Hypersensitivity to marine biomolecules

Seafood as a dietary source is increasing and Norwegian seafood industry contributes significantly to the national economy. “Blue growth” is expected to play an increasingly important role to global food supply in future. There is also a constant search for new utilizations of marine species, creating a foundation for new industrial development. Hypersensitivity reactions to fish and crustaceans are well documented. Knowing that workers in marine industries are exposed to marine biomolecules with allergenic and inflammatory potential, the research in our group is focusing on mechanisms and risk factors associated with workrelated hypersensitivity symptoms and disease, especially in airways and the skin. Understanding how marine biomolecules interacts with human skin and airway surfaces also give insight into possible pharmaceutical treatment strategies as well as beneficial effects of marine biomolecules in these tissues.

The project team representing “hypersensitivity to marine biomolecules” presently include two senior researchers in part time positions (Aasmoe and Bang) and two Phd students (Marthe R. Thomassen and Cecilie Thon Heidelberg). There is a close cooperation with Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University Hospital North Norway, where the senior researchers and the two Phd-student have their primary affiliations. The expertise of the senior researchers lays in the field of toxicology and occupational exposure assessments. Both have long experience with research on exposure and health effects in various types of seafood industry, and have been responsible for several research projects in this field, integrating biomechanistic with toxicological risk assessment approaches.  We are collaborating with world leading researchers in the field as active participants in an extensive international research network.

 

Ongoing subprojects

  • A sensitive assay for marine proteases in work environmental samples based on zymography. Method development project.
  • Exposure to bioaerosols and airway effects in Norwegian crab processing workers. PhD-project.
  • Exposure to bioaerosols and airway effects during fish processing on board Norwegian fishing trawlers. PhD-project.
  • Allergy and other hypersensitivity reactions to marine biomolecules. Preproject for finance seeking.

 

Bachelor, master and PhD –projects

Student projects will normally be closely associated to active research projects directed by the research group.  In cooperation with staff at the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University Hospital North Norway, projects investigating other types of exposures and health outcomes may also be given. Such projects will be associated with ongoing research projects or risk assessment/surveillance projects at the hospital department. A biomedicine/laboratory part will be included in all student projects. Availability of student projects depend on activity and financial situation of research and surveillance projects in the relevant timeframe.


Ansvarlig for prosjektet: Zvonko Mitrovic

Principal investigator:

Berit Bang

Lisbeth Aasmoe

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