Background and activities
About the lab
The overarching goal of research our group is to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control infection, regeneration, and inflammation at mucosal surfaces. For example, the digestive tract is responsible for absorption of nutrients and water, but at the same time it has a crucial role in acting as a barrier to the external environment. The barrier function is complicated by the requirement to simultaneously be able to respond appropriately to dangerous pathogens, and remain tolerant to innocuous antigens like commensal organisms and food. Dysregulation of this equilibrium, either by exposure to infection and/or chemicals or by genetic predisposition can lead to (chronic) diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), food allergies, and cancer. Understanding the molecular and cellular principles underlying development, homeostasis, and disease provide important means for identifying novel therapeutics.
I am currently a group leader at the Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR, www.ntnu.edu/cemir) which is hosted by the Faculty of Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. After completing my MSc degree in Biology in 2006, I did my PhD at the Department of Oral Biochemistry (VU University, Amsterdam) under supervision of Dr. Enno Veerman where I studied salivary peptides in wound healing. In 2011, I joined the Mucosal Immunology lab of Dr. Colby Zaph at UBC in Vancouver (www.zaphlab.com, go see the profile pictures!).