Engelholm Group

​​The main focus area in this research group is collagen turnover in pathological and physiological conditions in mammals. We try to elucidate some of the mechanisms behind dysregulated collagen homeostasis in cancer and several other pathological diseases with either collagen accumulation (fibrosis) or excess collagen degradation (e.g. osteoporosis).

​​The group is part of the Cancer Invasion section at the Finsen Laboratory.

Research focus

Collagen is the single most abundant protein in the animal kingdom thus collagen homeostasis is tightly regulated in normal physiology. There is a continuous collagen turnover in most tissue thus evolution has developed several systems to maintain this important task. In the Engelholm group we are studying both the extracellular and intracellular collagen degradation pathways and how these individual pathways act together in a complicated interplay where matrix metalloproteinases, cathepsins, collagen receptors and signaling molecules each have important functions. 

To identify and single out the functions of the individual players in collagen homeostasis we use in vivo and ex vivo models to mimic the human diseases where collagen turnover is out of balance. These serious diseases include cancer, liver and long fibrosis, osteoporosis and arthritis. We try to combine in vivo models, thorough biochemical studies and if possible studies on human patient material to validate our models.​

Key techniques 

Our key research techniques are: 

  • Mouse models
  • Confocal microscopy 
  • In vivo bioluminescent imaging
  • μCT scanning bone density analysis
  • Histochemical/Immunohistochemical analysis 
  • Quantification by automated image analysis on​​ histological samples

An integrated part of the Engelholm Group is the Histology Core Unit at the Finsen Laboratory/BRIC. Please contact Lars H. Engelholm with any questions regarding the Core unit.



Responsible editor