PhD project descriptions

Physical Fitness and High-Intensity Training following Lung Transplantation: The HILT study
A PhD project in cooperation with Norwegian School of Sport Sciences.
PhD student:  MD Mariann Ulvestad. Main supervisor: Elisabeth Edvardsen PhD MSc. Co-supervisor:  Ass Prof.  May Brit Lund Co-investigator: Prof. Johny Kongerud and MD Michael Durheim.

This project aims to determine the relationships between pulmonary function, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle function, body composition, physical activity, and quality of life, and to evaluate the effect of a high-intensity training intervention, in patients who have undergone lung transplantation. Lung transplant recipients frequently continue to suffer from poor physical fitness, despite dramatic improvement in lung function. The mechanisms underlying this discrepancy are not fully understood. We have developed a high-intensity exercise training intervention, which we have demonstrated to be effective among patients undergoing surgical treatment for lung cancer. Our study will illuminate the complex mechanisms underlying the discrepancy between lung function and physical fitness among lung transplant recipients. In a randomized controlled trial, we will demonstrate the effect of our high-intensity training intervention in this complex patient population.


Dissecting asthma phenotypes in adults by combining clinical data, inflammatory markers and next-generation gene sequencing.
A PhD project in cooperation with Telemark Central Hospital.
PhD student: Geir Klepaker. Main supervisor Prof. Johny Kongerud. Co-supervisor: PhD MD Anne Kristin Fell
In 2013, a random sample of 50.000 inhabitants aged 16-50 living in Telemark county received a validated questionnaire regarding respiratory symptoms and occupational exposure. We have collected comprehensive clinical, inflammatory, occupational and environmental data and have for the first time in Norway applied an asthma-specific job-exposure-matrix (JEM) on a large sample (N=16.099) from the general population. The aim of the study is to analyze this unique data set for identifying clinical and genetically distinct phenotypes in asthma, possible risk factors and ultimately more personalized treatment for asthma patients.


Medical Student Research Programme
Project Description

Inflammatory processes and organ function in organ procurement for lung transplantation
Medical student: Henrik Auråen. Main supervisor: Are M. Holm . Co-supervisor: Arnt Fiane
Name of co-investigators: Øystein Bjørtuft, Prof PhD Neil Alexis, Prof. Johny Kongerud, May Britt Lund, Prof Tom Eirik Mollnes, Prof. Odd Geiran and Arnt Fiane
To improve the availability and quality of organs for lung transplantation, we study the impact of systemic inflammatory processes on the lungs in the donor during organ harvesting. In particular, we study the activation of innate immune processes such as complement. Also, we relate these pre-transplant observations to inflammatory and clinical markers such as graft dysfunction and rejection in the recipient after transplantation. This project is a cooperation between The Department for Thoracic Surgery and The Institute for Immunology, both at Oslo University Hospital, and our department.


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