Institute for Experimental Medical Research (IEMR)

Welcome to the web pages of the Institute for Experimental Medical Research (IEMR), Oslo University Hospital - Ullevål. IEMR is a biomedical research institute dedicated to translational research with emphasis on the cardiovascular system, skeletal muscle function and pre-hospital acute medicine.

IEMR is taking an active part in postgraduate medical education and helps to maintain the vigour of biomedical science on the national as well as an international level. Flexibility is a key factor. Collaboration with other research groups within and outside the country is actively pursued.

The research carried out at IEMR is organized in 5 research groups. Click on Research Groups in the left hand column to get to the information on the research group activities.

Contact us

The IEMR is located in the top 2 floors of building 7 at the Oslo University Hospital, Ulleval in Oslo, Norway. The IEMR is affiliated with the University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine.

Institute for Experimental Medical Research
Oslo University Hospital - Ulleval
N-0407 Oslo

Phone: +47 23 01 68 00

Fax: +47 23 01 67 99


The Institute for Experimental Medical Research at Oslo University Hospital - Ullevål was formed in 1951 at the initiative of professor Carl B. Semb of the Surgical Department and made possible by a generous donation from shipowner Anders Jahre. The Institute is governed by its own Board and is affiliated the University of Oslo.

The Institute for Experimental Medical Research sees as its main task to conduct research into medical and biological phenomena of significance for human health. The Institute provides high quality training in medical and biological research on predoctoral as well as postdoctoral levels. The Institute plays an active role in university education of medical students and science students.

The staff counts (LEGGE INN AUTOFUNKSJON) senior scientists, (LEGGE INN FELT HER FOR ANTALL REGISTRERTE PHD STUDENTER) PhD students and postdocs, technical staff of (LEGGE INN AUTOFUNKSJON) as well as (LEGGE IN`N AUTOFUNKJSON) administrative personell.

Brief history

The IEMR was established in 1951 at the initiative of Carl B. Semb, Professor of Surgery, and made possible through a grant from shipowner Anders Jahre. Their idea was to create an environment that promoted research in collaboration with the clinical departments at Oslo University Hospital - Ullevål. The links to the hospital's Department of Surgery have always been close.

Professor Fredrik Kiil served as Head of Institute from 1961 to 1991. He developed the first extensively used artificial kidney and established renal physiology as the major research area at the Institute. Through several years professor Morten Harboe built up a strong group in immunology and leprosy research. This field was abandoned when Harboe moved his group to the National Hospital in 1983. Kiil also initiated research in cardiac and vascular physiology, and professor Arnfinn Ilebekk has headed this research for many years. Morten G. Ræder joined the IEMR in 1982 following his appointment as Professor of Surgical Pathophysiology. He has since supervised his own group investigating mechanisms biliary and pancreatic secretion. Professor Ræder retired at the age of 70 in January 2009. Professor of Anesthesia, Petter A. Steen, has supervised research activity relating to heart and lung resuscitation since 1982.

Ole M. Sejersted was appointed Professor and Head of Institute in 1991. Since then, renal physiology ceased to be an area of investigation, and the focus shifted to cardiovascular research in addition to continued activity in biliary and pancreatic research. Cellular and molecular biological techniques have been introduced. Geir Christensen MD, Ph.D. was appointed Director of Research in 1998 and professor in 2003.

The Institute now has four research groups headed by Christensen, Sejersted, Ilebekk and Steen. Other investigators from the hospital also use facilities at the Institute for their research. Thus, professor Jarle Vaage at Ullevål has had a laboratory at the Institute at his disposal for some years

Kunnskap i vekst

Her kan du laste ned "Kunnskap i vekst", en bok skrevet av ..... Boken ble gitt ut i anledning.........


Laboratories. Electronical & mechanical workshops


The Institute is organized in two wings. The following laboratories and their special equipment are listed below:

East wing:

404: Ultra freezers' room
413: Laboratory for regenerative neurobiology (A. Sandvig, MD,Ph.D.) Research group (prof. D. Atar)
414: Laboratory for endogenous cell protection (prof. J. Vaage).
418: Chemicals room
420: Biochemistry laboratory
423: Service room
424: Laboratory for Western blots
425: General molecular laboratory
West wing:

433: Patch clamp laboratory I
434: Cell isolation laboratory
435: Service room - cell isolation laboratory
437: Patch clamp laboratory II
449: Instruments room
450: General molecular laboratory
451: Instrument room - molecular laboratory
456: RNA laboaratory and isotope laboratory
457: Instrument room
459: Refrigderated room for high speed ultracentrifuges
Electronical & mechanical workshops

Main electronical workshop
Adjunct electronical workshop
Mechanical workshop

Array data repository


2003 Florholmen LIF
2006 Andersson KB, Florholmen G, Winer LH, Tonnessen T, Christensen G.
Regulation of neuronal type genes in congestive heart failure rats.Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2006 Jan;186(1):17-27. .GEO database GSE1957.
2007 Nakken KE: abcb4 (-/-) vs. abcb4 (+/+) mice.

Signal transduction and protein-protein interactions


The laboratory is interested in understanding the signaling pathways that are involved in development of myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure.

More specifically, the laboratory is interested in characterizing signal transduction and protein-protein interactions associated to various membrane proteins and ion channels. Proteins of interest are synthesized as overlapping peptides on large peptide arrays and screen for intercations with putative protein partners. The biological function of the particular interactions is elucidated by use of specific cell-permeable peptides (CPP-technology).

By using this approach, the laboratory recently showed that the transmembrane protein, syndecan-4, interacts with the phosphatase, calcineurin, and activates the hypertrophic calcineruin-NFAT signaling pathway. pS179-syndecan-4 was identified to be a molecular switch negatively regulating the calcineurin interaction and NFAT activation.

Oslo Preclinical MR Core Facility


The state-of-the art Agilent 9.4 T MR scanner in our institute is dedicated to animal research. It offers unique non-invasive imaging capabilites, including superior spatial and temporal resolution imaging which is not achievable with existing other instruments. The instrument is also ideal for acquring high resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). MRS offers a non invasive window on cellular metabolism in vivo.

Our MRI unit includes a well equipped surgery room used for preparing the animals for MR exams and a wide assortment of equipments, i.e. anesthesia machines, MR compatible vital signs monitors, MRI compatible infusion/withdrawal syringe pump. The scanner is located within the animal care facility at OUS-Ullevål.

Researchers both within and outside Regional Health Authority South-East can have access to the scanner. Scientific and technical personnel are available to help in developing MR sequences and scanning procedures as well as to aid imaging processing and to teach investigators and fellows.

Our primary interest is cardiovascular imaging of mice and rats. However, we are also performing experiments in other organ systems.

Mathematical modelling at IEMR

Ca wave

The last decades' growth in the amount of experimental data has left us with at least as many new questions as answers and thus triggered an increased interest in mathematical and computational models. Models can help us to identify causal links between, and evaluate the roles of, actors in a system and contribute in hypothesis testing as well as in hypothesis generation.

At IEMR, mathematical modelling is primarily used to study phenomena at the cell level that may cause arrythmia at the organ level. For example we study why and how so-called calcium waves are initiated and propagated across the cell and how disorganisation of the so-called t-tubular network of the heart cell produces a dyssynchronous action potential across the cell. Translation of the physical and physiological properties of the cell and the dynamics of actors such as ion species and membrane channels to a mathematical language and later computer implementation enable the dissemination of the roles these actors have in the physical processes under study, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. As an example we use modelling to understand experimental results on the relation between calcium wave velocity and SERCA, the calcium pump in the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane.

Gene expression analysis


RT-qPCR (Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction) is the most common approach for quantitation of RNA levels, and this method is widely used in our laboratory.

The method is based on a combination of three steps: 1) The reverse transcription of RNA into complemantary DNA (cDNA), 2) amplification of cDNA of interest using PCR and 3) detection and quantitation of amplified PCR product at each PCR cycle using fluorescent reporter molecules.

We have used RT-qPCR to examine the expression pattern of selected genes in the Serca2 knockout (KO) mice. The figure shows an amplification plot for Serca2 of samples from the control group and the KO group 6 days after disruption of the serca2 gene. The control group, with relative higher expression of the Serca2 gene, creates a detectable PCR-product at an earlier time point (lower cycle number) than the KO group, confirming the downregulation of serca2 in the KO group.

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