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Isak Demirel

Title: Senior Lecturer School/office: School of Medical Sciences


Phone: +46 19 303472

Room: C2104

About Isak Demirel

Isak Demirel is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedicine at the Department of Medical Sciences. He defended his thesis in 2014 at the Department of Medical Sciences. The thesis was focused on characterising the host-pathogen interaction of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) during a urinary tract infection. During the latter part of his studies, the aim was to investigate if the immune response evoked by extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) isolates differs from non-ESBL-producing uropathogenic E. coli. His research aimed to characterize the virulence patterns of ESBL isolates and to identify new novel treatment options to cope with the globally increased antibiotic resistance. Isak Demirel was appointed as Associate Professor (Docent) in Biomedicine in 2019 and leads the "Demirel research group".

Research profile

Isak Demirels research interests are in the field of host-pathogen interaction and kidney disease. Isak Demirel is the main supervisor of four ongoing PhD students: Anna Lindblad (leg. BMA), Stefania Kapetanaki (Leg. MD), Ulrik Engelsöy (MD) and Anna Magnusson (Leg. Dentist).


Key questions of interest:

1.      How does uropathogenic E. coli interact with the urinary tract and which virulence factors does the bacteria use to colonize the bladder?

 2.      How does renal fibroblast contribute to the host response during a urinary tract infection?

 3.      Can miRNA be used as a novel alternative treatment against multi-drug resistant uropathogenic E. coli?

 4.      What impact does proinflammatory cytokines and hormones have on the virulence of uropathogenic E. coli and Porphyromonas gingivalis?

 5.      How does Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans contribute to oral-and systemic disease?

 6.      How does the microbiota-generated metabolite TMAO contribute to the development of kidney disease?


Teaching and Administrative assignments

Isak Demirel is teaching at the medical school and the international master’s program in biomedicine at the department of medical sciences in different subject within biomedicine (microbiology, immunology, and cell biology).


Isak Demirel is the Unit head of unit “Yellow” at the department of medical sciences and an Editorial board member of Scientific reports.


Articles in journals |  Articles, reviews/surveys |  Doctoral theses, comprehensive summaries |  Manuscripts | 

Articles in journals

Kapetanaki, S. , Kumawat, A. K. , Persson, K. & Demirel, I. (2021). The Fibrotic Effects of TMAO on Human Renal Fibroblasts Is Mediated by NLRP3, Caspase-1 and the PERK/Akt/mTOR Pathway. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22 (21).
Asfaw Idosa, B. , Kelly, A. , Jacobsson, S. , Demirel, I. , Fredlund, H. , Särndahl, E. & Persson, A. (2019). Neisseria meningitidis-Induced Caspase-1 Activation in Human Innate Immune Cells Is LOS-Dependent. Journal of Immunology Research.
Lönn, J. , Ljunggren, S. , Klarström-Engström, K. , Demirel, I. , Bengtsson, T. & Karlsson, H. (2018). Lipoprotein modifications by gingipains of Porphyromonas gingivalis. Journal of Periodontal Research, 53 (3), 403-413.
Jayaprakash, K. , Demirel, I. , Khalaf, H. & Bengtsson, T. (2018). Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced inflammatory responses in THP1 cells are altered by native and modified low-density lipoproteins in a strain-dependent manner. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica (APMIS), 126 (8), 667-677.
Månsson, E. , Söderquist, B. , Nilsdotter-Augustinsson, Å. , Särndahl, E. & Demirel, I. (2018). Staphylococcus epidermidis from prosthetic joint infections induces lower IL-1 release from human neutrophils than isolates from normal flora. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica (APMIS), 126 (8), 678-684.
Jayaprakash, K. , Demirel, I. , Gunaltay, S. , Khalaf, H. & Bengtsson, T. (2017). PKC, ERK/p38 MAP kinases and NF-B targeted signalling play a role in the expression and release of IL-1β  and CXCL8 in Porphyromonas gingivalis-infected THP1 cells. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica (APMIS), 125 (7), 623-633.
Palm, E. , Demirel, I. , Bengtsson, T. & Khalaf, H. (2017). The role of toll-like and protease-activated receptors and associated intracellular signaling in Porphyromonas gingivalis-infected gingival fibroblasts. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica (APMIS), 125 (2), 157-169.
Kruse, R. , Demirel, I. , Säve, S. & Persson, K. (2014). IL-8 and global gene expression analysis define a key role of ATP in renal epithelial cell responses induced by uropathogenic bacteria. Purinergic Signalling Purinergic Signalling, 10 (3), 499-508.
Bang, C. S. , Kruse, R. , Demirel, I. , Önnberg, A. , Söderquist, B. & Persson, K. (2014). Multiresistant uropathogenic extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli are susceptible to the carbon monoxide releasing molecule-2 (CORM-2).. Microbial Pathogenesis, 66, 29-35.
Demirel, I. , Säve, S. , Kruse, R. & Persson, K. (2013). Expression of suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) in human bladder epithelial cells infected with uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica (APMIS), 121 (2), 158-167.
Khalaf, H. , Demirel, I. & Bengtsson, T. (2013). Suppression of inflammatory gene expression in T cells by Porphyromonas gingivalis is mediated by targeting MAPK signaling. Cellular & Molecular Immunology, 10 (5), 413-422.
Demirel, I. , Vumma, R. , Mohlin, C. , Svensson, L. , Säve, S. & Persson, K. (2012). Nitric oxide activates IL-6 production and expression in human renal epithelial cells. American Journal of Nephrology, 36 (6), 524-530.

Articles, reviews/surveys

Svensson, L. , Poljakovic, M. , Demirel, I. , Sahlberg, C. & Persson, K. (2018). Host-Derived Nitric Oxide and Its Antibacterial Effects in the Urinary Tract. Advances in Microbial Physiology, 73, 1-62.

Doctoral theses, comprehensive summaries

Demirel, I. (2014). Uropathogenic Esherichia coli, multidrug-resistance and induction of host defense mechanisms. (Doctoral dissertation). (Comprehensive summary) Örebro: Örebro universitet.


Asfaw Idosa, B. , Persson, A. , Jacobsson, S. , Demirel, I. , Fredlund, H. , Särndahl, E. & Kelly, A. LOS-dependent Neisseria meningitidis-induced caspase-1 activation in human neutrophils.