Our overarching interest is to understand the mechanisms by which tumor and host cells
mutually engage each other in reciprocal interactions to facilitate carcinogenesis through
cell signaling and transfer of nutrients.
Tumor-host interactions occur both locally in the tumor microenvironment and systemically
causing organ dysfunction such as in cancer cachexia - the metabolic reprogramming and
catastrophic wasting of muscle and adipose tissue. We believe that studying these processes
in the fruit fly animal model system can uncover new ways to intercept carcinogenesis and
systemic effects initiated by tumor presence.
Some of our models
In order to mechanistically understand how tumor and non-tumor cells and organs
communicate to foster tumor growth and cause cancer cachexia we develop novel genetic
tools in Drosophila. We now have tools in hand to selectively and independently manipulate
tumor and either tumor microenvironment or somatic organs in vivo. We employ a wide array
of techniques and collaborate with experts in cell biology, genetics, imaging, tumor biology,
metabolism, bioinformatics and clinical cancer cachexia in order to survey, measure and
mechanistically understand these complex aspects of cancer biology.
In parallel to in vivo work in flies, we utilize human organoid and spheroid cell culture to
understand cellular mechanisms controlling cell polarity, morphogenesis and cell-cell
communication, the disruption of which is set off by cancer-driving mutations and underlies
early tumor development.
We collaborate with the research groups of:
- Eyal Gottlieb, TICC, Haifa, Israel
- Rita Sousa-Nunes, King's College, London, UK
- Todd schoborg, University of Wyoming, Wyoming, US
- Christos Samakovlis, University of Stockholm, Sweden
- Terje Johansen, University of Tromsø, Norway
- Heinrich Jasper, Genentech, California, US
- Harald Stenmark, Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Jorrit Enserink, Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Jørgen Wesche,Institute for Cancer Research, OUH, Oslo, Norway
- Anne Simonsen, Univeristy of Oslo, Norway