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Tronstad Lab

Cell metabolism is influenced by many factors in the microenvironment, including nutrients, signaling molecules and oxygen supply. Metabolic adaptation occurs via cellular processes such as signal transduction, gene transcription and enzymatic regulation, and involves tuning of mitochondrial functions. The mitochondrial organelle serves as a major energy producer (ATP), and consititutes a hub for multiple pathways that sense and coordinate cellular responses to maintain homeostasis. Our hypothesis is that changes in cell physiology may be controlled by specific metabolic pathways, and consequently, that pathological shifts may be prevented or modulated by metabolic interventions. Currently, we are investigating these aspects in relation to cancer cell plasticity and therapy resistance; and in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) where we recently found indications of a specific metabolic obstruction that may explain several symptoms of this debilitating disease.

Main projects:
- Mitochondria, metabolic flexibility and stress responses in mammalian cells.
- Metabolic inflexibility as a possible weakness in cancer cells.
- Metabolism and cellular energetics in ME/CFS.

Funding:
The Norwegian Research Council
The Kavli Trust