The research at the Institute for Medical informatics develops and establishes new methods within diagnostics and prognostics of cancer. Our research programs focus on research within informatics but is mainly occupied with translational research focusing on DNA and chromatin based studies of large-scale genome instability.
The Section for Interphase Genetics is administered by Hanne Askautrud in collaboration with the Institute’s Scientific Director Håvard Danielsen, and they are aided by two professors, two surgeons, one gyneo-oncologist, two pathologists, two PhDs, two MSc, as well as a senior scientist and a PhD-student in computer science. Most projects are further supported by the Section for Applied Informatics.
Section for Interphase Genetics focuses on nucleomics and large scale genomic instability. The working hypothesis is that genomic instability is a driving force in cancer, and high throughput methods are developed and used for detection and characterisation of genomic instability (chromatin structure, gene expression and ploidy), based on high-resolution digital microscopy and advanced image analysis. Several methods; such as IHC, FISH, DNA Ploidy, Tissue Micro Array, as well as original methods developed in our Institute (Nucleotyping, 3D-reconstruction, ImmunoPath and MicroTracker) are used in an attempt to reveal and understand the 3-dimensional organisation of chromatin, and how this organisation controls gene expression. We are also engaged in the search for new diagnostic and prognostic markers among these methods and results, and are running clinical validation studies on large series of colorectal, breast, prostate and gynaecological cancers with a minimum of 5, and up to 20, years of clinical follow-up, with emphasis on disease-free survival. We aim to improve cancer treatment by the identification of better prediction and prognosis of the outcome among these patients.
Section for Interphase Genetics is also engaged in routine diagnostics, performing DNA Ploidy analysis on approximately 700 patients per year. This service is expected to expand significantly in the close future.