Mona-Lisa Wernroth defends her PhD work

2022-05-18

On the 13th of May 2022, Ph.D. student Mona-Lisa Wernroth successfully defended her dissertation on Type l diabetes in childhood and adolescence, environmental exposures, and gut microbiota, marking the end of an 8-year journey.

Considerable research has focused on Type I diabetes (T1D) in recent decades. Despite these efforts, there are still gaps in our understanding of this burdensome illness. Since the 1950s, rates of T1D in Sweden have been on the rise, transforming this Nordic country into one of the most heavily afflicted worldwide. As this trend suggests that the environment plays an important role, scientists and physicians are eager to elucidate more information about the origins of this autoimmune disease. Due to the burden that T1D places on both patients and the healthcare system, there is a strong push for new and innovative research methods that will hopefully help clinicians to better identify those at risk of developing T1D.

Mona-Lisa, a statistician by trade, applied her expertise to investigate the impact of a selection of environmental factors on rates of T1D in children and adolescents. Her research draws data from Swedish National Registries to look for potential links between an individual's surroundings during childhood and the onset of disease.  

Her thesis is based on four papers. The first published work investigated the impact of dog exposure during the first year of life on the prevalence of T1D in childhood while another manuscript takes a closer look at the effect of stress on the same disease. Of particular relevance to UAC, the second paper dives into the risk of development of T1D in children who received antibiotic treatment for otitis media and respiratory tract infections. Additionally, Dr. Wernroth expands on the microbial perspective in her submitted paper entitled “Development of gut microbiota during the first two years of life”. Here she uses molecular methods to asses the effects of antibiotic use, pet ownership and mode of delivery on the relative abundance of different species on the bacterial microbiota during the first years of life.

Mona-Lisa receiving the good news of being awarded her doctoral degree

From the team at Uppsala Antibiotic Center, we congratulate Mona-Lisa Wernroth on her well-deserved Ph.D. title. We look forward to the undoubtedly impactful publications that are yet to come. 

Want to learn more about Dr. Wernroth's work? Check out these links:

Last modified: 2022-05-18