Smiling female scientist examining blood vial

Tessa Campbell


Tessa is an SSMF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Bryceson group investigating NK cell homeostasis and plasmacytoid dendritic cell function using cases of primary immunodeficiency.


Tessa's interest in natural killer (NK) cells started during a bachelor's research internship at Karolinska Institutet. Upon returning to her home country of Australia she undertook her PhD in herpesvirology at the University of Sydney, pioneering the study of varicella zoster virus evasion of NK cell activity. Intrigued by the life-threatening infections from herpesviruses suffered by NK cell deficient patients, she returned to Karolinska Institutet to pursue this line of research in the Bryceson group. In response to the demand of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tessa expanded her research profile to the antiviral type I IFN properties of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Tessa is currently supported by an SSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship to improve diagnostics of primary immunodeficiencies and advance our understanding of NK cell and pDC biology to harness their potential in health and disease.

Pedagogiska meriter

During her postdoc and PhD, Tessa has been involved as a course lecturer, tutorial leader, and laboratory mentor at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Sydney. Her teaching profile covers bachelor, master's, and medical program courses on immunology, virology, and human biology.


Science communication

Tessa is an active science communicator in person and online on Twitter (@ScientistTess). In 2022 she was recognised as the Top Influencer at the meeting of The European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID2022) and was awarded free registration for the next society meeting. Tessa has also previously won the People's Choice Award (2018) for her Day of Immunology public engagement, presenting ‘NK cells: Ninjas of the immune system’. Since 2019 she has been involved in the Skype A Scientist program, skyping classrooms around the world to discuss science, as well as invitations to speak in person at several high school career and science events.


PhD (Medicine) The University of Sydney, Australia | Thesis title: On interactions between alphaherpesviruses and natural killer cells

Bachelor of Science (Honours class I) The University of Sydney, Australia | Thesis title: Regulation of natural killer cell ligands and activity by varicella zoster virus & herpes simplex virus type 1

Akademiska priser och utmärkelser

2023 Jonas Söderquist stipendium (Karolinska Insitutet) för grundforskning inom virologi och immunologi

2023 Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond Research Grant for OBESE-DC: Deciphering viral infection susceptibility in people living with obesity

2022–2025 Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning (SSMF) (The Swedish Society for Medical Research) Postdoctoral Grant for Genetiska och mekanistiska studier av immunbrist som affekterar NK celler


Top five publications

TM Campbell, Z Liu, Q Zhang, M Moncada-Velez, L E. Covill, P Zhang, IA Darazam, P Bastard, L Bizien, G Bucciol, S Lind Enoksson, E Jouanguy, Ş Nur Karabela, T Khan, Y Kendir-Demirkol, AA Arias, D Mansouri, P Marits, N Marr, I Migeotte, L Moens, T Ozcelik, I Pellier, A Sendel, M Shahrooei, CIE Smith, I Vandernoot, K Willekens, COVID Human Genetic Effort, P Bergman, L Abel, A Cobat, JL Casanova, I Meyts, YT Bryceson (2022). Respiratory viral infections in otherwise healthy humans with inherited IRF7 deficiency. Journal of Experimental Medicine 219 (7): ee20220202.

TD Holmes, RV Pandey, EY Helm, H Schlums, H Han, TM Campbell, TT Drashansky, S Chiang, CY Wu, C Tao, Z Xu, M Shoukier, M Sun, RA Marsh, CM Lau, JC Sun, R Månsson, F Cichocki, D Avram, and YT Bryceson (2021). The transcription factor Bcl11b promotes both canonical and adaptive NK cell differentiationScience Immunology 6 (57): eabc9801.

TM Campbell, BP McSharry, M Steain, TA Russell, DC Tscharke, JJ Kennedy, B Slobedman, A Abendroth (2019). Functional paralysis of human natural killer cells by alphaherpesviruses. PLOS Pathogens 15 (6): e1007784.

TM Campbell, BP McSharry, M Steain, TM Ashhurst, B Slobedman, A Abendroth (2018). Varicella zoster virus productively infects human natural killer cells and manipulates phenotypePLOS Pathogens 14 (4): e1006999.

TM Campbell, BP McSharry, M Steain, B Slobedman, A Abendroth (2015). Varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus 1 differentially modulate NKG2D ligand expression during productive infection. Journal of Virology 89 (15): 7932–7943.