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Staff photo Teresa Frisan

Teresa Frisan

Teresa Frisan, PhD, is Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology at Umeå University, actively involved in research and in teaching within the frame of undergraduate programs.



Works at

Professor at Department of Molecular Biology Units: Group Teresa Frisan
6K och 6L, Sjukhusområdet Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

Chasing unusual bacterial toxins

Toxins are powerful bacterial effectors. They can target all the key functions within eukaryotic cells, but until recently the cellular DNA was spared from the bacterial attack. This view has changed with the discovery of bacterial genotoxins: effectors that cause DNA damage.

My research group has contributed to characterize the effects of these toxins on mammalian cells. Intoxicated cells stop dividing and eventually die, if the DNA is not properly repaired. Occasionally, intoxicated cells survive and acquire carcinogenic features, highlighting the toxins' tumorigenic potential.

The main interest is to understand why bacteria have acquired these unusual effectors, which do not cause an immediate cell death. Why intestinal commensal bacteria also produce these toxins? Do colonization with genotoxin-producing bacteria affect differently healthy individuals and patients susceptible to intestinal pathologies?

Our research merges the fields of infection and cancer biology, and it can help to identify potentially carcinogenic bacteria and develop personalized therapeutic interventions for disease prevention.

Publication list on Google scholar


Short biography
Teresa Frisan obtained the bachelor degree in Biology in 1991 in Italy. In 1993, she joined the group of Prof. Maria Masucci at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden, and received the PhD degree in Cell and Tumor Biology in 1999. After a post-doctoral period at KI and Laval University, Quebec, T. Frisan started her own research group at KI and became docent in Infection Biology in 2007. In 2017, she was appointed Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University.

Beside science, she is passionately engaged in undergraduate and doctoral education, for which she was granted several pedagogic prizes.

Cell Death Discovery, Springer Nature 2021, Vol. 7, (1)
Chen, Xi; Saccon, Elisa; Appelberg, K. Sofia; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, John Wiley & Sons 2021, Vol. 23, (2)
Frisan, Teresa
Cancer Genomics & Proteomics, Vol. 18, (3) : 425-439
Lagopati, Nefeli; Kotsinas, Athanassios; Veroutis, Dimitris; et al.
Toxins, MDPI 2021, Vol. 13, (6)
Lopez Chiloeches, Maria; Bergonzini, Anna; Frisan, Teresa
Cell reports, Cell Press 2021, Vol. 35, (1)
Martin, Océane C.B.; Bergonzini, Anna; Lopez Chiloeches, Maria; et al.
Cell reports, Elsevier 2021, Vol. 35, (10)
Mathiasen, Sarah L.; Gall-Mas, Laura; Pateras, Ioannis S.; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, John Wiley & Sons 2021, Vol. 23, (11)
Robb Huhn, G.; Torres-Mangual, Naly; Clore, John; et al.
iScience, Elsevier 2021, Vol. 24, (5)
Saccon, Elisa; Chen, Xi; Mikaeloff, Flora; et al.
Cells, MDPI 2020, Vol. 9, (7)
Humphreys, Daniel; ElGhazaly, Mohamed; Frisan, Teresa
Toxins, MDPI 2020, Vol. 12, (2)
Martin, Oceane C. B.; Frisan, Teresa
International Journal of Cancer, John Wiley & Sons 2019, Vol. 144, (1) : 98-109
Frisan, Teresa; Nagy, Noemi; Chioureas, Dimitrios; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, John Wiley & Sons 2019, Vol. 21, (12)
Martin, Oceane C. B.; Bergonzini, Anna; D'Amico, Federica; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2019, Vol. 14, (3)
Pons, Benoît J; Bezine, Elisabeth; Hanique, Mélissa; et al.
Cell Death and Disease, Nature Publishing Group 2017, Vol. 8, (8)
Seiwert, Nina; Neitzel, Carina; Stroh, Svenja; et al.
PLoS Pathogens, Public Library Science 2016, Vol. 12, (4)
Del Bel Belluz, Lisa; Guidi, Riccardo; Pateras, Ioannis S; et al.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Elsevier 2016, Vol. 1858, (3) : 567-575
Frisan, Teresa
Pathogens and Disease, Oxford University Press 2016, Vol. 74, (3)
Frisan, Teresa; Sebo, Peter
Microbial cell (Graz, Austria), Shared Science Publishers 2016, Vol. 3, (8) : 355-357
Guidi, R; Belluz, L Del Bell; Frisan, Teresa
Biomolecules, MDPI 2015, Vol. 5, (3) : 1762-1782
Grasso, Francesca; Frisan, Teresa
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2015, Vol. 10, (4)
Levi, Laura; Toyooka, Tatsushi; Patarroyo, Manuel; et al.
DNA Repair, Elsevier 2014, Vol. 18 : 31-43
Fahrer, Jörg; Huelsenbeck, Johannes; Jaurich, Henriette; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, John Wiley & Sons 2013, Vol. 15, (1) : 98-113
Guidi, Riccardo; Guerra, Lina; Levi, Laura; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, Wiley-Blackwell 2013, Vol. 15, (12) : 2034-2050
Guidi, Riccardo; Levi, Laura; Rouf, Syed Fazle; et al.
The FASEB Journal, The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2012, Vol. 26, (12) : 5060-5070
Frisan, Teresa; Coppotelli, Giuseppe; Dryselius, Rikard; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2011, Vol. 6, (2)
Cortes-Bratti, Ximena; Bassères, Eugénie; Herrera-Rodriguez, Fabiola; et al.
Toxins, MDPI 2011, Vol. 3, (3) : 172-190
Guerra, Lina; Cortes-Bratti, Ximena; Guidi, Riccardo; et al.
The FEBS Journal, John Wiley & Sons 2011, Vol. 278, (23) : 4577-4588
Guerra, Lina; Guidi, Riccardo; Frisan, Teresa
Journal of Cell Science, The Company of Biologists 2011, Vol. 124, (16) : 2735-2742
Guerra, Lina; Guidi, Riccardo; Slot, Ilse; et al.
Cellular Microbiology, Wiley-Blackwell 2010, Vol. 12, (11) : 1622-1633
Bassères, Eugénie; Coppotelli, Giuseppe; Pfirrmann, Thorsten; et al.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (Print), John Wiley & Sons 2010, Vol. 14, (1-2) : 357-367
Blazkova, Hana; Krejcikova, Katerina; Moudry, Pavel; et al.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, Taylor & Francis 2010, Vol. 45, (7-8) : 893-897
Brauner, Annelie; Brandt, Lena; Frisan, Teresa; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public Library Science 2010, Vol. 5, (1)
Guerra, Lina; Albihn, Ami; Tronnersjö, Susanna; et al.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (Print), John Wiley & Sons 2009, Vol. 13, (8b) : 1666-1678
Rolén, Ulrika; Freda, Elio; Xie, Jianjun; et al.

Research groups

Head of research
Teresa Frisan Lab