The cellular macromolecules DNA, RNA and protein are subject to numerous modifications, including methylations and hydroxylations. Such modifications often have regulatory roles, such as the epigenetic modifications of DNA and chromatin proteins. My major research interest is to identify novel human enzymes involved in the introduction and removal of such modifications, and to address the biological significance of the respective modifications. Recently, I have been studying methyltransferases and hydroxylases involved in modifying tRNA and protein, and, also, demethylases responsible for removing deleterious methyl lesions from DNA. These studies typically involve both biochemical characterization of the modification enzymes, as well as analyses of the modifications in a cellular or organismal context.
BIOS4010 (course responsibility)
BIOS5610 (shared course responsibility)
Scientific and educational background
1983 – 88 M. Sc. (Siv.ing.) in physical chemistry from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
1990 – 1995 Ph.D. (Dr. Philos.) in medical biochemistry from UiO (Faculty of Medicine). Title of Ph.D. thesis: “Mutational Analysis of Diphtheria Toxin Entry into Cells”. Supervisor: Sjur Olsnes.
1996 -2000 Postdoc and research scientist, group of Sjur Olsnes, the Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Studies of growth factors and bacterial toxins.
2000 – 2004 Research scientist, group of Erling Seeberg, National Hospital (Rikshospitalet), Oslo, Norway. Studies of the bacterial demethylase AlkB and its human homologues.
2004 – Professor in biochemistry at the Department of (Molecular) Biosciences (IBV).
I have, in recent years, published articles with collaborators from the following institutions outside UiO:
Oslo University Hospital
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Tartu University, Estonia
Lodz Technical University, Poland
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
1997 Knut Sandtrø’s memorial award from the Norwegian Biochemical Society
2002 Price for best scientific article at the National Hospital of Norway
2007 The students' price for best lecturer at IMBV