Petersen Laboratory – University of Copenhagen

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Professor Ole William Petersen

Ole William Petersen is currently Professor in Morphogenesis and Tissue Differentiation and Head of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at The Faculty of Health Sciences in Copenhagen.

Awards and Honours

Ole William Petersen has received several awards and prizes including the Danish Cancer Society Research Prize, The Spiess Foundation 25-year anniversary Prize, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Research Prize. He is an associate principle Investigator in the EuroCSC consortium: "Targeting Cancer Stem Cells for Therapy". Ole William Petersen has held several editorial board positions, and is currently on the editorial board for Breast Cancer Research. Ole William Petersen also serves on several advisory boards and committees.

Research Profile

The aim of research in the group is to dissect stem cell hierarchies in the normal human breast and in breast cancer, with a view to finding the cell of origin in different breast cancer subtypes. The Petersen group has made several discoveries in the area of human breast epithelial stem cell biology and tumour microenvironment. The research group has particular expertise in cell culture models and humanized mouse models for breast morphogenesis. The lab has generated antibody libraries suitable for FACS-screening and elucidating breast tumor heterogeneity. A major focus of the research programme is to devise culture conditions for stem cell expansion and single cell cloning, along with multicolor imaging techniques for studying multipotency and lineage evolution. Ole Petersen is the author of 85 peer-reviewed scientific publications, many of which are in high impact journals, and he has an h-index of 43.

Key Recent Discoveries

The identification of a candidate stem cell in the normal human breast: 
Gudjonsson, Thorarinn, René Villadsen, Helga Lind Nielsen, Lone Rønnov-Jessen, Mina J. Bissell & Ole W. Petersen (2002). Isolation, immortalization, and characterization of a human breast epithelial cell line with stem cell properties. Genes & Development, 16(6), 693-706, doi:10.1101/gad.952602.

Villadsen, René, Agla J. Fridriksdottir, Lone Rønnov-Jessen, Thorarinn Gudjonsson, Fritz Rank, Mark A. LaBarge, Mina J. Bissell & Ole W. Petersen (2007). Evidence for a stem cell hierarchy in the adult human breast. Journal of Cell Biology, 177(1), 87-101, doi:10.1083/jcb.200611114. 

The function of stroma induced stem cell related gene EPSTI1 in human breast cancer cells: 
De Neergaard, Michala, Jiyoung Kim, René Villadsen, Agla Jael Rubner Fridriksdottir, Fritz Rank, Vera Timmmermans-Wielenga, Anita Langerød, Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, Ole William Petersen, Lone Rønnov-Jessen (2010). Epithelial-stromal interaction 1 (EPSTI1) substitutes for peritumoral fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment. American Journal of Pathology, 176(3), 1229-1240, doi:10.2353/ajpath.2010.090648.

Possible Conflicts of Interest

Private consultant for Avanti Cell Science, UK