Public Defence: Heidi Cecilie Larsen Spång

M.Sc. Heidi Cecilie Larsen Spång at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Bivalent APC-targeted DNA vaccines explored in mouse models for cancer and influenza” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Allan Randrup Thomsen, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Second opponent: Postdoctoral research fellow Davide Angeletti, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Susanne Marie Rogne Gjeruldsen Dudman, Faculty of  Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Jørgen Vildershøj Bjørnholt, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Bjarne Bogen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Today's vaccines protect against a variety of diseases, but there are still many diseases that lack effective vaccines such as HIV, malaria and cancer. New technology has shown that vaccines can be made more effective if antigens from infectious agents are connected to targeting units that bind antigen presenting cells.

We have here developed a novel heterodimeric platform for targeted vaccines. The heterodimer consists of two different protein chains bound together that can have two different targeting units and two different antigenic units. These vaccine proteins were shown to be flexible since a large number of different targeting units and antigens could be introduced. The heterodimers have been characterized in mouse models for cancer and influenza and were shown to induce both antibody and T cell responses as well as protection against challenges with either influenza virus or cancer. In addition, different targeting units have been compared to see which induces the most potent antibody responses after vaccination. The vaccines were given as DNA and injected into muscle or skin in combination with electrical pulses.

Overall, this work provides increased insight into which factors are important for producing good antibody responses in vaccination. In addition, it provides a whole new vaccine platform for targeted vaccines that provides more flexibility for developing new DNA vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Aug. 27, 2019 1:07 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2019 4:29 PM