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The Systems Virology team




  Joakim Esbjörnsson

  Associate Professor

  Ph.D. Virology 

  Read about Joakim in the Research Portal

  Joakim's publications

" The overarching aim of my research is to understand the key mechanisms of HIV transmission and the rate of disease pathogenesis. I am particularly interested in the virus-host interactions that take place when HIV establishes infection, and how HIV-2 can be used as a model to identify an HIV-1 vaccine or functional cure."

A photo of Fariba Vaziri-Sani

Fariba Vaziri-Sani 

Associate Professor

Ph.D. Medical Sciences

Read about Fariba in the Research Portal

Fariba´s publications

"In February 2022, I joined an exciting new position as European Project Manager at EUGLOHRIA, Lund University. EUGLOHRIA (European University Alliance for Global Health, Transformation through Joint Research, and Innovation Action, EUGLOHRIA | EUGLOH) aims to create an alliance for world-class higher education, research and innovation to address current adequacy and future global health challenges. I am Associate Professor in Experimental Autoimmune Diabetes and have a PhD in Medical Sciences from Lund University. I have a broad university pedagogical education and many years of supervision and teaching experience as a senior lecturer in biomedical laboratory sciences."



  Sara Karlson

  Senior Laboratory Assistant

  MSc. Biomedicine

  Read about Sara in the Research Portal

  Sara's publications

" HIV research has always been very intriguing to me and this contributes to my long-term interest in the field. Working as a lab technician for three different groups gives me the opportunity to work with several projects with different aims and approaches. This equips me with a wide array of techniques and skills. I also have the privilege to train students with different academic backgrounds."



 Malin Neptin

 Biomedical Scientist

 BSc. Biomedical Laboratory Science

 Read about Malin in the Research Portal

 Malin's publications

" I joined the group in January 2020 after more than 20 years of work in two other groups at Lund University (9 years of work with MS and Rheumatoid arthritis and 12 years with Diabetes type 2) and now it´s time to change to a new field. I´m looking forward to learning a lot of new techniques and get knowledge about HIV-research."

Amin S Hassan

 Amin S Hassan


  Ph.D. Epidemiology

  Read about Amin in the Research Portal

  Amin's publications

" My research interests revolve around understanding drivers of HIV-1 transmission and disease pathogenesis. Specifically, I am interested in delineating interactions between the virus and the host during acute infection with the aim of informing the design of HIV-1 vaccine candidates "


•    Viral evolution and innate immune responses during acute adult HIV-1 infection and their association with disease pathogenesis


Jamirah Nazziwa

Jamirah Nazziwa


  Ph.D. Molecular Virology | MSc. Bioinformatics 

  Read about Jamirah in the Research Portal

  Jamirah's publications

" I believe that with a systems virology approach, we are able to understand and develop solutions relating to the complexity of HIV. As a Ph.D. student, I hope to contribute to the knowledge in the field of HIV-1 plasma proteomics during acute infection and also characterize key drivers of HIV transmission and spread in Subsaharan Africa." 


•    Methods paper: Single Genome Amplification
•    Quantification of the blood proteome during acute HIV-1 infection
•    Viral evolution and innate immune responses during acute infant HIV-1 infection and their association with disease pathogenesis
•    HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in Nigeria: origin, demography and geographical spread
•    Linking HIV-1 disease progression with virus escape mechanisms and immune selection

George Makau

  George Nduva


  Ph.D. Molecular Virology | MSc. Molecular Biology 

  Read about George in the Research Portal

 George's publications

“I have a continued interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie pathogenesis and spread of human diseases. My research utilizes HIV-1 sequence data to provide insights into HIV-1 diversity, transmission patterns, past-population dynamics, and transmitted drug resistance trends in Kenya. This exciting research is developing new insights into the role played by different risk groups in driving the HIV-1 epidemic in Kenya and could be relevant for the development of targeted HIV-1 prevention programs.”


•    Associating viral replicative capacity close to HIV-1 transmission during adult acute HIV- 1 infection
•    Tracing the HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in Kenya: origin, demography and geographical spread
•    Prevalence and time trends of transmitted drug resistance among HIV-1 infected patients in Kenya

A photo of Milena Samojlovic
Milena Samojlovic

Milena Samojlovic


Ph.D. Veterinary virology and immunology

Read about Milena in the Research Portal

Milena´s publications

My research interests focus on understanding virus-host interactions, factors for virus entry, pathogenicity and immunogenicity, mechanisms of viruses to evade immune system, humoral immune response and possibilities of vaccine development. I have always been interested in zoonoses, vector-borne diseases and One Health approach since viruses know no boundaries. Joining this team has given me an excellent opportunity to approach my research goals from different perspective. By studying SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mutations, its ability to diversify and adapt, as well as antibody interactions we aim to create a pipeline to enable better understanding of these and future pathogens and ways to fight them in early stages through vaccines and new drug development.


  • Disentangling and visualizing the key epitopes for neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 at the atomic level - Implications for development of vaccines against COVID-19.





Emil Johansson

  Ph.D. Student

  MSc. Biomedicine

  Read about Emil in the Research Portal

  Emil's publications

" The overarching goal of my Ph.D. is to study the mechanisms underlying the difference in HIV-1 and HIV-2 pathogenicity. By creating chimeric HIV viruses we will be able to dissect the influence of viral genetic factors on viral pathogenicity. Ex vivo infections of human tonsil tissue explants with chimeric viruses will likely provide valuable insight into key virus-host interactions that distinguish HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections.."


  • Development of HIV-1 and HIV-2 gene-specific chimeric viruses
  • Analysis of infectivity and replicative capacity of HIV-1 and HIV-2 isolates and chimeric viruses in lymphoid cells and tissue
  • Identification of mechanisms behind HIV-2 interference with HIV-1 replication in dual infections of lymphoid cells and tissue
  • Characterization of HIV-2 cell tropism and reservoirs, compared to HIV-1, in lymphoid tissue

Affiliated Members

  • Michael Boswell, Visiting researcher
  • Christian W Bruhn, Visiting researcher
  • Uroosa Tariq, PhD student


  • Elzbieta Vincic, Lab technician
  • Sugata Roy, PostDoc
  • Nordine Bakouche, PostDoc
  • Mimi Hou, student
  • Carolina Nätterdal, student
  • Daniel Olofsson, student 
  • Kavan Osmani, student
  • Linnea Olsson, student

Current MSc. & BSc. students