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Development of advanced cell therapies using hematopoietic stem cells

S. Karlsson Group

Our research

We are studying the regulation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in order to understand how signaling pathways, transcriptional mechanisms and epigenetic regulators govern stem cell behavior to determine stem cell fate options.

Integrative signaling and transcriptional networks act in concert to determine whether hematopoietic stem cells remain quiescent, proliferate and self-renew, expand through self-renewal, differentiate or undergo apoptosis.



  •     Expand stem cells in vivo and ex vivo.
  •     Understand the pathogenesis of blood malignancies and genetic disorders of the blood system.
  •     Develop cell and gene therapies for these disorders.



Stem cell therapy is a growing therapeutic modality for serious genetic disorders and malignancies because of the difficulties in treating these diseases with conventional small molecule pharmaceuticals. Although increasing knowledge about the regulatory pathways that govern stem cell fate may lead to the discovery of small molecule drugs that can be used to expand stem cells or treat leukemia, the main therapy that is currently working in the clinic to treat serious blood disorders is blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). The most frequent candidate diseases for BMT are malignant blood disorders, particularly leukemia and lymphoma.

We are studying the regulation of hematopoietic stemcells in order to explore and develop methods to expand hematopoietic stem cells prior to transplantation to improve engraftment and the efficacy of the transplant therapy. Similarly, we are developing gene therapy for two inherited blood disorders, Diamond Blackfan anemia, a bone marrow failure disorder, and Gaucher disease, a lysosomal storage disorders affecting mostly macrophages.


List of Team S. Karlsson's publications


(name linked to profile in Lund University research portal)

Stefan Karlsson 

Principal Investigator, Stefan [dot] Karlsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Emma Smith 

Research Associate, Emma [dot] Smith [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Hooi Min Tan Grahn 

Research Associate, Hooi_Min [dot] Tan_Grahn [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

Yang Liu 

Postdoc, Yang [dot] Liu [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

Sarah Warsi 

PhD student, Sarah [dot] Warsi [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

Page Manager:

Stefan Karlsson

Stefan Karlsson

Principal Investigator
MD, PhD, Professor 
Division of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy
Phone: +46 46 222 05 77 
Email: Stefan [dot] Karlsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Profile in Lund University research portal