The research conducted in our lab has two main aims:
(1) To develop treatments that will disrupt TNT-mediated transport of organelles and solutes into breast cancer cells, to reduce cancer cell survival and counteract treatment resistance.
(2) To develop a robust and ultra-rapid microfluidicsbased antibiotic susceptibility test with single cell resolution that will help combat misuse of antibiotics to save lives.
See our project descriptions below for more information.
Killing Breast Cancer Cells by Interfering with Stress Responses
Chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy is often used to treat breast cancer with the purpose of damaging and ultimately killing the cancer cells. Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are thin intercellular connections with a diameter of a few hundred nanometers that can transfer ions, plasma membrane components, vesicles, and organelles such as mitochondria and lysosomes from one cell to another. TNT formation in the adult occurs in cells that are damaged or stressed. It has been demonstrated that viable cells can rescue adjacent dying cancer cells via TNT-mediated transfer of cellular components. Thus, TNT formation has the potential to impact cancer cell survival and to make cancer cells more resistant to treatment. We study TNT formation in breast cancer cells. A better understanding of how TNTs mediate transport of organelles and molecules into dying breast cancer cells will enable new treatment opportunities. The structures and proteins studied here represent new potential drug targets as well as diagnostic markers. Assays are developed in this project to enable studies of TNTs. These assays will be freely available to other researchers.
Developing a New Antibiotic Susceptibility Test to Save Lives and Prevent Misuse of Antibiotics
Patients suffering from life-threatening bacterial infections have a steady increase in mortality for every hour without proper treatment. This together with the rapid increase in antimicrobial resistance around the world demonstrate the need for rapid diagnostic methods for antimicrobial suceptibility testing. The aim of this project is to develop a robust and ultra-rapid microfluidicsbased antibiotic susceptibility test with single cell resolution that will help combat misuse of antibiotics in order to save lives. The project is a close collaboration between Uppsala University, Akademiska sjukhuset (the Uppsala University Hospital), the EUCAST Development Laboratory and the company Gradientech AB.
How do Cells in the Body Know Where They Are, and Where to Go?
The main goal of this project is to increase our understanding of how cells of the microvascular unit move in response to different signals associated with tissue remodeling, inflammation and wound healing. More specifically, we are exploring how cells interpret chemotactic gradients, and how such guidance cues orchestrate cells of the microvascular unit to move, including endothelial cells, immune cells and cancer cells. We are studing signaling receptors as well as downstream effectors that represent potentially druggable targets as well as diagnostic markes for treatments aimed at increasing or decreasing formation of blood vessels.
Developing 3D-printed DIY Microfluidic Devices Enabling Advanced Research Everywhere (Almost)!
We develop microfluidic devices and equipment for experimentation with and imaging of cells using 3D printing. The devices are made at a very low cost, meaning that also labs and schools with limited budgets can afford to produce these devices in order to do better experiments!
More information will follow soon!