Dr Marika Kullberg


Senior Lecturer in Immunology

Role at Hull York Medical School

Dr Marika Kullberg is a cellular immunologist whose research focuses on T cells in intestinal inflammation, and the mechanisms by which immune responses are initiated and regulated in the intestinal tract. Her research lab is part of the newly-established York Biomedical Research Institute.

Dr Kullberg is involved in Hull York Medical School Phase I teaching, both by giving lectures and by participating in the Scholarship and Special Interest Programme (SSIP). She also teaches for undergraduate students on the Biosciences programmes in the Department of Biology at the University of York, including the Biomedical Sciences programme, which is jointly owned by Hull York Medical School and the Department of Biology.

Dr Kullberg carries out a range of administrative roles within the University of York, the Hull York Medical School, and the Department of Biology. Her previous roles at Hull York Medical School include Lead for Block 15 (2007-2011) and Coordinator for the Hull York Medical School Intercalated BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree programme (2010-2013). She is also an external examiner.


Marika Kullberg is a Senior Lecturer in Immunology. She obtained her BSc in Chemistry and Microbiology from Stockholm University (Sweden), and then went on to do a PhD in Immunology at Stockholm University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) where she spent 2.5 years in the laboratory of Dr Jay Berzofsky. After a post-doc year at Stockholm University, Marika returned to the NIH for a post-doc in Dr Alan Sher's laboratory at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where she spent 8 years as a Visiting Fellow and a Research Fellow, investigating CD4 T-cell responses during bacterial-induced intestinal inflammation. In 2005, Marika joined the Hull York Medical School and the University of York, and established her own research group. She also currently teaches at both undergraduate and graduate level at the Department of Biology and Hull York Medical School, and carries out a range of administrative roles at the University.


  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
    BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Microbiology (1988)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden) and NCI, National Institutes of Health (USA)
    PhD in Immunology (1995)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
    Postdoctoral Researcher (1996)
  • NIAID, National Institutes of Health (USA)
    Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow (1997-2002)
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2002-2005)
  • Centre for Immunology and Infection, University of York /
    Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine, Hull York Medical School

    Lecturer in Immunology (2005 - 2017)
    Senior Lecturer in Immunology (2017 - )

Marika is a member of the Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine research group.


  • Cellular and mucosal immunology
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Helicobacter hepaticus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • CD4 T cells
  • Th17 cells
  • T-regulatory cells


The Kullberg lab is interested in the immunology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the mechanisms by which immune responses are initiated and regulated in the intestinal tract. It is now well established that the intestinal bacterial flora plays an essential role in IBD pathogenesis and that CD4 T lymphocytes are important in both the induction and regulation of the disease.

We are using a model of intestinal inflammation involving infection with Helicobacter hepaticus. Our research focuses on the pathogenic as well as the disease-protective arm of the immune response to Helicobacter hepaticus with special emphasis on CD4 T-cell responses. The overall aim of our studies is to define the mechanisms by which bacterial antigen/dendritic cell/CD4 T-cell interactions trigger colitis in disease-susceptible individuals and suppress its induction in disease-resistant hosts. Research areas include innate and adaptive immune responses to Helicobacter hepaticus, mechanisms of bacterial-induced host pathology, and mechanisms of disease-protective CD4 T-regulatory cell development. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of York, we have also used computational approaches to develop an in silico model of intestinal inflammation.

Recent research highlights

Bain et al. Proinflammatory role of monocyte-derived CX3CR1int macrophages in Helicobacter hepaticus-induced colitis. Infection and Immunity 2018; 86:e00579-17.

Evans et al. ASPASIA: A toolkit for evaluating the effects of biological interventions on SBML model behaviour. PLoS Computational Biology 2017; 13:e1005351.

Brucklacher-Waldert et al. Tbet or continued RORgt expression is not required for Th17-associated immunopathology. Journal of Immunology 2016; 196: 4893-4904.

Morrison et al. Differential requirements for IL-17A and IL-22 in cecal versus colonic inflammation induced by Helicobacter hepaticus. American Journal of Pathology 2015; 185:3290-3303.

Morrison et al. Th17-cell plasticity in Helicobacter hepaticus-induced intestinal inflammation.
Mucosal Immunology 2013; 6:1143-1156.


My teaching at the Hull York Medical School and the Department of Biology is informed by my research interests of immunoregulation, host-pathogen interactions, and mucosal immunology, especially bacterial-induced intestinal inflammation.


I give lectures for Hull York Medical students and for students on the Biosciences programmes (Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Biochemistry) in the Department of Biology at the University of York.

  • Stage 3 Specialised Topics in Infection and Immunity
    After five years as module lead for the third-year 10-credit module “Advanced Topics in Immunology”, I now teach on the new 20-credit module “Specialised Topics in Infection and Immunity” where I give lectures on innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and mucosal immunology.
  • Hull York Medical School Block 15
    I give a lecture for Year 2 students on “Immunology of the gut”


I provide small-group teaching for both the Hull York Medical School (SSIPs; Scholarship and Special Interest Programme) and the Department of Biology (tutorials). Topics include immunology and infection, and sessions focus on science, scientific writing and presentation skills, critical analysis of research papers etc., allowing students to explore topics of their choice.

  • Stage 1 tutorial on “Topics in Immunology and Infection”
  • Hull York Medical School SSIP on “Inflammatory bowel disease”


I offer research projects for intercalating, undergraduate and Masters students on topics that are aligned with research activities in the lab. I offer lab-based and/or data analysis projects.


Visit Dr Marika Kullberg’s profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications, browse activities and projects, explore connections, collaborations, related work and more.