Research of the Molecular Pathology Research Group


We study several aspects of the immune system and how it is regulated. We combine molecular and cellular approaches with immunology tools and use genome-wide transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses, also single-cell approaches on immune cells. Our research directions are:

  • Central immune tolerance and the function of the Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) gene in the thymus.
  • Immunopathology of APECED (or APS1) disease, in which patients develop multiple endocrine autoimmune disorders and chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis.
  • The role of autoantibodies to type 1 interferon and other cytokines, and their presence among autoimmune patients and in aged individuals
  • Age-related changes in old individuals to understand the molecular and cellular drivers of these processes.




The five most important scientific articles in the last five years

  1. Naaber P, Tserel L, Kangro K, Punapart M, Sepp E, Jürjenson V, Kärner J, Haljasmägi L, Haljasorg U, Kuusk M, Sankovski E, Planken A, Ustav M, Žusinaite E, Gerhold JM, Kisand K, Peterson P. Protective antibodies and T cell responses to Omicron variant after the booster dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. Cell Rep Med. 2022 Aug 16;3(8):100716. 
  2. Salumets A, Tserel L, Rumm AP, Türk L, Kingo K, Saks K, Oras A, Uibo R, Tamm R, Peterson H, Kisand K, Peterson P. Epigenetic quantification of immunosenescent CD8+ TEMRA cells in human blood. Aging Cell. 2022 May;21(5):e13607. 
  3. Naaber P, Tserel L, Kangro K, Sepp E, Jürjenson V, Adamson A, Haljasmägi L, Rumm AP, Maruste R, Kärner J, Gerhold JM, Planken A, Ustav M, Kisand K, Peterson P. Dynamics of antibody response to BNT162b2 vaccine after six months: a longitudinal prospective study. Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2021 Nov; 10: 100208. 
  4. Bastard P, Rosen LB, Zhang Q, Michailidis E, Hoffmann HH, Zhang Y, Dorgham K, Philippot Q, Rosain J, Béziat V, Manry J, Shaw E, Haljasmägi L, Peterson P, Lorenzo L, Bizien L, Trouillet-Assant S, Dobbs K, de Jesus AA, Belot A, Kallaste A, Catherinot E, Tandjaoui-Lambiotte Y, Le Pen J, Kerner G, Bigio B, Seeleuthner Y, Yang R, Bolze A, Spaan AN, Delmonte OM, Abers MS, Aiuti A, Casari G, Lampasona V, Piemonti L, Ciceri F, Bilguvar K, Lifton RP, Vasse M, Smadja DM, Migaud M, Hadjadj J, Terrier B, Duffy D, Quintana-Murci L, van de Beek D, Roussel L, Vinh DC, Tangye SG, Haerynck F, Dalmau D, Martinez-Picado J, Brodin P, Nussenzweig MC, Boisson-Dupuis S, Rodríguez-Gallego C, Vogt G, Mogensen TH, Oler AJ, Gu J, Burbelo PD, Cohen JI, Biondi A, Bettini LR, D'Angio M, Bonfanti P, Rossignol P, Mayaux J, Rieux-Laucat F, Husebye ES, Fusco F, Ursini MV, Imberti L, Sottini A, Paghera S, Quiros-Roldan E, Rossi C, Castagnoli R, Montagna D, Licari A, Marseglia GL, Duval X, Ghosn J; HGID Lab; NIAID-USUHS Immune Response to COVID Group; COVID Clinicians; COVID-STORM Clinicians; Imagine COVID Group; French COVID Cohort Study Group; Milieu Intérieur Consortium; CoV-Contact Cohort; Amsterdam UMC Covid-19 Biobank; COVID Human Genetic Effort, Tsang JS, Goldbach-Mansky R, Kisand K, Lionakis MS, Puel A, Zhang SY, Holland SM, Gorochov G, Jouanguy E, Rice CM, Cobat A, Notarangelo LD, Abel L, Su HC, Casanova JL. (2020) Autoantibodies against type I IFNs in patients with life-threatening COVID-19. Science. 370: eabd4585.
  5. Saare M, Tserel L, Haljasmägi L, Taalberg E, Peet N, Eimre M, Vetik R, Kingo K, Saks K, Tamm R, Milani L, Kisand K, Peterson P. (2020) Monocytes present age-related changes in phospholipid concentration and decreased energy metabolism. Aging Cell. 19: e13127.
Portree akadeemik Pärt Petersonist

Pärt Peterson was elected as member of the Academy of Sciences in biomedicine

Töö viirusega laboris

Vaccine created by University of Tartu researchers to prevent a dangerous tropical disease received approval

Doctoral defence: Ling Yan "Stress-associated immune mechanisms of schizophrenia: the importance of region-specific microglia-neurovascular interaction"

On December 15th Ling Yan will defend a thesis "Stress-associated immune mechanisms of schizophrenia: the importance of region-specific microglia-neurovascular interaction".