Immunology Faculty Member - Filip Swirski, PhD

Filip Swirski, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital
Simches Research Building, Room 8-226
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-724-6242
Fax: 617-643-6133
Visit my lab page here.

Our research aims to understand how innate leukocytes––monocytes, macrophages, B1 B cells––shape and are shaped by inflammation. We use in vivo models of acute and chronic inflammation relevant to infectious, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases, and focus on cell development, communication, and function. We think that the diversity of inflammatory conditions arises from the tension between conserved cell behaviors and specific tissue contexts. Leukocytes defend against danger, but also connect diseases and perpetuate the accrual of co-morbidities.

Specific projects in the lab include the relative contribution of monocyte recruitment and macrophage proliferation in atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, the role of innate response activator B cells in sepsis and pneumonia, the molecular mechanisms orchestrating the biphasic monocyte-macrophage wound healing response, and the immunophysiology of erythrocyte recycling.

Last Update: 8/5/2016


1. Theurl I, Hilgendorf I, Nairz M, Tymoszuk P, Haschka D, Asshoff M, He S, Gerhardt LMS, Holderried TAW, Seifert M, Sopper S, Fenn AM, Anzai A, Rattik S, McAlpine C, Theurl M, Wieghofer P, Iwamoto Y, Weber GF, Harder NK, Chousterman BG, Arvedson TL, McKee M, Wang F, Lutz OMD, Rezoagli E, Babitt JL, Berra L, Prinz M, Nahrendorf M, Weiss G, Weissleder R, Lin HY, Swirski FK. On-demand erythrocyte disposal and iron recycling requires monocyte-derived transient macrophages in the liver. Nat Med. 2016;22:945-951.

2. Weber GF, Chousterman BG, He S, Fenn AM, Nairz M, Anzai A, Brenner T, Uhle F, Iwamoto Y, Robbins CS, Noiret N, Maier SL, Zönnchen T, Rahbari NH, Schölch S, Klotzsche-von Ameln A, Chavakis T, Weitz J, Hofer S, Weigand MA, Nahrendorf M, Weissleder R, Swirski FK. Interleukin-3 amplifies acute inflammation and is a potential therapeutic target in sepsis. Science. 2015;347:1260-1265. 

3. Robbins CS, Hilgendorf I, Weber GF, Theurl I, Iwamoto Y, Figueiredo JL, Gorbatov R, Sukhova GK, Gerhardt LMS, Smyth D, Zavitz CCJ, Shikatani EA, Parsons M, Rooijen N, Lin HY, Husain M, Libby P, Nahrendorf M, Weissleder R, Swirski FK. Local proliferation dominates lesional macrophage accumulation in atherosclerosis. Nat Med. 2013;19:1166-1172.

4. Swirski FK, Nahrendorf M. Leukocyte behavior in atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Science. 2013;339:161-6. PMID: 23307733. PMCID: PMC3891792.

5. Rauch PJ, Chudnovskiy A, Robbins CS, Weber GF, Etzrodt M, Hilgendorf I, Tiglao E, Figueiredo JL, Iwamoto Y, Theurl I, Gorbatov R, Waring MT, Chicoine AT, Mouded M, Pittet MJ, Nahrendorf M, Weissleder R, Swirski FK. Innate response activator B cells protect against microbial sepsis. Science. 2012;335(6068):597-601.

6. Swirski FK, Nahrendorf M, Etzrodt M, Wildgruber M, Cortez-Retamozo V, Panizzi P, Aikawa E, Mempel A, Libby P, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. Identification of splenic reservoir monocytes and their deployment to inflammatory sites. Science. 2009;325:612.

© 2016 President and Fellows
of Harvard College