Frode Jahnsen's group Mucosal immunology group

Frode L. Jahnsen

Group Leader: Frode L Jahnsen, MD, PhD, Professor 

Research interests:

The Jahnsen group focuses on three areas of research.

  1. How the immune system in the airways functions and why we become allergic.
  2. How the immune system in the gut functions and studies on coeliac disease.
  3. Why transplanted organs are rejected.


The mucus membranes that line our internal body cavities (airways and gut) face the formidable task of protecting our body against incoming  pathogens  while allowing uptake of nutrients and exchange of gases. The mucosal immune system must react strongly and rapidly to pathogenic microbes such as bacteria and viruses, while being tolerant to harmless foods and antigens in inhaled air.  We study how the local immune system in cooperation with stromal cells is able to maintain homeostasis at mucosal sites, and we try to understand why  these regulatory mechanisms break down in allergy and coeliac disease. We also study how the immune system is involved in rejection of transplanted organs (kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, and intestine). We have developed novel techniques to distinguish the immune system from the patient and the donor (passenger cells) which allow us to study mechanisms of rejection with a completely new approach. The group collaborate closely with several clinical departments at the hospital which ensure very good supply We of clinically relevant human material.

Research projects

  • Intestinal plasma cells are very long-lived: implications for vaccines and chronic inflammation
  • Studies on the immunopathology of graft versus host disease
  • New strategies to identify pathomechanisms of organ rejection
  • Identification of long-lived T cells in the human intestine.
  • The role of monocytes in celiac disease
  • The role of intestinal macrophages in health and disease
  • Allergic skin inflammation: molecular pathways leading to atopic predisposition

Contact information:
Group leader Professor and senior consultant Frode Jahnsen -
Department of Pathology and Centre for Immune Regulation Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet - Tel: +47 23071444 E-mail: