Digital Public Defence: Salim Ghannoum

MSc Salim Ghannoum at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis “The role of Golgi fragmentation in breast cancer cell migration and tumor progression: an integrated experimental-computational approach” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Ruth Baker, University of Oxford, UK
  • Second opponent: Reader Bartlomiej Waclaw, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Manuela Zucknick, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Anne Spurkland, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Hesso Farhan, University of Oslo


The malignancy of cancer is highly dependent on its ability to thrive and metastasize. Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease originating from epithelial cells lining the milk ducts or lobules in the mammary gland. It is the most common type of cancer in women. Metastasis is the leading cause of breast cancer-related death. Motility is a crucial step towards escalating the metastatic capability of cancer cells, which can exhibit a broad spectrum of migration and invasion mechanisms. In normal mammalian cells the Golgi apparatus is a single-copy complex compartment often located adjacent to the centrosome in the juxtanuclear region. In many breast cancer cells, the Golgi is fragmented into many dispersed ministacks. Several pieces of evidence strongly indicate that Golgi fragmentation may open doors for fatal cascades to facilitate cancer progression and metastasis. However, neither the mechanism of the association between Golgi fragmentation with tumor progression nor its consequences are yet known.

In this thesis I investigate the role of Golgi fragmentation in breast cancer cell migration and progression using an integrated experimental, quantitative and computational approach. The outcome of this thesis is four computational tools: DiscBIO, CellMAPtracer, cellmigRation and the mathematical modeling, in addition to highlighting potential roles for Golgi fragmentation in breast cancer progression. I consider this outcome as a starting point for further investigations.

Altogether, the results of this thesis point out the importance of cell migration for tumor progression and identify Giantin as a potential biomarker for cancer progression opening new doors with many directions for validating and further investigating the main findings.

Additional information

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Published Oct. 12, 2021 9:17 AM - Last modified Oct. 26, 2021 9:28 AM