K. G. Jebsen Thrombosis Research and Expertise Center (TREC)

Our research will lead to more targeted preventive measures and better treatment for those affected by this disease. We will also be able to reduce the number of cases and deaths.

The goal of the KG Jebsen Thrombosis Research and Expertise Center (TREC) is to identify risk factors for, and expand our understanding of, venous thrombosis.

In Europe, around 540,000 deaths per year are related to venous thrombosis. By comparison, around 68,000 people die of breast cancer in the same region. Of patients who suffer a blood clot in the leg, 20 to 50 per cent subsequently have problems with pain and swelling as a result of reduced circulation. At the same time, society incurs high costs relating to treatment and possible loss of income because some patients are unable to work after suffering a venous thrombosis.

Professor John-Bjarne Hansen received support in 2014 from the K G Jebsen Foundation, UiT Arctic University of Norway and the Northern Norway regional health authority to establish G Jebsen TREC – Thrombosis Research and Expertise Center.

Our research focus
The point of departure for our research is that venous thrombosis is a common disease with an unclear and complicated development for which the risk factors are only partly known.

There are four areas relating to venous thrombosis that we study at TREC: genetic variants, regulators of gene expression (miRNAs), circulating microparticles (that stem from activated or dying blood cells) and specific proteins in the blood.

We carry out experimental studies in model systems in order to uncover the disease’s underlying mechanisms. In addition, we are investigating whether the connection between arterial and venous thrombosis is due to common risk factors or whether it is due to one of the diseases directly affecting the other.

Risk factors
Researchers have previously uncovered some risk factors that can lead to a blood clot. Several factors have yet to be identified, however, and we still do not know enough about how the known factors interact.

Studies of families and twins have shown that there is a significant genetic component. We already know some of the genetic risk factors , but they can only explain a fraction of the blood clots that have to do with heredity. The interplay between genetics and some environmental factors can further increase the risk of a blood clot. This is another thing about which we still know far too little, however.

To find the most important genes that increase the risk of a blood clot, we are investigating 250 genes and 200,000 gene variants in 6,000 persons, half of whom have had venous thrombosis. An earlier study showed promising results in terms of discovering new genetic risk factors for venous thrombosis.

Population surveys such as the Tromsø surveythe Nord-Trøndelag health study, and similar surveys from Denmark and the Netherlands are part of the research material.

We are more than 30 people working in TREC in Tromsø. Our studies will take place both here and, with the help of our partners, in Bodø, Oslo, the Netherlands and the USA. We are therefore participating in an international network of researchers with specialised expertise. They will complement each other, thus enabling us to achieve the goal for the centre

KG Jebsen TREC is funded by the KG Jebsen Foundation, Northern Norway regional health authority and UIT Arctic University of Norway. The centre was the first KG Jensen centre for medical research to be established in Northern Norway.

Group leaders:

Hansen, John-Bjarne
Professor, University of Tromsø

Arshad, Nadia
PhD-student, University of Tromsø.

Jan Brox
Professor II,University of Tromsø.

Sigrid Brækkan
Assosiate professor, University of Tromsø.

Trond Børvik
University of Tromsø.

The centre in brief:

Leader: John-Bjarne Hansen
Startup: 2014
Host institution: University of Tromsø
Funding: 16 MNOK
Home page: K. G. Jebsen TREC, the centre’s facbook page, the centre’s twitter

Contact information:

Visiting address:

Farmasibygget;Farmasiloftet 4 etg.
Rom F4.210


Postal address:

K.G. Jebsen TREC
Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
9037 Tromsø


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