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Mechanism of tissue and tumor fibrosis (MOTIF)

Short-term exchanges

Students from Bergen will visit laboratories in Toronto and San Francisco to learn new approaches and techniques and vice versa.

In Chris McCulloch┬┤s department his group has access to TIRF microscopy for high resolution imaging of labelled cultured cells. The project in Bergen currently develop methods for looking at co-localization of proteins and for this purpose this technique will be very helpful. In the context of cardiac fibrosis, the group in Toronto are now developing techniques to isolate heart cells from gene modified hearts to try and recapitulate the fibrotic pathogenic mechanisms in vitro. Exchange of reagents will be very important for continued success.

Ming Tsao has developed expertise around lung cancer and has access to patient material. In Bergen the Gullberg group has produced 25 different monoclonal antibodies to human integrin ╬▒11. These will be tested for reactivity with paraffin sections from non-small cell lung cancer tumors. This will be done in part using an automated IHC staining systems manufactured by Dako (Carpinteria, CA), relying on robotic components. Students will take part in evaluation of results and optimize protocols.

Valerie Weaver has developed:

  • animal models of pancreatic cancer rich in stroma; breeding of a Bergen mouse strain with a pancreatic cancer model is planned
  • techniques to manipulate tumor microenvironment, in particular stiffness and
  • methods to measure stiffness using atomic force microscopy (AFM).


Students from Bergen will learn how to:

  • prepare polyacrylamide substrates coated with collagen of different stiffness,
  • microscopically analyze cells grown on substrates of different stiffness,
  • take part in analysis of the pancreas cancer model that will be developed on a joint basis.