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...)

Weber GF, Chousterman BG, He S, Fenn AM, Nairz M, Anzai A, Brenner T, Uhle F, Iwamoto Y, Robbins CS, Noiret L, Maier SL, Zönnchen T, Rahbari NN, 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(6227):1260-1265 - PMID: 25766237
Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK
Lifestyle Effects on Hematopoiesis and Atherosclerosis.
Circ Res. 2015;116(5):884-894 - PMID: 25722442 - PMCID: PMC4347940
Courties G, Herisson F, Sager H, Heidt T, Ye Y, Ying W, Sun Y, Severe N, Dutta P, Scharff J, Scadden D, Weissleder R, Swirski FK, Moskowitz MA, Nahrendorf M
Ischemic Stroke Activates Hematopoietic Bone Marrow Stem Cells.
Circ Res. 2015;116(3):407-17 - PMID: 25362208 - PMCID: PMC4312511 - Cover
Hilgendorf I, Swirski FK, Robbins CS
Monocyte Fate in Atherosclerosis.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014;35(2):272-9 - PMID: 25538208

Recent News (more...)

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)
2011-01-27: New Science Labs web site launches with redesigned view of the CSB article -