Frode Jahnsen's group Mucosal Immunology and Cancer Research
1. We want to understand how the immune system in the gut manage to maintain homeostasis within its challenging microenvironment.
The immune system in the gut is faced with the formidable task to efficiently eliminate infectious microbes and at the same time tolerate the commensal microbiota and harmless antigens such as food proteins.
The intestinal mucosa contains a large number of different immune cells that cooperate intimately to maintain homeostasis in the gut.
We study how individual cell types contributes to this homeostasis and what happens when there is a break of tolerance that results in unwanted inflammation, such as in the situation of celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
We also study the immunopathology in organ rejection and in graft-versus-host disease after stem cell transplantation. We are particularly interested in determining the longevity of immune cells in the gut.
2. We want to understand how EGFR family members can be down-regulated physiologically and experimentally. Such studies are motivated by the fact that over-expression of these RTKs is driving oncogenesis in a number of human cells. Potential ways of therapeutically down-regulating these proteins is therefore of utmost importance in treatment of diseases like breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and glioblastomas. A prerequisite for designing mechanisms inducing therapeutic down-regulation is more detailed knowledge on mechanisms normally controlling endocytosis and degradation of the EGFR family members. We are also working with experimental liver carcinogenesis, or more specifically on how EGFR regulation of the cell cycle is altered during early rat liver carcinogenesis.