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Staff photo Jenny Persson

Jenny Persson

Our study is focused on studying cancer metastasis and developing targeted drugs. 



Works at

Professor at Department of Molecular Biology Units: Group Jenny Persson Role: Deputy head of department
6K och 6L, Sjukhusområdet Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

The long-term goal of our research is to study the role of multiple cellular pathways in cancer cells and their microenvironment during progression to metastasis and treatment resistance. We also aim at developing small molecule inhibitors for targeted therapy and personalized medicine for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon, lung and pancreatic cancers that share common K-RAS mutations.

Our research expertise spans in molecular genetics, stem cell biology, immunology, signaling transduction and cancer biology. We developed novel drug candidates to target cancer-initiating cells. I was previously professor and Head of Section of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Translational Medicine, Lund University; Malmö. Department of Translational Medicine, Lund Universit. Honorary Professor of Experimental Cancer Research, Faculty of Medicine, Veterinary School, University of Nottingham, UK. We play a leading role in cancer research at international forefront. We have established extensive networks and interdisciplinary research collaborations with national and international clinical and preclinical experts and industries. We have two large EU framework project grants EU –GlycoImaging 721297, EU-REVERT no848098-H2020-SC1-2, and the Swedish National Research Council, the Swedish Cancer Foundation and the Swedish Children Cancer Foundation. I am a board member of Research Grant Review committee in the Swedish Cancer Foundation. I serve as board member of University Council for Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University.

Most of our publications can be found in journals: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Cancer Research, Blood, Oncogene, Journal of National Cancer Institute, Leukemia, International Journal of Cancer, Journal of Molecular Biology, Oncotarget, PLos One, International Journal of Cancer, Current Targeted Cancer Therapy, and Current Medicinal Chemistry.

  1. Larsson P, Syed Khaja AS, Semenas J, Wang T, Sarwar M, Dizeyi N, Simoulis A, Hedblom A, Wai SN, Ødum N, Persson JL. The functional interlink between AR and MMP9/VEGF signaling axis is mediated through PIP5K1α/pAKT in prostate cancerInt J Cancer. 2020, 146:1686-1699. IF= 7.36 (AR and MMP9/VEGF acts through Lipid kinase PIP5K1α and PI3K/AKT to promote prostate cancer metastasis).

  2. Hedblom A, Hejazi SM, Canesin G, Choudhury R, Hanafy KA, Csizmadia E, Persson JL, Wegiel B. Heme detoxification by heme oxygenase-1 reinstates proliferative and immune balances upon genotoxic tissue injuryCell Death Dis. 2019, 10(2):72. IF=6.1. (Immune system are maintained by the ability of myeloid progenitors to differentiate and mature into macrophages. This is mediated partially through a PI3K-Akt-dependent mechanism).

  3. Sarwar M, Syed Khaja AS, Aleskandarany M, Karlsson R, Althobiti M, Ødum N, Mongan NP, Deizy N, Johnson H, Green A, Ellis I, Rakha E, Persson JLThe role of PIP5K1a/pAKT and targeted inhibition of growth of subtypes of breast cancer using PIP5K1α inhibitorOncogene 2018, 38:375-389. IF= 7.5 (Lipid kinase PIP5K1α acts on PI3K/AKT and serves as co-factor of ER-alpha. PIP5K1α inhibitor has a great potential to inhibit metastatic growth of subtypes of breast cancer).

  4. Mandel A, Larsson P, Sarwar M, Semenas J, Syed Khaja AS and Persson JLThe interplay between AR, EGF receptor and MMP9 signaling pathways in invasive prostate cancerMolecular Medicine 2018, 24:34, IF= 4.8 (Elevated expression of AR, EGFR and MMP9 can be inhibited by blocking lipid kinase PIP5K1α that acts on the upstream of PI3K/AKT pathways).

  5. Miftakhova R, Hedblom A, Semenas J, Robinson B, Simoulis A, Malm J, Rizvanov A, Heery D, Mongan NP, Maitland NJ, Allegrucci C, Persson JLCyclin A1 and P450 aromatase promote homing and growth of stem-like prostate cancer cells to bone marrowCancer Research 2016 76:2453-2464. IF= 9.12 (Local production of steroids and MMPs in the bone marrow may provide a microenvironment for metastatic cancer growths, offering new approaches to therapeutically target bone metastases).

  6. Sarwar M, Semenas J, Miftakhova R, Simoulis A, Robinson B, Mongan NP, Heery D, Johnsson H, Abrahamsson PA, Dizeyi N, Luo J, Persson JLTargeted suppression of AR-V7 using PIP5K1α inhibitor overcomes enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer cellsOncotarget 2016, 7:63065-63081. IF= 5.16 (PIP5K1α inhibitor disrupts protein stabilization of AR-V7 which is dependent on PIP5K1α, leading to suppression of invasive growth of AR-V7-high tumors in xenograft mice).

  7. Miftakhova R, Hedblom A, Batkiewicz L, Anagnosaki L, Zhang Y, Sjölander A, Wingren AG, Wolgemuth DJ, Persson JLCyclin A1 regulates the interactions between mouse hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and their nichesCell Cycle 2015, 14:1948-60. IF=4.5 (The endosteal and central BM niche zones to attract and home the wild-type HSPC are attributed to the increased density of microvessels in the endosteal and central BM niche zones).

  8. Semenas J, Hedblom A, Miftakhova RR, Sarwar M, Larsson R, Shcherbina L, Johansson ME, Härkönen P, Sterner O, Persson JLThe role of PI3K/AKT-related PIP5K1α and the discovery of its selective inhibitor for treatment of advanced prostate cancerProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111:E3689-98. IF= 10.4. This paper was highlighted in Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014, 13:723. (We discovered a new chemical compound (ISA-2011B), an inhibitor of PI-4-phosphate 5 kinase α (PIP5K1α), is a promising agent targeting the PI3K/AKT pathway in advanced prostate cancer.)

  9. Sajid A, Dizeyi N, Kopparapu PK, Anagnostaki L, Härkönen P, Persson JLCyclin A1 modulates the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and promotes hormone-dependent growth and angiogenesis of breast cancerPLOS ONE 2013; 8(8): e72210. IF= 3.2. (The multiple cellular pathways, including cell cycle regulators, angiogenesis and estrogen receptor signalling, may cooperatively contribute to breast cancer progression).

  10. Wegiel B, Bjartell A, Tumolea J, Dizeyi N, Tinzl M, Helczynski L, Nilsson E, Otterbein L E, Harkonen P, Persson JLMultiple cellular mechanisms related to cyclin A1 in prostate cancer invasion and metastasisJournal of National Cancer Institute 2008; 100:1022-1036. IF=14.93 (Cyclin A1 contributes to prostate cancer invasion by modulating the expression of MMPs and VEGF and by interacting with AR).
Cancers, MDPI 2022, Vol. 14, (8)
Johnson, Heather; El-Schich, Zahra; Amjad, Ali; et al.
Veterinary medicine and science, John Wiley & Sons 2022, Vol. 8, (1) : 110-120
Ryman-Tubb, Toby; Lothion-Roy, Jennifer H.; Metzler, Veronika M.; et al.
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Frontiers Media S.A. 2022, Vol. 10
Wang, Tianyan; Sarwar, Martuza; Whitchurch, Jonathan B.; et al.
Applied Sciences, MDPI 2021, Vol. 11, (7)
El-Schich, Zahra; Zhang, Yuecheng; Göransson, Tommy; et al.
Molecular Oncology
Flodbring Larsson, Per; Karlsson, Richard; Sarwar, Martuza; et al.
Clinical and translational medicine, John Wiley & Sons 2021, Vol. 11, (3)
Guo, Jinan; Johnson, Heather; Zhang, Xuhui; et al.
Frontiers in Medicine, Frontiers Media S.A. 2021, Vol. 8
Guo, Jinan; Zhang, Xuhui; Xia, Taolin; et al.
Molecular Oncology, John Wiley & Sons 2021, Vol. 15, (4) : 968-986
Semenas, Julius; Wang, Tianyan; Khaja, Azharuddin Sajid Syed; et al.
Cancers, Vol. 13, (2)
Vadivel, Chella Krishna; Gluud, Maria; Torres-Rusillo, Sara; et al.
Cancers, MDPI 2020, Vol. 12, (5)
Gluud, Maria; Willerslev-Olsen, Andreas; Gjerdrum, Lise Mette Rahbek; et al.
Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group 2020, Vol. 10, (1)
Gomzikova, M. O.; Aimaletdinov, A. M.; Bondar, O. V.; et al.
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Swiss: Frontiers Media S.A. 2020, Vol. 8
Guo, Jinan; Liu, Dale; Zhang, Xuhui; et al.
BMC Medicine, BioMed Central 2020, Vol. 18
Johnson, Heather; Guo, Jinan; Xuhui, Zhang; et al.
Cancers, MDPI 2020, Vol. 12, (9)
Karlsson, Richard; Larsson, Per; Miftakhova, Regina R.; et al.
International Journal of Cancer, John Wiley & Sons 2020, Vol. 146, (6) : 1686-1699
Larsson, Per; Khaja, Azharuddin Sajid Syed; Semenas, Julius; et al.
Oncoimmunology, Taylor & Francis 2019, Vol. 8, (11)
Blumel, Edda; Willerslev-Olsen, Andreas; Gluud, Maria; et al.
Cell Death and Disease, Nature Publishing Group 2019, Vol. 10
Hedblom, Andreas; Hejazi, Seyed M.; Canesin, Giacomo; et al.
Cancers, MDPI 2019, Vol. 11, (12)
Muthu, Magesh; Kumar, Ranjeet; Khaja, Azharuddin Sajid Syed; et al.
Oncogene, Nature Publishing Group 2019, Vol. 38, (3) : 375-389
Sarwar, Martuza; Khaja, Azharuddin Sajid Syed; Aleskandarany, Mohammed; et al.
Blood Advances, American Society of Hematology 2018, Vol. 2, (16) : 2115-2126
Buus, Terkild Brink; Willerslev-Olsen, Andreas; Fredholm, Simon; et al.
Communications Biology, Springer Nature Publishing AG 2018, Vol. 1
Dongre, Mitesh; Singh, Bhupender; Aung, Kyaw Min; et al.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Elsevier 2018, Vol. 138, (8) : 1805-1815
Fredholm, Simon; Willerslev-Olsen, Andreas; Met, Özcan; et al.
Anticancer Research, International Institute of Anticancer Research 2018, Vol. 38, (3) : 1471-1477
Guo, Jinan; Yang, Jianggen; Zhang, Xuhui; et al.
Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass. Print), Springer 2018, Vol. 24 : 1-13
Mandel, Anna; Larsson, Per; Sarwar, Martuza; et al.
Clinical Endocrinology, John Wiley & Sons 2017, Vol. 87, (5) : 557-565
Atiomo, William; Shafiee, Mohamad Nasir; Chapman, Caroline; et al.
OncoTarget, IMPACT JOURNALS LLC 2017, Vol. 8, (41) : 70496-70507
Gomzikova, Marina O.; Zhuravleva, Margarita N.; Miftakhova, Regina R.; et al.
Placenta, W B SAUNDERS CO LTD 2017, Vol. 56 : 79-85
Metzler, Veronika M.; de Brot, Simone; Robinson, Robert S.; et al.
Molecular Cancer, Vol. 16
Shah, Mansi; Cardenas, Ryan; Wang, Belinda; et al.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Elsevier 2016, Vol. 136, (4) : 866-869
Fredholm, Simon; Litvinov, Ivan V; Mongan, Nigel P; et al.
Tumor Biology, Springer 2016, Vol. 37, (7) : 8909-8916
Hao, Wende; Zhang, Xuhui; Xiu, Bingshui; et al.
OncoTarget, Vol. 7, (29) : 45730-45744
Lindahl, Lise M; Fredholm, Simon; Joseph, Claudine; et al.
Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2016, Vol. 76, (8) : 2453-2464
Miftakhova, Regina R.; Hedblom, Andreas; Semenas, Julius; et al.
OncoTarget, Vol. 7, (39) : 63065-63081
Sarwar, Martuza; Semenas, Julius; Miftakhova, Regina; et al.
Tumor Biology, Springer 2016, Vol. 37, (8) : 10115-10122
Xiao, Kefeng; Guo, Jinan; Zhang, Xuhui; et al.
Endocrine-Related Cancer, Bioscientifica 2015, Vol. 22, (3) : R107-R123
de Brot, Simone; Ntekim, Atara; Cardenas, Ryan; et al.
Cell Cycle, Taylor & Francis Group 2015, Vol. 14, (12) : 1948-1960
Miftakhova, Regina; Hedblom, Andreas; Batkiewicz, Leah; et al.
OncoTarget, Vol. 6, (32) : 33675-33688
Nemeth, Zsuzsanna; Li, Mailin; Csizmadia, Eva; et al.
OncoTarget, Impact Journals LLC 2015, Vol. 6, (34) : 35710-35725
Nilsson, Emeli M.; Laursen, Kristian B.; Whitchurch, Jonathan; et al.
Urologic Oncology, Elsevier 2014, Vol. 32, (1) : 25.e1-25.e12
Sarwar, Martuza; Sandberg, Sabina; Abrahamsson, Per-Anders; et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences 2014, Vol. 111, (35) : E3689-E3698
Semenas, Julius; Hedblom, Andreas; Miftakhova, Regina R.; et al.
Cell Death and Disease, Nature Publishing Group 2014, Vol. 5
Wegiel, B.; Hedblom, Andreas; Li, M.; et al.
Cell Cycle, Taylor & Francis 2013, Vol. 12, (8) : 1251-1266
Hedblom, Andreas; Laursen, Kristian B; Miftakhova, Regina; et al.
Molecular Oncology, Elsevier 2013, Vol. 7, (3) : 555-566
Kashyap, Vasundhra; Ahmad, Shafqat; Nilsson, Emeli M.; et al.
Anticancer Research, Vol. 33, (6) : 2381-2390
Kopparapu, Pradeep Kumar; Boorjian, Stephen A.; Robinson, Brian D.; et al.
Anticancer Research, Vol. 33, (12) : 5235-4252
Kopparapu, Pradeep Kumar; Boorjian, Stephen A.; Robinson, Brian D.; et al.
Anticancer Research, International Institute of Anticancer Research 2013, Vol. 33, (2) : 363-370
Kopparapu, Pradeep Kumar; Tinzl, Martina; Anagnostaki, Lola; et al.

Research groups

Head of research
Jenny Persson Lab

Research projects

1 January 2020 until 31 December 2023
1 April 2018 until 31 March 2021

I am responsible for "Cancer" course moment in Advanced Biomedicine course. 

I am currently responsible for "Tumor Biology" course. 

AI technology - on the rise in medicine

Jenny Persson, Professor, sees great opportunities for AI in the field of medicine.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is expanding into many new areas of education and research.