Department of Molecular Oncology

Department head: Professor Ragnhild A. Lothe
Deputy department head: Professor Rolf I. Skotheim
Laboratory manager: Professor Guro E. Lind
Department administrative consultant: Ikram Mahnin

The year 2020 at Dept Molecular Oncology
Scientific achievements at Dept Molecular Oncology in 2019

Research groups

Genetics Genome Biology Epigenetics
Ragnhild A. Lothe
Rolf I. Skotheim
Guro E. Lind

Project groups

Computational Oncology  Cancer Informatics Statistical Epigenomics
Anita Sveen
Bjarne Johannessen
Marine Jeanmougin
Cell Signalling    
Edward Leithe


As a research department within the OUH Comprehensive Cancer Centre, it is our responsibility and goal to accomplish high quality and interdisciplinary biomedical research for improved precision medicine and management of cancer patients.


Our main research programs are devoted to colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, and we have a longstanding project portfolio also on other solid tumor types. Our expertise in biomedical research spans several disciplines from cell biology to translational research, including also active clinical research collaborations, and we have a broad range of advanced technologies established in-lab. The department scientists are inventors of several biomedical patents and active innovation projects.

Lothe lab – genetics, genomics, cell signaling, colorectal cancer, MPNST, tumor heterogeneity, pharmacogenomics, biomarkers

Skotheim lab – genome biology, transcript variation, tumor heterogeneity, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, bioinformatics

Lind lab – epigenetics, genetics, GI-cancers, bladder cancer, early detection, monitoring


All three group leaders are adjunct professors at the University of Oslo and are affiliated with the Institute for Clinical Medicine, the Institute for Biosciences and the Institute for Informatics. We aim to complete at least 3 academic degrees annually, and since the inauguration of the Department in 2006, 59 MSc/PhD degrees have successfully been defended.

The research groups are partners of the Oslo University Hospital strategic research area - Precision colorectal cancer therapy, colorectal cancer COST – actions, The Global Testicular Cancer Consortium, The European network for study on Cholangiocarcinoma, a European multicenter study on MPNST (malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor), The Norwegian Esophageal Cancer Consortium.

External funding sources

Latest News

Anita Sveen awarded the ICR "Researcher of the Year" Prize for 2020

Anita Sveen (photo: Per M. Didriksen)
Anita Sveen (photo: Per M. Didriksen)

Anita Sveen (39) – senior researcher and project group leader at Institute for Cancer Research – was on December 16th awarded the prize Researcher-of-the-Year from the leadership at ICR for her outstanding scientific contributions. The award of 100 000 NOK is financed by the Radium Hospital Foundation (Radiumhospitalets legater) and is a personal scholarship for stimulating further excellence in research. 

Three new academic degrees defended at Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, by members of the Dept of Molecular Oncology

Tuva Høst Brunsell with main supervisor Arild Nesbakken.
Tuva Høst Brunsell with main supervisor Arild Nesbakken.

In June, Tuva Høst Brunsell (MD) digitally defended her PhD “ Heterogeneity of prognostic biomarkers in colorectal liver metastases”, Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo. The thesis includes three papers (Brunsell et al., Clin Colorectal Cancer 2020; Brunsell et al., Eur J Surg Oncol 2019; Berg*, Brunsell* et al., submitted).

On September the 4th, Christer Anker Andreassen, digitally defended his MSc, Institute of Biosciences, University of Oslo. “The functional and clinical impact of the E3 Ubiquitin ligase NEDD4 in colorectal cancer and its role in regulating PTEN and P53”.

On September the 11th, Mikael Ravndal, defended his MSc, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. "Algorithms for exploring heterogeneity in prostate cancer patients from RNA-seq data".

TP53 proficient colorectal cancer cells are sensitive to PARP inhibition

Jørgen Smeby (left) and Kushtrim Kryeziu are shared first authors
Jørgen Smeby (left) and Kushtrim Kryeziu are shared first authors

By examining vulnerabilities in colorectal cancer, Jørgen Smeby, Kushtrim Kryeziu, and colleagues demonstrated the efficacy of PARP inhibitors for a subgroup of colorectal cancer cell lines in a recent paper in EBioMedicine (The Lancet’s open access).

The cancer patient’s own drug sensitivity model

From left: Eide, Kryeziu and Bruun.

The cancer patient’s own drug sensitivity model: researchers from the Lothe lab and collaborators recently published a paper in Clinical Cancer Research describing ex vivo patient-derived organoids from colorectal liver metastases in a heterogeneity context. 

Drs. Jarle Bruun, Kushtrim Kryeziu and Peter W. Eide (photo) were shared 1st authors , and have established the PDO lineages and drug screen analyses.

Jørgen Smeby the first to defend his PhD digitally at the Institute for Cancer Research

Jørgen Smeby during the digital PhD defence

The first digital PhD defence at the Institute for Cancer Research was held on the 20th of April 2020.

Dr. Jørgen Smeby defended his thesis "Molecular subtype-dependent impact of driver mutations in colorectal cancer" submitted to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.

The work was performed in the Lothe lab at the Institute for Cancer Research. 

Kaja Christine Graue Berg defended her PhD on the 10th Dec 2019

She has performed her work in the Lothe lab., and has been a PhD student at the Institute for Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, U of Oslo.

The thesis  “Integrated genomics of colorectal cancer” included three papers of which she is the 1st author (Molecular Cancer 2017, Oncogene 2019, submitted manuscript).

The candidate held an excellent trial lecture “The gut microbiome as an emerging target for cancer therapy”, and she had a good discussion with her two opponents professors Karin Jirstrøm and Eirik Frengen (photo, candidate to the right).

Young researcher award to Peter Wold Eide at “Onkologisk Forum”

Peter W. Eide
Peter W. Eide

Dr. Peter Wold Eide, post doc in the Lothe lab received the "Young researcher award" for his scientific accomplishments during the 2019 Onkologisk forum held in Tromsø November 21st-22nd where he presented a lecture entitled "Fra generiske kreftmodeller til klinisk medikamentscreening”.

Guro E. Lind new leader of The Norwegian Association of Researchers (Forskerforbundet)

Guro E. Lind
Guro E. Lind

Professor Guro Elisabeth Lind, head of the Epigentics research group at the Department of Molecular Oncology, has been elected as new leader in "Forskerforbundet" - The Norwegian Association of Researchers, taking over January 1st 2019.

Lind is a former head of "Akademiet for yngre forskere" (The Young Academy of Norway) and has also been a local representative for Forskerforbundet. She will be the first female leader since the 80's, and replaces Petter Aaslestad, who has been in charge of the Research Association for the last six years (two periods).

"I was very much in doubt, first and foremost because I am an active researcher with a research group and exciting projects. But I am also actively engaged in research policy and could not say no to this exciting challenge", Lind says to Khrono.