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Image: Mattias Pettersson

Basic research

We need a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the spread of cancer. Basic research is also called lab research or preclinical research.

It is well known that normal cells can transform into cancer cells and cause death in cancer patients in different ways. However, we still lack knowledge about many key features, molecular compositions and dynamics of cancer cells, and it is still not clear how cancer cells, at a late stage, can rapidly cause death in patients who are suffering from metastatic diseases.

The focus of basic cancer research is to provide answers to these fundamental questions and to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that drive cancer cell to mutate, grow, survive and become lethal. Additionally, basic cancer research may pave the way for significant advancements in translational and clinical research.

At Umeå University we have a long tradition of engaging in high quality basic cancer research and building on our extensive expertise in molecular genetics, microbiology, stem cell biology, immunology and signaling transduction and drug discovery, many research groups cooperate and complement each other. For instance: we study the gene mutation profiles and signaling cascades in cancer formation and cellular mechanisms in cancer metastasis; we tackle the fundamental and unsolved problems on how bacterial toxins may have effects on tumorigenesis and  if bacterial toxins might be exploited as an alternative cancer therapy; we use innovative tools and models to characterize the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that can distinguish DNA and RNA of normal cells from those in cancer cells; we engage in unique front line studies to understand the molecular mechanism that modulate the interaction between cancer and immune cells during cancer progression; we investigate the molecular action of the drug targets and anticancer drug.

Furthermore, we have built strong research networks and state of the art infrastructures, such as single cell sequencing facilities, artificial intelligence-based computation models, bioinformatic models and protein structure modeling core facilities and advanced imaging core facilities to assist our research and discovery. 

The knowledge that is obtained from our basic research will be used to improve existing treatments and potentially make it possible to develop new treatments that targets these deadly diseases.


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Research groups

Håkan Jonsson lab
Differences in tumour characteristics and treatment between screen detected and clinically detected breast cancer.
Type of project Research group
Anders Bergh lab
Type of project Research group
Magnus Wolf-Watz lab
Structure biological and biochemical links between human protein kinases Aurora and prostate cancer.
Type of project Research group
Robin Fåhraeus lab
Our group studies Whisper mutations.
Type of project Research group
Pernilla Wikström lab
Our research group studies biomarkers for aggressive prostate cancer.
Type of project Research group
Erik Chorell lab
Our approach is chemical biology and the development of new strategies for disrupting and studying complex biological processes to investigate thei...
Type of project Research group
Translational Research Centre
Experimental, laboratory research at the Faculty of Medicine is closely linked in a collaboration that strengthens both medical research and its...
Type of project Forskarnätverk
Henrik Antti Lab
Chemometric bioinformatics for studies of (cancer) diseases.
Type of project Research group
Gerhard Gröbner Lab
Our group uses NMR methods to understand the function of biological membranes and their proteins and their role in various diseases.
Type of project Research group
Marie-Louise Hammarström Lab
Our group studies colorectal cancer and biomarkers for prognosis.
Type of project Research group
Jonas Nilsson lab
The research is focused on elucidating information released in to the circulation and how to decode the information into personalized medicine...
Type of project Research group
Lena Svensson Lab
Our research group is interested in how to understand how integrins are regulated and reused.
Type of project Research group
Niklas Arnberg Lab
The overall purpose of our research is to identify molecules and mechanisms that viruses need to bind to and enter host cells. This is of importanc...
Type of project Forskargrupp
Jenny Persson's Research Group
We study cancer metastasis and targeted therapies.
Type of project Research group
Thomas Grundström lab
Our research group tries to understand the control of mutagenesis and class switch recombination of antibody genes.
Type of project Research group
Francesca Aguilo
RNA-based gene regulation of cell fate and breast cancer.
Type of project Research group
Jan Larsson Lab
The focus of our research group is to understand chromosome-specific gene regulation and chromosome specific adaptations.
Type of project Research group
Yuri Schwartz lab
All cells of our bodies have the same genes. Yet only some of them are used in any given cell type. So-called epigenetic mechanisms ensure that...
Type of project Research group
Silvia Remeseiro lab
Long-range gene regulation and 3D chromatin organization in Glioblastoma.
Type of project Forskargrupp
Daniel Öhlund Lab
Pancreatic cancer research laboratory
Type of project Research group
Nutrient-dependent control of growth in c. elegans
Growth in C. elegans is regulated by a group of eight chemosensory neurons that have endings that are directly exposed to the external environment....
Type of project Research group
Jonas von Hofsten lab
Muscle development and regeneration. During embryonic development, cells become committed to the myogenic fate through the activation of myogenic...
Type of project Research group
Richard Lundmark Lab
The research group studies membrane sculpting machineries.
Type of project Forskargrupp
Sara Wilson lab
The goal of the laboratory is to examine the growth, assembly and connectivity of the nervous system during normal development and in disease...
Type of project Research group
Gene regulatory mechanisms in obesity-associated liver cancer and development
The focus of the research group is on gene regulation and the function of the noncoding genome in metabolic diseases and during embryonic...
Type of project Research group
Sjoerd Wanrooij lab
We study molecular mechanism of DNA repair and replication in human mitochondria.
Type of project Research group
Signaling of mitochondrial DNA instability
Our group is interested in the causes and consequences of mtDNA instability.
Type of project Research group
Nasim Sabouri group
Maintenance of genome integrity by DNA helicases.
Type of project Research group
Erik Johansson lab
We are studying on the molecular level how DNA replication is accomplished in eukaryotic cells.
Type of project Research group
Anders Hofer Lab
We study the biosynthetic pathways of nucleotides in Trypanosoma brucei, Giardia lamblia, Borrelia burgdorferi and other pathogens.
Type of project Research group
Stefan Björklund lab
Our group studies the Mediator complex and its function in transcriptional regulation at the molecular level.
Type of project Research group
Andrei Chabes Lab
Our group studies dNTPs and maintenance of genome stability.
Type of project Research group
Teresa Frisan Lab
We study the role of bacterial genotoxins in modulation of intestinal mucosa homeostasis.
Type of project Research group
Sun Nyunt Wai Lab
Exploring modulation of host cell signaling mediated by secreted bacterial factors.
Type of project Research group
Anna Arnqvist Lab
Our group studies mechanisms for stochastic and tightly controlled regulation of Helicobacter pylori adhesins.
Type of project Research group