Anna Blom

Professor, PhD, MSc

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Microbiology in the medical area
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


  • Complement system, rheumatology, microbiology, cancer, diabetes


Our research group is focused on studies of the regulation of the complement system in health and disease. Complement is crucial part of innate immunity and thus protects host from infections and contributes to removal of dying cells. It is also involved in defence against cancer but in some cases it may contribute to cancer development due to its pro-inflammatory properties.

We are studying these processes in relation to breast and prostate cancer as well as leukemias and lymphomas. Importantly, many novel anti-cancer drugs are antibodies and their function is often exerted by complement activation. We investigate how this can be utilized in best way. Further, we study I detail some novel complement regulators such as CSMD1, SUSD4 and COMP which are all also involved in breast cancer. Thus, CSMD1 and SUSD4 act as tumor suppressors while expression of COMP is related to poor prognosis and recurrence of breast cancer. We are studying molecular mechanisms responsible for these phenomena with aim to improve diagnostics of breast and prostate cancer but also to provide novel ideas for treatment.

Other project pursued in our group related to involvement of complement in pathology of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Further, we study strategies developed by bacterial pathogens in order to avoid killing by complement, which results in infections.

Recently, we initiated projects focused on studies of intracellular complement such as role of complement inhibitor CD59 in insulin secretion and C3 in regulation of autophagy.

Highlighted research outputs

Spiller, O. B., Blackbourn, D. J., Mark, L., Proctor, D. G. & Anna Blom, 2003, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 278, 11, p. 9283-9289

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Escudero Esparza, A., Kalchishkova, N., Kurbasic, E., Jiang, W. G. & Anna Blom, 2013, In : FASEB Journal. 27, 12, p. 5083-5093

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Englund, E., Reitsma, B., Ben King, Escudero Esparza, A., Owen, S., Orimo, A., Okroj, M., Anagnostaki, T., Jiang, W. G., Karin Jirström & Anna Blom, 2015, In : BMC Cancer. 15, 737.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Myriam Martin, Leffler, J., Karolina Smolag, Mytych, J., Björk, A., Chaves, L. D., Alexander, J. J., Quigg, R. J. & Anna Blom, 2016, In : Cell Death and Differentiation. 23, p. 903-911

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Ermert, Shaughnessy, J., Thorsten Joeris, Kaplan, J., Pang, C. J., Kurt-Jones, E. A., Rice, P. A., Ram, S. & Anna Blom, 2015, In : PLoS Pathogens. 11, 7, e1005043.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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