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Axel Hyrenius Wittsten

Logo. Synthetic Immunology


The immune system has a remarkable capacity to scan tissues to recognize and eliminate abnormal and malignant cells. Scientific advances now allow us to improve and utilize this strength of the immune system against tumors.
Our goal is to advance our ability to treat cancer using cell-based immunotherapy. By developing state-of-art genetic circuits and synthetic biology we strive to bring forward curative immune cell therapies. We also study endogenous anti-tumoral immunological responses to discover new approaches to fully direct and enhance the collective environmental response toward malignant cells.
We hope to provide the blueprints for a new generation of smart circuit immune cells that can be tailored to perform precise actions upon combinatorial antigen signatures to enable safe and effective targeting of tumor cells. These sophisticated cells will hopefully provide a new potent therapeutic avenue for currently untreatable tumors.

Five selected recent publications:

  • Zhu, I., Liu, R., Garcia, JM., Hyrenius-Wittsten, A., Piraner, DI., Alavi, J., Israni, DV., Liu, B., Khalil, AS., Roybal, KT. Modular Design of Synthetic Receptors for Programmed Gene Regulation in Cell Therapies. Cell. 2022 Apr 14;185(8):1431-1443.e16.
  • Hyrenius-Wittsten, A., Su, Y., Park, M., Garcia, JM., Alavi, J., Perry, N., Montgomery, G., Liu, B., Roybal, KT., SynNotch CAR circuits enhance solid tumor recognition and promote persistent antitumor activity in mouse models. Science Translational Medicine. 2021 Apr 28;13(591):eabd8836.
  • Hyrenius-Wittsten, A. and Roybal. KT. Paving New Roads for CARs. Trends in Cancer. 2019 Oct;5(10):583-592.
  • Hyrenius-Wittsten, A., Pilheden, M., Falqués-Costa, A., Eriksson, M., Sturesson, H., Schneider, P., Wander, P., Garcia-Ruiz, C., Liu, J., Ågerstam, H., Hultquist, A., Lilljebjörn, H., Stam, RW., Järås, M., Andersson-Hagström, AK. FLT3N676K drives acute myeloid leukemia in a xenograft model of KMT2A-MLLT3 leukemogenesis. Leukemia. 2019 Sep;33(9):2310-2314.
  • Hyrenius-Wittsten, A., Pilheden, M., Sturesson, H., Hansson, J., Walsh, MP., Song, G., Kazi, JU., Liu, J., Ramakrishan, R., Garcia-Ruiz, C., Nance, S., Gupta, P., Zhang, J., Rönnstrand, L., Hultquist, A., Downing, JR., Lindkvist-Petersson, K., Paulsson, K., Järås, M., Gruber, TA., Ma, J., Andersson-Hagström, AK. De novo activating mutations drive clonal evolution and enhances clonal fitness in KMT2A-rearranged leukemia. Nature Communications. 2018 May 2;9(1):1770


Foto. Axel Hyrenius Wittsten.

Axel Hyrenius Wittsten
Principal Investigator
Assistant Researcher, PhD

Department of Laboratory Medicine
Division of Clinical Genetics
SE-221 84 Lund

Email: Axel [dot] Hyrenius_Wittsten [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Axel[dot]Hyrenius_Wittsten[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)