Filip Swirski



Filip Swirski's Lab



Leukocytes are keepers of the immune system. Heterogeneous and functionally specialized, leukocytes maintain host integrity and defend against dangerous and infectious agents. As primarily motile and migratory, leukocytes can influence each other across distant and diverse environments. These interactions are the basis of immunity; collectively, they represent a leukocyte 'interactome'. The primary goal of the lab is to identify and elucidate how leukocyte communication shapes the course of disease. We ask: What are the spatial, ontogenic, and functional relationships between leukocyte subsets in health and disease? What are the environmental and internal cues that control the balance between leukocyte commitment and plasticity? How is hierarchy maintained in a heteroarchical system?


The immune system is essential to survival, but it can also inflict damage. We are an immunology lab that investigates basic processs of innate immunity in the context of cardiovascular and infectious diseases. We interact closely with members of the Immunology Program at the Center for Systems Biology who investigate a range of other acute and chronic diseases.


Experiments utilize state-of-the-art animal models, classical cell biology tools, molecular profiling, and in vivo molecular imaging technologies that interrogate cell biology at multiple resolutions, from the whole animal to a single cell. Please inquire about availability.

Recent Publications (more...)

Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK
Neutrophil-macrophage communication in inflammation and atherosclerosis.
Science. 2015;349(6245):237-8 - PMID: 26185231
Dutta P, Sager HB, Stengel KR, Naxerova K, Courties G, Saez B, Silberstein L, Heidt T, Sebas M, Sun Y, Wojtkiewicz G, Feruglio PF, King K, Baker JN, van der Laan AM, Borodovsky A, Fitzgerald K, Hulsmans M, Hoyer F, Iwamoto Y, Vinegoni C, Brown D, Di Carli M, Libby P, Hiebert SW, Scadden DT, Swirski FK, Weissleder R, Nahrendorf M
Myocardial Infarction Activates CCR2(+) Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
Cell Stem Cell. 2015;16 (5):477-487 - PMID: 25957903 - PMCID: PMC4426344
Dutta P, Hoyer FF, Grigoryeva LS, Sager HB, Leuschner F, Courties G, Borodovsky A, Novobrantseva T, Ruda VM, Fitzgerald K, Iwamoto Y, Wojtkiewicz G, Sun Y, Da Silva N, Libby P, Anderson DG, Swirski FK, Weissleder R, Nahrendorf M
Macrophages retain hematopoietic stem cells in the spleen via VCAM-1.
J Exp Med. 2015;212(4):497-512 - PMID: 25800955 - PMCID: PMC4387283
He S, Chousterman BG, Fenn A, Anzai A, Nairz M, Brandt M, Hilgendorf I, Sun Y, Ye YX, Iwamoto Y, Tricot B, Weissleder R, Macphee C, Libby P, Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK
Lp-PLA2 Antagonizes Left Ventricular Healing After Myocardial Infarction by Impairing the Appearance of Reparative Macrophages.
Circ Heart Fail. 2015;:ePub - PMID: 26232205

Recent News (more...)

2015-06-29: CSB Cardiovascular Program actively participated in the 2015 Atherosclerosis Gordon Research Conference. (participants group photo)
2014-03-26: Filip Swirski, PhD, is the recipient of the 2014 MGH Howard Goodman Fellowship. This highly competitive $300,000 award is intended "to support the pursuit of excellence by young scientists of uncommon passion and ability". Congratulations Fil!
2013-12-12: "Macrophage Accumulation in Atherosclerosis", a commentary on the recent Nature Medicine paper from the Swirski lab, appears in The New England Journal of Medicine. See also the accompanying News and Views on the paper in Nature Medicine
2012-01-12: "Surprising Cells Stymie Sepsis" - Science NOW features the latest paper from the Swirski Lab. More details and news coverage are listed here.
2011-10-28: "Stopping monocytes in their tracks" - CSB work is a Nature Reviews Immunology Highlight (pdf)