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University of Gothenburg
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Group Anders Ståhlberg

Research Summary

Cells have a remarkable ability to respond to internal and external stimuli in a specific manner. Yet, cells are in many aspects unique in their characteristics also within a seemingly homogenous population. Cells of the same type show highly variable responses to identical stimuli in tissues and organs. The limited understanding of tumor heterogeneity and its importance in disease is caused by the lack of analytical techniques to study individual cells in detail. Furthermore, responses from anticancer drugs are evaluated at cell population level, but would benefit from detailed studies at the single cell level to show their effects on different subpopulations of tumor cells. Recent development of single-cell techniques opens up new avenues to investigate tumor heterogeneity and the dynamic transition between cell states. Our research is focused on human sarcomas caused by specific fusion oncogenes (Myxoid/Round cell liposarcoma and Ewing sarcoma) and breast cancer. We are particular interested in understanding cell fate mechanisms between cancer stem cells, expansion phase cells and senescent cells. In collaboration, we are also studying other tumor entities and stem cells at the single-cell level. In the short-term perspective we expect that our research will reveal fundamental information about tumor origin, tumor cell diversity and deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms in sarcoma and breast cancer development. Ultimately, this will contribute to the development of novel treatment paradigms and a more precise diagnosis and prognosis of cancer patients. Specific projects include:

  • To define tumor cell hierarchy and to determine key cell fate decisions
  • Functional single-cell analysis
  • To define biological processes behind tumor drug resistance
  • Development of multi-analyte analysis in the same single-cell
  • Development of tumor bioreactors for next generation drug test systems, including 3D printing.
  • Development and evaluation of non-invasive methods in cancer diagnostics, including ultrasensitive mutation detection using cell-free tumor DNA

Research Tools and Resources

We use several single-cell techniques to study tumor biology, including qPCR, PLA and NGS. In addition to clinical samples, we also use stem cells, tumor cell lines, reporter cell lines, primary cells and mouse xenografts as model systems.

Current Group Members

Anders Ståhlberg, PhD, Associate Professor
Thomas Kroneis, Assistant Professor
Daniel Andersson, Postdoc
Soheila Dolatabadi, PhD student
Amin Forootan, PhD student
Emma Jonasson, PhD student
Jennifer Pettersson, PhD student
Stefan Filges, lab assistant
Salim Ghannoum, lab assistant
Joakim Karlsson, associated PhD student
Emma Persson, associated PhD student
Julie Elling, associated PhD student
Christoffer Vannas, associated PhD student
Cristiana Rimniceanu, associated PhD student

Selected Publications

  1. Ståhlberg A, Krzyzanowski PM, Egyud M, Filges S, Stein L, Godfrey TE. Simple multiplexed PCR-based barcoding of DNA for ultrasensitive mutation detection by next-generation sequencing. Nature Protocols, 2017, 12:664-82.
  2. Dolatabadi S, Candia J, Akrap N, Vannas C, Tesan Tomic T, Losert W, Landberg G, Åman P, Ståhlberg A. Cell cycle and cell size dependent gene expression reveals distinct subpopulations at single-cell level. Frontiers Genetics, 2017, 8:1.
  3. Ståhlberg A, Krzyzanowski PM, Jackson JB, Egyud M, Stein L, Godfrey TE. Simple, multiplexed, PCR-based barcoding of DNA enables sensitive mutation detection in liquid biopsies using sequencing. Nucleic Acids Research, 2016, 44:e105
  4. Åman P, Dolatabadi S, Svec D, Jonasson E, Safavi S, Andersson D, Grundevik P, Thomsen C, Ståhlberg A. Regulatory mechanisms, expression levels and proliferation effects of the FUS-DDIT3 fusion oncogene in liposarcoma. Journal of Pathology, 2016, 238:689-99.
  5. Akrap N, Andersson D, Bom E, Gregersson P, Ståhlberg A*, Landberg G*. Identification of distinct breast cancer stem cell populations based on single-cell analyses of functionally enriched stem and progenitor pools. Stem Cell Report, 2016, 6:121-36. * Joint principal investigator
  6. Safavi S, Järnum S, Vannas C, Udhane S, Jonasson E, Tomic TT, Grundevik P, Fagman H, Hansson M, Kalender Z, Jauhiainen A, Dolatabadi S, Wessel Stratford E, Myklebost O, Eriksson M, Stenman G, Schneider Stock R, Ståhlberg A, Åman P. HSP90 inhibition blocks ERBB3 and RET phosphorylation in myxoid/round cell liposarcoma and causes massive cell death in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget, 2016, 7:433-45.
     

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Page Manager: Ulrika Lantz Carlsson|Last update: 3/7/2017
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