I am a scientist with a special interest in cell-cell communication, especially in the context of cancer. My research is focused on the function of a cell surface receptor called platelet-derived growth factor. When activated, this receptor transmits signals into the cell promoting its division, survival and—in some cases—motility. These behaviors are frequently deregulated in cancer, which is characterized by uncontrolled proliferation, insensitivity toward apoptotic stimuli, migration of tumor cells away from the primary tumor site, and in some cases a block in differentiation leaving the cell in an immature proliferative state.
To target these processes we need detailed information on how the receptor functions and which signaling pathways become activated. Inhibition of tyrosine kinases using low molecular weight inhibitors has been identified as a promising strategy to treat human malignancies. However, as with most if not all inhibitors used in cancer treatment, the tumor cells eventually becomes tolerant or even resistant. To circumvent this we believe it is important to use combination therapies that simultaneously target the RTK and key downstream signaling pathways. To achieve this we must have a detailed molecular understanding of events occurring after growth factor stimulation, i.e., we need to know which pathways are of particular importance for different functions such as proliferation, cell movement or protection from apoptosis downstream of RTKs. This is a prerequisite for logical development of novel therapeutic interventions using cell signaling inhibitors.
I have published more than 40 primary research papers and 10 review papers or book chapters. I also participate in training young scientists in biomedical research.
MSc, Uppsala University, Sweden
PhD, Uppsala University, Sweden