Background and activities

Research focus: TGF-β family signaling in multiple myeloma

Our research is focused on understanding the role of transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß family signaling pathways in multiple myeloma. 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. For this part we collaborate with the Bjørkøy group.

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 students (molecular medicine): Megan Anne Vik and Lu Bai

Former students
Post doctor (2020): Oddrun Elise Olsen
PhD (2017): Oddrun Elise Olsen
PhD (2020, Bjørkøy group, cosupervised): Camilla Wolowczyk

Master level:
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)


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Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications