Institute of Clinical Medicine,
Tentative title: Expanding the repertoire of immunotherapy targets
Johanna Olweus is a physician scientist with a PhD in hematopoietic stem cell biology and over 10 years of experience in cell-based cancer immunotherapy. During her PhD studies (University of Bergen, Norway), she deciphered the earliest stages of lineage commitment from human hematopoietic stem cells by ultrasensitive multiparameter measurements of cytokine receptors using flow cytometry. During these studies and postdoctoral work at Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems in San José, USA, she discovered together with Fridtjof Lund-Johansen a new lineage of dendritic cells defined by high expression of CD123 (IL-3Ralpha), now known as plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Following clinical training to specialize in Immunology and Transfusion Medicine in Oslo, Norway, she built up a research group focused on studies of T cell-based cancer immunotherapy. Her training in transplantation immunology inspired her to work towards the following goal: to utilize the powerful immune responses of graft-versus-tumor-reactivity and graft rejection to reject cancer cells in a specific and controlled manner. Since 2008 she holds the position as Head of the Dept of Cancer Immunology at the Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital and Professor at the University of Oslo. She is also the Director of K.G. Jebsen Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, which started in 2013 and is now in its second term.