About me

Ulla Stenius is a Professor of Occupational Toxicology since 2010 at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM). In 2014 she was appointed Head/Director of the same department.

Research description

Chemical carcinogensis, prevention and risk assessment

The overall goal is to improve the basis of risk assessment of chemical carcinogens.

The CRAB-project investigates a novel approach to cancer risk assessment which could greatly assist risk assessors with the management of large textual data and aid knowledge discovery. We develop TM technology for the needs of cancer research and risk assessment with the aim to integrate this technology in a practical tool which can assist risk assessors and researchers in their work and contribute to effective management of health risks in the future.

In other projects we analyze sex differences in response to carcinogens and the effects of mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on cellular signaling. The goal of the projects is to improve the scientific base for risk assessment. Statins have been shown to have anticancer effects and to sensitize tumor cells to cytostatic drugs. Our data show that statins regulate nuclear Akt activity via P2X7 receptors. The regulation of Akt/PTEN tumor suppressor pathway is studied.


  • Using text mining to aid cancer risk assessment
  • Gender differences in carcinogenesis
  • Interactions in complex PAH mixtures and cellular effects
  • Anticancer effect of statins; Akt signaling pathways
  • Cancer risk of low dose exposure for silica


  • Medical Research Council, UK
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK  
  • Cancer- och Allergifonden
  • Afa

Five selected publications

Text mining for literature review and knowledge discovery in cancer risk assessment and research. Korhonen A, Séaghdha DO, Silins I, Sun L, Högberg J, Stenius U PLoS ONE 2012 ;7(4):e33427

Weakly supervised learning of information structure of scientific abstracts--is it accurate enough to benefit real-world tasks in biomedicine? Guo Y, Korhonen A, Silins I, Stenius U Bioinformatics 2011 Nov;27(22):3179-85

Purinergic receptor-mediated rapid depletion of nuclear phosphorylated Akt depends on pleckstrin homology domain leucine-rich repeat phosphatase, calcineurin, protein phosphatase 2A, and PTEN phosphatases. Mistafa O, Ghalali A, Kadekar S, Högberg J, Stenius U J. Biol. Chem. 2010 Sep;285(36):27900-10

MEK-ERK-mediated phosphorylation of Mdm2 at Ser-166 in hepatocytes. Mdm2 is activated in response to inhibited Akt signaling. Malmlöf M, Roudier E, Högberg J, Stenius U J. Biol. Chem. 2007 Jan;282(4):2288-96

Statins induce mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-mediated inhibition of Akt signaling and sensitize p53-deficient cells to cytostatic drugs. Roudier E, Mistafa O, Stenius U Mol. Cancer Ther. 2006 Nov;5(11):2706-15