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Predicting the behavior of leukemic cells


Jessica Nordlund

Jessica Nordlund just met with her fellow committee members to decide which well renowned researchers should be invited to Uppsala this spring.

Jessica Nordlund spends most of her working hours in front of her computer, analyzing genomics data. The research project that she is part of is focused on genetics and epigenetics of pediatric leukemia. One of the main objectives is to investigate genome-wide changes in the epigenetic landscape of leukemic cells.

Epigenetic profiling, which includes the study of both DNA methylation and histone modifications, can provide new insight into cellular behavior. The goal is to identify epigenetic patterns that are associated with treatment response.

– We have identified epigenetic signatures that separate patient groups depending on different disease outcome. Understanding the biology behind these patterns will help to increase our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms leading to the development and progression of leukemia. This could, in turn, contribute to more individualized and successful treatment options for patients, said Jessica Nordlund.

The research group is based at the Uppsala University Hospital, but will move to BMC at the beginning of next year, in order to be spatially closer to other research groups in the SciLifeLab community.

– The connection to SciLifeLab is going to be more apparent when we move to BMC. I am looking forward to that. It will be a great opportunity to collaborate with other groups at SciLifeLab.

Jessica Nordlund is a member of the SciLifeLab The Svedberg Seminar Series committee. The seminar series hosts research seminars given by internationally leading scientists on Monday afternoons.

As a part of the committee, Jessica Nordlund obtains suggestions for speakers from researchers at her department and brings them to the committee meetings. Together, the committee discusses how to make the best schedule for the coming semester. The committee just met in October to plan the spring seminars.

– We aim to invite high quality speakers that cover a diverse range of topics. The committee members and other researchers can host speakers, accompany them when they arrive, and set up meetings with people who are interested in meeting them during the day.

If Jessica Nordlund spends a lot of her time at work sitting down she spends as much of her spare time on the move. A hobby that she picked up while doing her Ph.D. in Uppsala is running. She enjoys combining a vacation abroad with running a half marathon.

– I ran in Tromsø two years ago and I am planning to run another race abroad this spring, but haven’t decided where yet. There is no better way to see a city than by running.

Short facts:

Name: Jessica Nordlund

Profession: Researcher at the Department of Medical Sciences; Molecular Medicine.

Connection to SciLifeLab: Member of Ann-Christine Syvänen’s research group (Ann-Christine Syvänen is an associated member of SciLifeLab and Director of the SNP&SEQ facilities). Member of the SciLifeLab The Svedberg Seminar Series committee.

Leisure activities/hobbies: Running, reading books, traveling, and visiting her family in Northern California. She enjoys iceskating during the winter months.

What you didn’t know about Jessica Nordlund: Because of her Swedish sounding name many are surprised to know that Jessica Nordlund is American. She was born in San Francisco and has been living in Sweden for almost eight years.

Research group

Published October 2013
Sara Engström