
    • European Coordinator of IMI (Innovative Medicine Initiative) program on inflammation and rheumatology research 2011-2015
  • Funding:
    • Funding from several EU-programs, NIH, Swedish research Council etc
  • Selected publications after year 2004:
    (out of approx 420 in total)
    • Klareskog L et al, Therapeutic effect of the combination of etanercept and methotrexate compared with each treatment alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: double-blind randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2004 Feb 28;363(9410):675-81.
    • Swanberg M et al, MHC2TA is associated with differential MHC molecule expression and susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and myocardial infarction. Nature Genetics 2005 May;37(5):486-94.
    • Klareskog L. A new model for an etiology of rheumatoid arthritis: smoking may trigger HLA-DR (shared epitope)-restricted immune reactions to autoantigens modified by citrullination. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Jan;54(1):38-46.
    • Baecklund E et al. Association of chronic inflammation, not its treatment, with increased lymphoma risk in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Mar;54(3):692-701.
    • Kallberg H et al.. Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions involving HLA-DRB1, PTPN22, and smoking in two subsets of rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Hum Genet. 2007 80(5):867-75
    • Plenge RM et al. Two independent alleles at 6q23 associated with risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Genetics 2007 39(12):1477-82.
    • Remmers EF et al. STAT4 and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. N Engl J Med. 2007 357(10):977-86.
    • Plenge RM et al. TRAF1-C5 as a risk locus for rheumatoid arthritis--a genomewide study. N Engl J Med. 2007 Sep 20;357(12):1199-209.
    • Raychaudhuri S et al Common variants at CD40 and other loci confer risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Genetics. 2008 40(10):1216-23
    • Klareskog L et al. Immunity to citrullinated proteins in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rev Immunol. 2008;26:651-75.
    • Klareskog L et al. Rheumatoid arthritis (Seminar). Lancet 2009; 373(9664):659-72
    • Mahdi H et al. Specific interaction between genotype, smoking and autoimmunity to citrullinated alpha-enolase in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Genetics. 2009 Dec;41(12):1319-24
    • Raychaudhuri S et al. Genetic variants at CD28, PRDM1 and CD2/CD58 are associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk. Nature Genetics. 2009 Dec;41(12):1313-8.
    • Stahl EA et al, Genome-wide association study meta-analysis identifies seven new rheumatoid arthritis risk loci. Nature Genetics. 2010 Jun;42(6):508-14.
    • Saevarsdottir S et al. Patients with early rheumatoid arthritis who smoke are less likely to respond to treatment with methotrexate and TNF inhibitors. Observations from the EIRA cohort and the Swedish Rheumatology Register. Arthritis Rheum. Jan 2011.
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