Norwegian version of this page

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Our research group aims to identify characteristics and susceptibility factors of MS, and to contribute to a better understanding of the disease and development of better treatments.

Photo of the MS research group

From the left: Synne Brune, Gro O. Nygaard, Sigrid A. de Rodez Benavent, Stine Marit Moen, Einar August Høgestøl, Tone Berge, Heidi Øyen Flemmen, Pål Berg-Hansen, Hanne Flinstad Harbo, Cecilia Smith Simonsen, Daniel Rinker, Elisabeth Gulowsen Celius, Anna Eriksson, Ina Skaara Brorson, Ingvild Sørum Leikfoss, Steffan Daniel Bos, Maite Larrañaga. Not present: Mona Beyer, Piotr Sowa, Oda Krobøl, Kristin Hage

Photo: Øystein H. Horgmo, UiO

We perform clinical and epidemiological studies, MRI studies, genetic studies and functional molecular studies in collaboration with national and international research partners and networks.

We also perform genetic, molecular, cellular, clinical, epidemiological, environmental, MRI and translational studies of MS in collaboration with national and international research partners and networks.

We have established the Oslo MS Registry and Biobank, which includes more than 1.000 MS-patients, who are well characterized in both clinical and genetic studies.

We also have access to several thousands of additional samples through collaborations with the Norwegian MS Registry and Biobank and the Nordic Network of MS Genetics.

We are active in international collaborations, especially in the International MS Genetics consortium (IMSGC).

Our work has made important contributions to genetic studies of MS (IMSGC, Nature 2011 and IMSGC, Nature Genetics 2013).

We are now working on mapping these genetic and other risk factors of MS, and study how this influences the clinical information about the disease.


The group performs various types of translational studies by MS, and focus upon the following

Clinical, paraclinical and epidemiological studies

Clinical information about disease characteristics and treatment, supplementary investigations as well as information collected by questionnaires are collected and included in ongoing studies.

We have a special focus on clinical and epidemiological studies of immigrants in Norway.

MRI Projects

In longitudinal and cross-sectional studies we study magnetic resonance image (MRI) changes, especially related to detailed clinical features, including cognition and eye function.

We study novel MRI techniques in collaboration with our national and international partners.

Genetic studies

Through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and other large gene-mapping studies performed in collaboration with the International MS genetics consortium (IMSGC), the list of MS susceptibility loci is now increased from one to close to two hundred loci.

These studies have generated a wealth of data that has to be analyzed using advanced biostatistics to unravel disease mechanisms.

We collect and analyse samples and clinical data from a very detailed characterized group of newly diagnosed MS patients with the aim to combine clinical and genetic information, and pursue cutting edge projects including expression analyses and epigenetic studies.

Molecular immunology

We aim to study the impact of genetic associations in MS on immune cell pathways of importance for MS development.

Furthermore, to link genetics with functional relevance, we currently perform functional characterization of selected MS associated, immune-related genes, using immune-based techniques such as Flow cytometry, Western blotting and ELISA.


Our research group has collaboration with several national and international institutions.


  • Mona Beyer, Department of Radiology, OUS
  • Benedicte A. Lie, Department of Medical Genetics, OUS/UiO
  • Kristine Walhovd and Anders Fjell, Institute of Psychology, UiO
  • Anne Spurkland, Institute for Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo
  • Bettina Kulle Andreassen, Department of biostatistics, UiO
  • Ole A. Andreassen, Department of psychiatry, OUS/UiO
  • Atle Bjørnerud, Dep. Of Physics, Intervention Centre, UiO/OUS
  • Emilia Kerty, Department of Neurology, OUS/UiO
  • Liv Drolsum, Department of Ophthalmology, OUS
  • Camilla Stoltenberg og Inger Johanne Bakken, Folkehelseinstittuttet
  • Odd Stokke Gabrielsen, Institute of Biosciences, University of Oslo
  • Greger Abrahamsen, Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo
  • Vibeke Sundvold Gjerstad, Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo
  • Trygve Holmøy, Department of Neurology, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog
  • Torbjørn Rognes, Section for Biomedical Informatics, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo
  • Nils Inge Landrø and Bruno Laeng, Psykologisk institutt, UiO
  • Ole Landsverk, Department of Pathology, Division of Diagnostics and Intervention, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo
  • K.B Nilsen and L. Etholm, Oslo University Hospital, Dept of Neurophysiology.
  • Kjell-Morten Myhr og Jan Aarseth, Haukeland University Hospital


  • Lisa Barcellos, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jorge Oksenberg, University of California, San Francisco
  • Sergio E. Baranzini, University of California, San Francisco
  • Steve Francis, University of California, San Francisco
  • Anders Dahle, University of California San Diego
  • Soheil Damangir and Gabriela Spulber, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Jan Damoiseaux, Department of Neurology, Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Joost Smolders, Department of Neurology, Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • B. Wilhelm, Steinbeis Transfer-Centre for Biomedical Optics and Function Testing, Tübingen, Germany.
  • Nordic MS genetics consortium (Hillert, Olsson, Kockum, Oturai, Sørensen, Saareala)
  • International MS Genetics Consortium (Adrian Ivinson, Stephen Sawcer, Stephen Hauser, An Goris)
Published May 15, 2015 12:09 PM - Last modified Jan. 10, 2019 12:57 PM