MA - Ernæring og biomedisin

Aim of our research

To understand how dietary factors and in particular plant-foods, influence physiological processes in the intestine with consequences for several of our most common diseases associated with chronic low-grade inflammation.

What we can offer:

Master projects that primarily involve mouse experiments and/or human clinical studies with the aim of understanding nutrition and health.

Mouse studies:
We conduct dietary intervention studies using mice as a model organism. In vivo optical imaging, allows us to visualize central biological processes in living mice. This is particularly useful to study time-dependent changes such as oxidative stress and inflammation related gene regulation. We also sample tissues, blood and microbiota for further analyses.

Human clinical studies:
In ongoing clinical trials in collaboration with UiO, NIH and OUS, we study the effects of plant foods on blood and urine biomarkers and also how gut bacteria are affected. In addition we study whether gut leakiness is associated with low-grade inflammation and if plant-baed diets can restore gut health.

What you can learn:

  • Design and conduct animal experiments
  • Get hands-on experience and practice in human clinical trials
  • Learn to interpret clinical data
  • Learn relevant methods in the lab (qPCR, flow cytometry,ELISA, multiplexing (cytokines) and bacterial sequencing).
  • Gain expertise in statistics and become a good writer of scientific texts

Who we are:

1 professor, 1 associate professor, 1-2 engineers, 3-4 PhD students, 6 master students

Possible master projects from 2021-2023: 

Clinical projects
Main supervisor: Siv Kjølsrud Bøhn, associate professor KBM, NMBU

1. Inflammation related to gut leakage in patients with colorectal cancer- Effect of a diet intervention, 60 stp

The ‘Norwegian dietary guidelines and colorectal cancer survival-study’ is a multi-centered, 2-armed, randomized clinical trial. The objective is to test the effect of a healthy Norwegian diet on survival, health conditions and life-style related diseases in recently operated colorectal cancer patients. The study started in 2011. We will test to what extent severity of the disease and therapy (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) is associated with gut leakage and inflammation, and whether a change in the diet will lead to improvements in those measures. The master project will use data collected from patients 1 year after start of dietary intervention. The project will involve laboratory analysis, result interpretation and statistical analyses of data collected from these patients.

2. Effect of gluten and fructan elimination in celiac patients on gut inflammatory biomarkers, 60 stp

Some celiac patients experience gastrointestinal (GI) problems even when gluten is eliminated from the diet. The study, which is a collaboration between UIO, OUS and NMBU aims to examine if removal of fructans (a FODMAP) can improve the GI symptoms. The master student will use Elisa and Multiplex technology to measure inflammatory biomarkers in feces samples. The master student will also use statistical methods (using R) to analyse the data from the clinical trial in celiac patients.

3. Effects of iron supplementation on iron regulation and gut leakage related biomarkers in young female elite football players, 60 stp

The Oslo Fit study is a randomized clinical trial carried out as a collaboration with University of Oslo, Oympiatoppen and Norwegian school of Sports. We wish to evaluate the effects of iron supplementation on gut function by investigating inflammatory markers and biomarkers of intestinal barrier function in blood and feces. The master student will use methods for measuring a range of inflammatory biomarkers, including ELISA and Multiplex-analyses. In addition, the student will learn sophisticated statistical methods to interpret the data and will have access to information from physical tests, dietary recordings and blood results.

Mouse studies
Main supervisor: Harald Carlsen, professor KBM, NMBU


We have several interests and many of them are related to intestinal health,diet and molecular mechanisms. The following are possible projects:

A.  Why is meat increasing risk of colorectal cancer?-a mechanistic study in mice
B.  Plant constituents and effect on the intestinal immune system-the role of the Arylhydrocarbonreceptor
C.  Trained immunity and epigenetic regulation in intestinal immune cells-are dirty mice different than clean laboratory mice?
D.  Can new prebiotics from trees improve intestinal health?

A typical example: Health effects of different fat sources

Dietary fats from different sources can affect the body and health outcome differently. In this project we have fed mice prone to develop metabolic syndrome (LDL-receptor knock-out mice) for more than half a year with 5 different fat rich diets. We are currently investigating disease outcomes such as diabetes, liver disease and atherosclerosis using histology, chemicalanalyses of lipid profiles, microbiota assessements and gene expression. This is a typicalproject in ourgroup, and master students can be involved.

Published 6. April 2021 - 12:02 - Updated 24. oktober 2021 - 18:52