Thomas Hellmark

Senior lecturer

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Autoimmune diseases affect several 100 million people world wide and is a tremendous public health problem comparable with heart disease and cancer but has not been close to generate the same awareness or research funding. I have chosen to study a group of severe autoimmune diseases with acute inflammation in the vessels, called anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody associated systemic vasculitis (AAV). AAV cause rapidly progressive renal failure and life threatening lung bleedings if left untreated. Delay in treatment can rapidly lead to deterioration of vital organ function, while institution of toxic immunosuppressive therapy for patients with, for instance infections, may have detrimental effects.

The hypothesis is that the primary cause of AAV is an acquired intrinsic cellular abnormality of the leukocytes, possibly triggered by an infectious agent. The work is focused on deciphering the underlying disease biology and translate this into new concepts of treatment as well as development of new diagnostics.

Almost all experiments are performed on patient material. The current research is composed of both hypothesis driven and generating research. Current projects involve studies of leukocyte function and activation, complement activation, and stimulation, and homeostasis. But also large collaborative work on genetics (GWAS) and proteomics with screening of large number of immune related proteins in blood and urine.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Free keywords

  • vasculitis
  • ANCA
  • anti-GBM
  • glomerulonephritis
  • autoimmune
  • autoantibody
  • Wegener's granulomatosis
  • MPA
  • GPA
  • EGPA
  • inflammation


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