Photo of Maria Lerm

Maria Lerm


I am a professor in Medical Microbiology at Linköping University and is leading projects within epigenetics and infectious diseases, focusing on tuberculosis and post-COVID.

Focus on tuberculosis and post-COVID

I am a professor in Medical Microbiology at Linköping University and I am leading projects within epigenetics and infectious diseases, focusing on tuberculosis and post-COVID. I am also a SciLifeLab Fellow providing expertise and services in assays reflecting host-pathogen interaction. As a node-leader within CBCS I am supporting in compound discovery not only with activity against M. tuberculosis but also other pathogens.

I received the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation’s most prestigious grant in 2022 together with team leaders from three universities in Sweden. The project focuses on the dynamics of epigenetic responses during infections such as COVID-19 and tuberculosis. I am the project leader of PULMO, a pilot project that aims at identifying DNA methylation-based biomarkers for respiratory diseases. PULMO is also a regional pilot project for data sharing among hospitals and research, which is fundamental for future’s data-driven health care I am also the founder of PredictMe, which is a company building a DNA methylation-based disease classifier.

Unveiling Epigenetic Mechanisms in COVID-19:

Our research dives into the persisting symptoms after COVID-19 and uncovers a unique epigenetic signature in post-COVID-19 condition (PCC). Comparing DNAm patterns in patients and healthy convalescents, we highlight pathways influencing lung health. Additionally, we study epigenetic resilience in COVID-19 recovery, revealing enduring DNA methylation imprints linked to immune responses. This research provides a novel perspective on lung health dynamics post-infection.

Epigenetic Clues to Tuberculosis Immunity in the Lung:

In our exploration of tuberculosis immunity, we delve into DNA methylation patterns in lung immune cells. Examining subjects exposed to M. tuberculosis, we identify epigenetic signatures related to immune memory and infection status. This unique DNA methylation pattern reflects a spectrum of responses, offering potential for diagnostic applications and insights into lung-based immune defenses.

Epigenetic Insight into Lung Diseases, the PULMO Project:

Launching in 2023, the PULMO Project delves into lung diseases through epigenetic exploration. This initiative aims to decipher the molecular intricacies underlying lung health, shedding light on fundamental patterns linked to respiratory conditions. PULMO's focus involves sampling 1000 patients with respiratory symptoms in Sydöstra Sjukvårdsregionen (SÖSR). By studying this diverse group, PULMO aims to reveal epigenetic marks specific to various lung diseases. This comprehensive endeavor has potential to reshape diagnostics and therapeutic strategies in the realm of respiratory well-being. Researchers, clinicians, and stakeholders are invited to contribute to the PULMO Project's trajectory. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, we seek to uncover insights that redefine our understanding of lung diseases, fostering potential for personalized interventions.

Driving Drug Discovery for Health:

Complementing our focus on lung diseases, we lead innovative drug discovery efforts. Our High Content Screening (HCS) assay, rooted in primary human lung cells, identifies compounds impacting lung pathogens. By uncovering epigenetic regulators of lung immunity, we contribute to understanding host-pathogen interactions and the development of new therapeutics. Our service for BSL2/3 compound screening is available through the SciLifeLab platform Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS).

Facilitating Epigenetic Research for Pharma, Academia, and Beyond: Beyond our academic pursuits, we are driven by a mission to advance epigenetic research that transcends boundaries.



Selected publications

Cover of publication ''
Deepti Verma, Venkata Ramanarao Parasa, Johanna Raffetseder, Mihaela-Maria Martis, Ratnesh Bhai Mehta, Mihai Netea, Maria Lerm (2017)

Scientific Reports , Vol.7 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Maria Lerm, M. G. Netea (2016)

Journal of Internal Medicine , Vol.279 , s.337-346 Continue to DOI

Latest publications


Anna J. Henningsson, Sandra Hellberg, Maria Lerm, Shumaila Sayyab (2024) Genome-wide DNA Methylation Profiling in Lyme Neuroborreliosis Reveals Altered Methylation Patterns of HLA Genes Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 229, p. 1209-1214 Continue to DOI


Clara Braian, Lovisa Karlsson, Jyotirmoy Das, Maria Lerm (2023) Selected ß-glucans act as immune-training agents by improving anti-mycobacterial activity in human macrophages - a pilot study Journal of Innate Immunity, Vol. 15, p. 751-764 Continue to DOI
Marika Möller, Kristian Borg, Christer Janson, Maria Lerm, Johan Normark, Katarina Niward (2023) Cognitive dysfunction in post-COVID-19 condition: Mechanisms, management, and rehabilitation Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol. 294, p. 563-581 Continue to DOI

About me


Medical Programme

Biomedical Laboratory Science Programme

Experimental and Industrial Biomedicine


Adjunct Editor, Journal of Internal Medicine