Jarle Breivik

Professor - Dept. of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine
Image of Jarle  Breivik
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22851114
Mobile phone +47-41441985
Fax +47-22845301
Room 2151
Visiting address Sognsvannsveien 9 Domus Medica 0372 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1110 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Research goal

- to explore, challenge and expand the scientific and public understanding of cancer


Jarle Breivik (MD/PhD/EdD) has an academic background that combines basic medical science, science communication, and education management. His work on the evolutionary dynamics of cancer development has received international recognition and includes publications in PNAS, Int. J. Cancer and Adv. Cancer Res. It has also been featured in articles in Scientific American and Wired Magazine, and he has served on scientific review committees for the US National Institute of Health and the European Commission.

Breivik also holds a doctorate (EdD) in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves a Assoc. Dean of Education (Utdanningsleder) at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, responsible for the first two years of the Medical Degree and the Master's program in clinical nutrition at the Faculty of Medicine.


  • 2014-        : Associate Dean of Education (Utdanningsleder), Institute for Basic Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • 2013-        : Professor of Medicine, Institute for Basic Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • 2012-2014: Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2012-2014: Ed.D., Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2009-2011: Associate Dean/Prof. of PhD Education (Forskerutdanningsleder), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • 2004-2009: Associate Dean/Prof. of MD/PhD Education (Forskerlinjeleder), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • 2000-2004: Post.Doc., Norwegian Radium Hospital.
  • 1996-2000: Ph.D., University of Oslo / National Hospital.
  • 1989-1996: M.D., University of Oslo.
Tags: Cancer, Genetic and epidemiology, Education, Management, Communication, Evolution


Evolution of cancer

Cancer development is an evolutionary process within the body of an organism. These papers aim to explore and explain this process in an interdisciplinary perspective. A key aspect concerns the evolutionary relationship between environmental factors and rise of genetic instability in cancer cells. This model has been tested and confirmed by several experimental studies.

Selected science papers:

Popularized articles concerning this research:


For my PhD, I contributed to Gustav Gaudernack's pioneering work on immunotherapy and peptide-based cancer vaccines:

Science and Cancer Communication

Science is generally perceived as the objective search for facts and truths. Yet, how we perceive and understand the scientific truth is largely dependent on context. A gene, for example, may be presented as a molecular structure, a thing that determines our looks or behaviors, a risk factor for getting a disease, a unit that evolves over time, or a symbol of relationship. Each frame has different implications for the way we understand biology and medicine, as well as life in general, and it is important to be aware of these different modes of genetic communication:

Evolution and artificial reproduction

Evolution is a continuous process and humans are still subject to selection. Here we explore how recent medical advances may affect this process:

Education management

In order to do good research, we also need to take a research-based perspective to how we lead and organize our research organizations:

Self-replicating machines

In order to explore and illustrate the fundamental principles of biology, I have developed and patented the concept of making physical objects (e.g. robotic toys) that replicate like DNA molecules. Hopefully it will come to use one day:

Magnetic DNA isolation

As a medical student, I developed a method for isolating DNA by magnetic separation. The patent is commercialized by Qiagen.

US Patent 6090935, Isolation of nucleic acid.

View all works in Cristin

View all works in Cristin

Published Apr. 13, 2011 2:34 PM - Last modified June 11, 2017 11:06 AM