• E-postNils.Halberg@uib.no
  • Telefon+47 55 58 64 42+47 414 72 368
  • Besøksadresse
    Jonas Lies vei 91
    5009 Bergen
  • Postadresse
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

Dr. Halberg completed his graduate studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2009. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Philipp Scherer at the UT Southwestern Medical Center he studied the functional role of hypoxia and fibrosis in obese white adipose tissue. He did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Sohail Tavazoie at the Rockefeller University studying the mechanisms of metastatic secretory programs in breast cancer. In 2015, he moved the University of Bergen to start his academic laboratory in the Department of Biomedicine. His laboratory seeks to better our understanding of the mechanistic connection between obesity and cancer.

Metastatic colonization, the spread of cancer cells from the primary tumor to secondary organ sites, is the major cause of death in patients with solid tumors. While its impact on human health has been recognized for years, the mechanistic framework that drives the colonization has only recently begun to be understood. Such mechanisms include intrinsic cellular pathways and interactions between cancer cells with neighboring cell types in the tumor microenvironment as immune cells, endothelial cells and fibroblast.

A critical health issue facing our society today is the connection between obesity and cancer. Extensive epidemiological evidence indicates that obesity is a driving factor for cancer development and spread—in particular for breast, endometrial and colon cancer. In spite of this clear connection, no unbiased in-depth mechanistic studies have been undertaken to establish how tumor cells take advantage of the altered energy state present in obese individuals. Without this mechanistic insight we are unable to develop effective therapeutic strategies to tackle this growing clinical problem.

Our laboratory utilizes in vitro and in vivo experimental cancer systems and metabolic analysis combined with contemporary molecular biology and clinical bioinformatics approaches to systemically elucidate the mechanisms by which cancer cells exploit an altered metabolic environment to promote metastatic colonization.

Vitenskapelig artikkel
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2023). The phospholipid transporter PITPNC1 links KRAS to MYC to prevent autophagy in lung and pancreatic cancer. Molecular Cancer. 24 sider.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2023). Limiting mitochondrial plasticity by targeting DRP1 induces metabolic reprogramming and reduces breast cancer brain metastases. Nature Cancer. 893-907.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2022). C/EBPB-dependent adaptation to palmitic acid promotes tumor formation in hormone receptor negative breast cancer. Nature Communications. 1-17.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2021). High-dimensional immunotyping of tumors grown in obese and non-obese mice. Disease Models and Mechanisms. 18 sider.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2020). Golgi-Localized PAQR4 Mediates Antiapoptotic Ceramidase Activity in Breast Cancer. Cancer Research. 2163-2174.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2020). AXL is a driver of stemness in normal mammary gland and breast cancer. iScience. 1-40.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Upregulated PDK4 expression is a sensitive marker of increased fatty acid oxidation. Mitochondrion (Amsterdam. Print). 97-110.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Human endotrophin as a driver of malignant tumor growth. JCI Insight. 1-17.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2016). PITPNC1 recruits RAB1B to the Golgi network to drive malignant secretion. Cancer Cell. 339-353.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2016). Adipose HIF-1α causes obesity by suppressing brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. Journal of Molecular Medicine.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2023). The Effect of Alternate Day Fasting on a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2023). Investigating the effects of one-carbon metabolism pathway on obesity-induced pancreatic cancer.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2022). Deciphering the molecular interactions of HNF4Α in an obese model of pancreatic cancer.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2021). Obesity-Induced Breast Cancer Stemness Through Epigenetic Regulation.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2020). High Dimensional and Spatial Analysis of Solid Tumors.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Making in vivo models viable again: Synthetic lethality between DNA repair factors Xlf and Paxx is rescued by inactivation of Trp53.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). High dimensional analysis of immune infiltrate in cancers associated with obesity.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Development of an in vivo selection-based model system to study PDAC liver colonization in obese and non-obese microenvironments.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Cancer subpopulation dynamics in obese environments.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2017). Malignant Exploitation of the Altered Metabolic Landscape in Obese Hormone Receptor Negative Breast Cancer Patients.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2019). Discovery and Targeting of the Cellular Functions of PAQR4 in Breast Cancer.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2023). Correction: The phospholipid transporter PITPNC1 links KRAS to MYC to prevent autophagy in lung and pancreatic cancer (Molecular Cancer, (2023), 22, 1, (86), 10.1186/s12943-023-01788-w). Molecular Cancer.
Vitenskapelig oversiktsartikkel/review
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2022). Carbon Dot Therapeutic Platforms: Administration, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion, Toxicity, and Therapeutic Potential. Small. 24 sider.
  • Vis forfatter(e) (2021). Cellular mechanisms linking cancers to obesity. Cell stress. 55-72.

Se fullstendig oversikt over publikasjoner i CRIStin.


Our studies on the obeisty-cancer connection has funding from the Bergen Research Foundation.

2006: Msc. University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

2009: PhD. Univeristy of Copenhagen/ UTSouthwestern Medical Centre (Denmark/USA)

2015: Postdoctoral. Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology (New York City, USA)