Kirsten Sandvig#

Background and education

Born in Lillehammer, June 17th, 1950.
M. Sci. (Biochemistry) from the Technical University of Norway, Trondheim, 1973.
Ph.D. under the Medical Faculty, University of Oslo, December 14th, 1979. Dissertation: "Interactions of the toxic lectins abrin, ricin and modeccin with mammalian cells. Kinetics of binding to surface receptors, internalization and inactivation of ribosomes".


Employed at Dept. Biochem., Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, as research fellow from 1974-1979 and as researcher from 1979.

Group leader at Dept. Biochem., Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital and Centre for Cancer Biomedicine, University of Oslo; group size approx. 15 members.

Professor II in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Institute for Molecular Biosciences (previously Biochemical Institute), at the University of Oslo from January 1st, 1996.

Scientific Activity

Publications resulting from work performed between 1974 and 2009 include about 250 articles, 1 patent, plus abstracts (complete list at Until July 2009 the following number of articles has been published in journals with an impact as J. Biol. Chem. or higher: J. Biol. Chem. (37), J. Cell Biol. (15), J.Cell Sci. (10), Mol. Biol. Cell (9), Traffic (8), EMBO J. (5), Cancer Res. (5), Nature (2), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2), and Nano Letters (1). The list of publications contains review articles in journals such as Phys. Rev., Ann. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol., Curr. Opin. Cell Biol., Trends Cell Biol. (3), Trends Biochem. Sci. og Immunol. Today. The articles are highly cited; my Hirsh factor is 61 (April 1st, 2009).


Coinventor of the world-wide patent “Transfer of molecules into the cytosol of cells”. (PCT/NO95/00149;WO 96/07432), which is the key patent for establishing the company PCI Biotech in Oslo.

Prizes and recognition

  • Anders Jahres Medical Prize for young researchers, 1989 (first woman to receive this prize).
  • The Norwegian Research Councils research prize, 1990.
  • Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, 1993.
  • Stiansens Biomedical Research Prize, 1995.
  • Human Frontier Science Program, 1996-1999.
  • King Olav V´s Cancer Research Prize, 1998.
  • Member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization), 1998.
  • Østfold County Council District Gender Equality Prize, 1998.
  • MH-Group support from the Research Council, 2001-2005.
  • Member of Academia Europea from 2002.
  • Member of a Centre for Excellence ”Centre for Cancer Biomedicine”, 2007.
  • Honorary Doctor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007.

Invitations to international meetings/lectures

Kirsten Sandvig has been invited to give lectures at a large number of courses/meetings, for instance at 8 Gordon conferences, 4 FEBS-meetings, 3 IUBMB-meetings and 2 American Cell Biology meetings. She has also been chair at a number of international meetings. Examples of plenary lectures are given at the end of this CV.

Research visits abroad

The Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 3 months in 1979. Work with complex carbohydrates.

The Biological Laboratories, Harvard, Cambridge, Mass., 2 months in 1980. Employed as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology. Studied diphtheria toxin in collaboration with professor A.M. Pappenheimer, Jr.. Travelling grant from "International Union against Cancer", Geneve, Switzerland.

International and national collaboration

The published work has been carried out in collaboration with researchers in Norway as well as with scientists working in labs abroad. The project has among others involved Prof. Bo van Deurs, Copenhagen (more than 25 years of collaboration); Prof. Juri V. Kozlov, W.A. Engelhardt Institute for Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences of Russia, Moscow; Prof. Gerrit van Meer, Utrecht; Prof. Kentaro Hanada, Tokyo; Dr. Angela Wandinger-Ness, USA; Prof. Teresa Frisan, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Dr. Dominik Schwudke and Prof. A. Schevchenko, Max Planck Institute, Dresden; Prof. Alice Dautry-Varsat, Institute Pasteur, Paris; Dr. Sandy Schmid, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla; Prof. Tom Kirchhausen, Harvard University, Boston.

Norwegian collaborations include Prof. K. Prydz (earlier collaboration and now through GLYCONOR), Prof. Ute Krengel, Prof. S.O. Kolset, Prof. K. Tasken, Prof. K.B. Døving, all at University of Oslo, a FUGE-network: Prof. O. Bakke, Prof. H. Stenmark, and Prof. T. Espevik, and Dr. K. Berg, Norwegian Radium Hospital.

Supervision of students/Ph.D. students/post-docs

Until July 2009, 18 candidates have obtained their Ph.D.s and 10 students have obtained a Master degree under the guidance of Kirsten Sandvig. Presently (Sept 22nd, 2009), there are 4 Ph.D. students and 1 Masterstudents in the group.

Evaluation of Ph.D.s and committee-participation

Kirsten Sandvig has served as opponent in connection with several doctor degrees, and she has been on committees for hiring professors at the Universities of Oslo and Bergen.

  • Member of a committtee for the prize given by the Research Organization at the Radium Hospital, from 1995-1998.
  • Evaluator for EU, committee work in Brussels Nov. 1997.
  • Member of the Scientific Council in the Norwegian Cancer Society from 1992 to1998.
  • Member of the evaluation committte (A) in the Norwegian Cancer Society from 1998-. Member of “EMBO course committee” from January 2000- December 2003.
  • Planning of international meetings: For instance member of "International Advisory Committee" for ECBO 1995, a meeting for the European Cell Biology Organization, and member of "Scientific Program Committee" for 3rd International Symposium on Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections (VTEC '97), Baltimore, USA. Member of the scientific committee for the IUBMB-meeting in Canada in 2003; Responsible for the 22. Biochemical Contact Meeting at Beito, January 1986; In the committee for Linderstrøm-Lang meeting in Oslo, 1992, and the committe for: ”Intracellular transport and signal transduction in cancer biomedicine”, Stalheim, Norway, May 2007.
  • From 2007, member of the steering committee of ETOX, the European Workshops on Bacterial Protein Toxins.

  • Vice-leader of the Norwegian Biochemical Society, Oslo, January - June 1981.
  • Leader of the Norwegian Biochemical Society, Oslo, July-December 1981.
  • Representative for the Association for Researchers at ”Norsk Hydros Institute For Cancer Research 1985.
  • Vice-chair for the board of the Norwegian Radium Hospital and Inst. for Cancer Research from January 1987 to July 1990.
  • Board member for the Association for Researchers (“Forskerforeningen”) at The Norwegian Radium Hospital from 1994-1996 (2 years), and participation at the course for board members (course I-III) for this organization.
  • Member of the board for Biochemical Institute, University of Oslo, 1997-1999; deputy board member from 2000-2003.
  • Leader course for scientific personal, arranged by the University of Oslo, 27-29 October, 1997, Holmen Fjordhotel, Asker, and 28-30 January, 1998, Solstrand, Bergen.
  • The Norwegian Biochemical Society, election committee, 2002-2007.
  • Member of the board for the Centre of Excellence: Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN), August 2008-.

Pedagogical education and teaching

University education in pedagogic for professor II positions was finished in 1996. In connection with Kirsten Sandvig's professor II-position she is responsible for a theoretic course at the University of Oslo every year (30 study points); title “Biochemical mechanisms in intracellular transport”. The course was arranged for the first time in 1996.

Other courses
  • How to handle difficult persons (Confex), Oslo Congress Centre, 2004.
  • Catch the word. Meeting place for good communication (Confex), March 2005.
  • Practical economy (Confex), Oslo Congress Centre, 28-29 February 2008.

Editorial boards/reviewing
  • From January 1995: On Editorial Board for Eur.J. Cell Biol..
  • From 1996-2002: On Editorial Board for Physiological Reviews.
  • Referee for Nature, Science, Cell, J.Cell.Biol., EMBO J., Mol.Biol.Cell ,Molecular Microbiology and other journals.
  • Evaluator of grant applications for National Science Foundation, USA; The Israel Science Foundation, Wellcome Trust; and Medical Research Council, England.

Membership in Biochemical/Cell Biological/Cancer-related Societies
  • Member of the Norwegian Biochemical Society, The American Society for Cell Biology,
  • American Association for Cancer Research, European Life Scientist Organization.
  • Elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).
  • Elected Member of Academia Europea.

Examples of plenary lectures

1) Gordon conference "Microbial Toxins", USA, 1982.
2) International Congress of Microbiology, Boston, 1982.
3) XXIV Symposium der Gesellschaft fur Histochemie, Gargellen, Austria, 1982.
4) 13. Linderstrøm-Lang conference, Godøysund, 1983.
5) Gordon conference "Lysosomes", USA, 1984.
6) Macromolecular Traffic in Cells, Kobe, Japan, 1984.
7) Wallenberglaboratory, Uppsala, Sverige, March 1985.
8) Second European Workshop on Bacterial Protein Toxins, Wepion, Belgia, 1985.
9) 8th World Congress on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1985.
10) The American Chemical Society, Annual Meeting, Chicago, September 1985.
11) Rush Medical College, Chicago, September 1985.
12) Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, September 1985.
13) Linderstrøm-Lang conference "Glycoconjugates in cell interactions, Helsinki, Finland, 1986.
14) The Third European Workshop on Bacterial Protein Toxins, Überlingen, Germany, June 1987.
15) Protein Toxins in Cancer Therapy, Padova, Italy, October 1987.
16) International workshop "Current problems in endocytosis", Gulbenkian institute of science, Portugal, October 1988. 17) Gordon conference "Lysosomes", USA, 1988.
18) Joint Meeting for The American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, San Francisco, January 1989.
19) Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, March 1989.
20) The BioScience Meeting, Malmø, Sweden, 1989.
21) Joint-Harden Satellite-Cell Surface Research Fund Meeting: Molecular mechanisms in host-infective agent interactions. Cirencester, England, April 1990.
22) Third European Congress on Cell Biology, Florenze, September 1990.
23) Second European Workshop on Endocytosis, Paris, October, 1990.
24) The Spring meeting of the German Microbiological Societies (DGHM/VAAM), March, 1991.
25) The American Society for Cell Biology 31th Annual Meeting, Boston, USA, December, 1991.
26) Workshop on Endocytosis, Ohrbeck, Germany, January 1992.
27) University of Osnabrück, Germany, January 1992.
28) Main Lecture at the 28. Biochemical Contact Meeting, Beito, January 1992.
29) Gordon Conference "Lysosomes", Proctor Academy, New Hampshire, USA, July 1992. 30) Biochemical Society Meeting 643, University of Warwick, July 1992.
31) The British Biochemical Society, Leeds, April 1993.
32) European Research Conference on "Membrane Dynamics in Endocytosis, Pisa, May 1993.
33) Sixth European Workshop Conference on Bacterial Protein Toxins, Stirling, Scotland, June 1993.
34) Growth factors and their receptors: Signal transduction mechanisms in growth control and development, Uppsala, Sweden, August 1993.
35) 2nd IUBMB Conference on Biochemistry of Cell Membranes, Bari, Italy, Sept. 1993.
36) Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany, May 1994.
37) Vero-cytotoxin (Shiga-like toxin)-producing Escherichia coli infections, Bergamo, Italy, June 1994.
38) Gordon Conference "Microbial Toxins and Pathogenesis", USA, July 1994.
39) The Cell Biology of Disease, Heidelberg, Germany, October 1994.
40) 7th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases- ECCMID 95, Wien, Austria, March 1995.
41) European Cell Biology Organization (ECBO) meeting, Heidelberg, Germany, April 1995.
42) Gordon Conference "Molecular membrane biology", USA, July 1995.
43) FEBS meeting, Basel, Switzerland, August 1995.
44) Intracellular membrane traffic, epithelial polarity and cancer, The Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1995.
45) Endocytosis-meeting, Ireland, September 1995.
46) Toxin-meeting, South Dakota, USA, September 1995.
47) Second Workshop on Intracellular Transport and Maturation of Proteins, Marburg, Germany, October 1995.
48) Toxin-meeting in Freiburg, Germany, April 1996.
49) Gordon Conference "Lysosomes", New Hampshire, USA, July 1996.
50) Page-Wood International Symposium on Membrane Traffic in Health and Disease, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, September 1996.
51) Annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, San Francisco, Dec. 1996.
52) The Danish Biochemical Society, Copenhagen, January 1997.
53) Keystone Symposium: "Processing of Peptide Hormones, Neurotransmitters, Growth Factors and Viral Proteins", Taos, New Mexico, USA, mars 1997.
54) Norwegian Biochemical Society-lecture, Bergen, May 1997.
55) 3rd Coastal Biotechnology Symposium, Tromsø, September 1997.
56) Endocytosis-meeting, Spain, September 1997.
57) Lipids: Regulatory Functions in Membrane Traffic and Cell Development, Israel, May 1998.
58) FEBS-meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 1998.
59) University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany, February 5th, 1999.
60) 9th European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Berlin, March 1999.
61) FEBS-meeting, Nice, France, June 1999.
62) Toxin meeting, France, June 1999
63) Membrane Dynamics in Endocytosis, Crete, Greece, September 1999.
64) Institute Curie, Paris, France, 29th September 1999.
65) EMBO-meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, October 1999.
66) INSERM-møte about toxins in Paris, France, October 2000.
67) Microdomains and lipid rafts, 2001, Spain, May 2001.
68) 43rd Symposium of the Society for Histochemistry, Vienna, Austria, September 2001.
69) Membrane Dynamics in Endocytosis, Portugal, October 2001.
70) UIMBM, Bergen, Norway, May 2002.
71) Harden Conference, Dynamics of Membrane Traffic, UK, August 2002.
72) Frontiers in Microbiology, Spain, October 2002.
73) FEBS-møte, 28th, Turky, October 2002.
74) ETOX11, Czech Republic, June 2003.
75) 19th International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biol., Toronto, July 2003. Cancelled due to SARS.
76) 55.Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie (DGHM), Dresden, September 2003.
77) Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, April 2004.
78) University of Frankfurt, April 2004.
78) Gordon conference: Lysosomes and Endosomes, June 2004.
79) Pathogenic bacteria, Würzburg, Germany, July 2004.
80) EMBO/Euresco Conferences: Frontiers of Cellular Microbiology and Cell Biology, Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of the Endomembrane System, Spain, October 2004.
81) University of Copenhagen, May 2005.
82) Meeting of Bacteriology, Kanazawa, Japan, March 2006.
83) Membrane Transport of Proteins in Health and Disease, Den Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm, May 2006.
84) Membrane Biology and Signalling, Copenhagen, Aug. 21-24, 2006.
85) EMBO/FEBS/EFS conference on: Macromolecular complexes in microbial pathogenesis, membrane trafficking and ell signaling, Spain, September 2006.
86) VTEC 06, Melbourne, Australia, October 2006.
87) University of Kuopio, Finland, October 29th - 31st 2007.
88) PEN conference in Rome, March 6th -7th, 2008.
89) Invited lecture at “XVI World congress of the International Society of Toxicology. X Congresso da Sociedade Brasileira de Toxinologia, Biodiversity in Toxins: Tools for Biological Research and Drug Development., March 15th-20th, 2009, Recife, Brazil.
90) University of Münster, April 29th, 2009.
91) Invited lecture at 109th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Philadelphia, USA, May 17th-21st, 2009.
92) EMBO Lecture at the ETOX14-meeting, Obernai, France, June 27th-July 2nd, 2009.
93) 46th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology, Dresden, Sept. 13th-16th, 2009.
94) Endocytosis-meeting at Crete, Greece, Oct. 3rd -8th , 2009.

Some other invitations:

Invited by the Nobel committee in physics and chemistry to the Nobel Jubilee Symposium, December 4th-6th, 2001 at Frigaard Herregård, Sweden.

Invited as chairman by ”Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien” in Sweden to the Symposium: ”Membrane Transport Proteins in Health and Disease”, Stockholm, May 18th-20th, 2006.

Future lectures:

95) Plenary lecture at FEBS-meeting in Goteburg, Sweden, June 26-July 1, 2010.
96) Gordon res. conf.: Microbial toxins and pathogen
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