Tag Archives: IKM

Unveiling connections between preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease

Women with preeclampsia have up to eight times higher risk of later developing cardiovascular disease. CEMIR’s research group on Inflammation and Genetics in Pregnancy studies how the development of preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease are connected.

ISSHP

Liv Cecilie Vestrheim Thomsen (left) and Lobke Gierman.

The group has recently unveiled inflammatory mechanisms in the placenta and identified an important role for fetal trophoblasts. They have also identified a gene variant that is protective for both preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease.

This research was recently presented at the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP), a conference about research and treatment of hypersensitive diseases during pregnancy, primarily preeclampsia and gestational hypertension.

Researcher Liv Cecilie Vestrheim Thomsen received the prize for best poster and Post.doc. Lobke Gierman received third place in the category best oral presentation.

Article in Placenta:   Toll-like receptor profiling of seven trophoblast cell lines warrants caution for translation to primary trophoblasts

 

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Filed under Cardiovascular, Inflammatory and Immune System, NTNUmedicine, Reproductive Health and Childbirth, Research

New anti-inflammatory effects of “the good cholesterol”

Eivind_Samstad_fotografGeirMogenWEBNathalie_Niz_fotograGeirMogen_Utsnitt_WEBAuthors: Nathalie Niyonzima and  Eivind Samstad
Researchers at the Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research

Cholesterol crystals (CC) induce inflammation that is critical in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Researchers at the Center of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR) recently published new data on how high density lipoprotein attenuates inflammatory responses initiated by CC. These data could be of significant interest for management of atherosclerosis. Continue reading

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Harald Stenmark receives Møbius award

Harald Stenmark

Harald Stenmark

Professor Harald Stenmark,  has received this year’s “Møbius award”, the Research Council of Norway’s annual prize for excellent research. Stenmark is director of the Centre for Cancer Biomedicine at UIO and Professor II at the  Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research, CEMIR.

The award is granted on the basis of documented results, and is intended to encourage further research activity. The award amounts to 1 mill. NOK and is distributed Wednesday September 23rd in Oslo Konserthus.

Congratulations to Professor Stenmark!

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Uncovering the secrets of immune system invaders

 

CEMIR researcher Marie Hjelmseth Aune looks at macrophages ( blue ). The screen image shows a macrophage engulfing a bacterium (red). Photo: Geir Mogen, NTNU

CEMIR researcher Marie Hjelmseth Aune looks at macrophages ( blue ). The screen image shows a macrophage engulfing a bacterium (red). Photo: Geir Mogen, NTNU

 

Some bacteria and viruses take advantage of the way our immune system works to infect us.  Researchers at Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR) are uncovering the mechanisms by which this trickery takes place.

Read more on GEMINI.no: Uncovering the secrets of immune system invaders, written by Nancy Bazilchuk.

 

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Filed under Infection, Inflammatory and Immune System, Research

– Beutler has been a great inspiration

– Bruce Beutler’s work has greatly inspired scientists at NTNU, in particular researchers at Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR). We are very pleased that he has been awarded an honorary doctorate.

These were CEMIR director Terje Espevik’s words when Professor Bruce Beutler was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (æresdoktor) at NTNU on 20th March 2015.

Professor Bruce Beutler (in the middle) at the honorary Doctorate ceremony March 20th with Professors Magne Børset, Anders Waage, Terje Espevik, rector Gunnar Bovim and Dean at Faculty of Medicine Stig Slørdahl.

Professor Bruce Beutler (in the middle) at the honorary Doctorate ceremony March 20th with Professors Magne Børset, Anders Waage, Terje Espevik, rector Gunnar Bovim and Dean at Faculty of Medicine Stig Slørdahl.

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I am the herd

Signe ÅsbergBlogger: Signe Åsberg,
PhD student at CEMIR

 

In December last year an outbreak of measles started when a family that was not vaccinated visited Disneyland California. I’m currently a visiting graduate student here in Los Angeles and I’d planned to go to Disneyland to get some of that Christmas magic-feeling that the decorated palm trees couldn’t convey.

I never went though. Before I even knew it Christmas had passed, January gone and nearly a hundred persons had been infected with measles after the outbreak that started in Disneyland.

… people who choose not to vaccinate their kids for religious or “personal reasons”

Ei jenter får vaksine. Foto: iStockPhoto

Measles are effectively prevented by vaccination and there is no cost involved (Photo: iStock)

In the following months the disease spread and 2015 is expected to be a record year in the number of cases since measles was declared eradicated in the US in 2000. What I find especially aggravating is that measles are effectively prevented by vaccination and there is no cost involved. The vaccine is part of the vaccination program, as it is in Norway, yet there are several schools and kindergartens in California where dangerously few children are vaccinated. Their parents are mainly wealthy and well educated people who choose not to vaccinate their kids for religious or “personal reasons”. Parents need only a signature from a doctor or other type of health care provider to exempt their kid from vaccination and it seems like this signature is given out too easily.

The debate following the outbreak has to a large extent focused on parents right to choose and there is a strong tradition for valuing freedom of choice in the US. But when it comes to diseases such as measles, polio and whopping cough the parents that «feel vaccination is not for them» are putting more vulnerable individuals at risk. For herd immunity to be efficient against measles at least 95-97% of the population needs to be vaccinated. This is enough to prevent an outbreak and protect those who can’t be vaccinated due to health reasons, such as the very young or old, cancer patients or people with reduced immune function.

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When the immune system causes damage

Eivind Ottersen Samstad

Foto: Hanne Strypet

On Friday 6 February, Eivind Ottersen Samstad from CEMIR research centre defends his doctoral thesis. He has been researching crystalline substances in the human body, such as quartz, cholesterol and uric acid crystals.

– The immune system is activated when the body attempts to get rid of these crystals, but sometimes our bodies react the wrong way. The response is so powerful that it causes damage to cells and tissue, Samstad explains.

This can cause diseases like pulmonary fibrosis, gout, heart attack or stroke.

Through their research, Samstad and his colleagues have attempted to understand the mechanisms in play when the immune system overreacts and in fact causes disease instead of preventing it.

Samstad started his research when he was still a student in the NTNU Research Programme, and continued his work at CEMIR. In addition to his research, he has lately been working as a doctor at Ålesund Hospital.

CEMIR was started in 2013 and was awarded Centre of Research Excellence (CoE) status by the Research Council.

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What I love about my job

Signe ÅsbergBlogger: Signe Åsberg
PhD student at CEMIR

This blog post was originally posted on Åsberg’s science blog Furby in the lab

 

Let me give you a list of all the aspects of my job as a PhD student that I love. It really is a great ride but also incredibly difficult and I find myself easily sucked into the dark thoughts of how this will never work out, I’m the worst scientist in history and my project is not worth doing. I think it is time to will myself out of the dark places and focus on what I enjoy:

– First of all I get to think. A lot. Almost all the time, every day. I think, ponder, question, wonder. It’s a privilege.

– I get to look closely at microscopic organisms. I love looking at things. There’s just nothing better than looking at something amazing with your own eyes. I get to see cells, bacteria and even proteins. Or I get to see the light that the fluorophores I attached to those proteins emit when I excite them.

– This brings me to attaching fluorophores to proteins. I’m excited about that. I get to glue molecules together!

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Could Trophoblasts be the Immune Cells of Pregnancy?

Line TangeråsGuro StødleBlogger: Guro Stødle and Line Tangerås
PhD students, CEMIR

 

In the human body, infections (caused by bacteria or virus) and tissue injury may set off an inflammatory response, in which immune cells, blood vessels, proteins and other mediators work together to eliminate the threat and repair the damage.

Gravid magePregnancy is a delicate setting where the mother and fetus must adapt properly to each other to coexist, and an inflammatory response can disturb this delicate balance and cause complications. This is seen in preeclampsia, a potentially severe inflammatory pregnancy disorder threatening both the mother and fetus.

In preeclampsia, inflammation in the placenta contributes to poor placental development, later leading to systemic inflammation in the mother, manifesting as high blood pressure and protein in the mother’s urine.

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Honorary doctorate to Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler

Professor Bruce Beutler

Professor Bruce Beutler.
Photo: Holger Motzkau / Wikimedia Commons

The Board of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, has decided to award Professor Bruce Beutler an honorary doctorate, the degree of doctor honoris causa. The appointment of Beutler recognizes his significant contributions to understanding how innate immune cell receptors regulate inflammatory responses.

Butler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2011 for his research on innate immunity. He shared the prize with med Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman.

Bruce Beutler’s groundbreaking discoveries about sensors in our innate immune system that recognize bacteria have led to an explosion of research on this theme.  Beutler’s work has greatly inspired scientists at NTNU’s Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR) working in the same field as him.

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