MRC Centre for Inflammation Research
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Dr Carsten Gram Hansen

Carsten Gram Hansen studies the cellular functions regulated by and of the Hippo Pathway

Dr Carsten Gram Hansen

Chancellor's Fellow

  • MRC Centre for Inflammation Research
  • Research Theme: Tissue Remodelling and Regeneration

Contact details

Group Members

  • Valentina Rausch - PhD student (email)

Background

Cellular proliferation and differentiation needs to be tightly regulated to maintain tissue mass and homeostasis and if this regulation is lost cellular overgrowth and cancer occurs. In addition, this regulation also needs to be dynamically regulated throughout development and in regenerative processes. In recent years the Hippo pathway has been elucidated as a potent regulator in these processes, where it functions as a nexus and signal integrator of diverse cellular signals. The core components of the Hippo pathway comprise a regulatory serine–threonine kinase module and a transcriptional module. Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) are the major downstream effectors in this transcriptional module where they predominantly bind to and regulate the activity of the TEAD family of transcription factors. YAP/TAZ therefore coordinates regulation of stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and correct regulations of YAP/TAZ is therefore essential to maintain tissue mass and homeostasis.

Research Overview

Recently, the understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of the Hippo pathway has become a major focus, especially in cancer biology and regenerative medicine. Understanding the chief biological output of the Hippo pathway centers on Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with a PDZ-binding domain (TAZ), which are the prime mediators of the Hippo pathway. When they are active they shuttle to the nucleus and bind to and activate their cognate transcription factors. A wealth of cellular regulators have been identified, but how the dynamic subcellular regulation of the core players takes plays is not well understood. In addition we will seek to understand the biological role of the Hippo pathway in biological processes important for human health with a focus on regeneration, inflammation and cancer.

We utilize live cell and in vivo imaging in both mammalian cell culture and the Zebrafish in combination with genome editing, biochemistry and gene expression analyses to address these questions.

Biographical Profile

RESEARCH

  • 2015 to present       Chancellor’s Fellow; CIR, University of Edinburgh                               
  • 2012-2015                  Post Doc in Kun-Liang Guan's lab; Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, UCSD
  • 2010-2012                  Post Doc in Ben Nichols’ lab; MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

EDUCATION

  • 2006-2010                  PhD in Molecular Biology; Ben Nichols’ lab, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2000-2006                  MSc in Molecular Biology; Aarhus University, Denmark

Honours and Awards

Selected

  • 2015                           Chancellor’s Fellowship, University of Edinburgh
  • 2012-2014                FNU, two-years Post Doc fellowship from the Danish Science Ministry
  • 2012                           EMBO Long Term Fellowship (awarded, but declined)
  • 2012                           Carlsberg Fellowship (awarded, but declined)
  • 2010-2012                Lundbeck Foundation, Post Doc Fellowship

Sources of Funding

Information on funding at Carsten Gram Hansen's Research Explorer profile.