Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Research focus: TGF-β family signaling in cancer

Our research is focused on understanding the role of transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß family signaling pathways in multiple myeloma and other cancers. This includes ligands such as TGF-ß, activins, BMPs and GDFs. There is extensive redundancy in this family of ligands and receptors, and the effects of a given molecule will always depend on the context. Activation of the SMAD1/5 transcription factors by TGF-ß family ligands induces apoptosis in myeloma cells by downregulating the oncogene c-MYC. Potentiaion of SMAD1/5 activity represents therefore a possible treatment option for myeloma patients. We are also interested in the role of TGF-ß signaling in the context of the tumor microenvironment, particularly in relation to angiogenesis and dissemination. 

We welcome students that want to study regulation of signaling in the TGF-ß family.


Our group, Fall 2020: Lu Bai (master student), Toril Holien (group leader, PhD), Ingrid Quist-Løkken (MSc, medical research student), Clara Andersson-Rusch (MSc, PhD candidate) and Megan Anne Vik (master student).


Medical Students' Research Programme: Ingrid Quist-Løkken
PhD student: Clara Andersson-Rusch
Master student: Bita Asghariastanehei
Former students and coworkers
Post doctor (2020): Oddrun Elise Olsen
PhD (2017): Oddrun Elise Olsen
PhD (2020, Bjørkøy group, cosupervised): Camilla Wolowczyk
Master level:
Molecular medicine (2020/21): Megan Anne Vik and Lu Bai
Biotechnology (2019/20, cosupervised): Jenny Malm Rasmussen
Pharmacy (2018/19): Martin Haugrud Kastnes, Nerissa Rae Booc
Pharmacy (2017/18): Thi Le, Fartun Hussein Ali
Molecular Medicine (2016/17): Samah Elsaadi, Fekadu Alemu Atire
Biotechnology (2013/15): Anette Skjærvik
Cell biology (2012/14): Kine Husteli Kristiansen
Biotechnology (2011/12): Oddrun Elise Olsen
Erasmus trainee students:
Alexander Stockhammer (2018)
Marie-Thérèse Henke (2017)
Meenu Sankar (2015/16)
Sarah Nevens (2013/14)




Vitenskapelig, faglig og kunstnerisk arbeid

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