UiT is the world’s northernmost University with 11,000 students, 670 PhD students and 2,700 employees. The Department of Community medicine is responsible for several cohorts and large bio-banks. The systems epidemiology research group, where Torkjel M Sandanger is the Principal Investigator, has a strong profile within molecular epidemiology, cancer epidemiology and epidemiology. The group consist of experienced epidemiologists, biostatisticians, students and data managers.
The research group focuses on studying molecular alterations in blood prior to cancer diagnosis using different OMIC techniques (eg. epigenetics, transcriptomics and metabolomics) in order to enhance our understanding of immunological changes in blood prior to and in the early stages of cancer. Our studies include traditional and systems epidemiology approaches to identify preventable risk factors of disease. Key aspects are dietary patterns, nutritional status, lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as the mechanism of actions for chronic diseases.
The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study with the 60 000 biobanked blood samples is coordinated through the systems epidemiology research group.