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Coming theses from other universities

  • The Biophysics of Na+,K+-ATPase in neuronal health and disease Author: Evgeny E. Akkuratov Link: Publication date: 2020-12-01 07:07

    Na+,K+-ATPase is one of the most important proteins in the mammalian cell. It creates sodium and potassium gradients which are fundamental for the membrane potential and sodium-dependent secondary active transport. It has a second role in the cell as a receptor that by binding chemicals from the cardiotonic steroids family, the most knowledgeable of them is ouabain, triggers various signaling pathways in the cell which regulate gene activation, proliferation, apoptosis, etc. It has been shown that several severe neurological diseases are associated with mutations in the Na+,K+-ATPase encoding genes. Although Na+,K+-ATPase was discovered already in 1957 by the Danish scientist Jens Skou, the knowledge about the function of this enzyme  is still not complete.


    In the studies included in the thesis, we have learned more about the function of Na+,K+-ATPase in different aspects of health and disease. In study I we showed a mechanism of ouabain-dependent regulation of the NMDA receptor, one of the most important receptors in the nervous system, via binding with Na+,K+-ATPase. This allows us to look at the Na+,K+-ATPase as regulator via protein-protein interaction. In study II we investigated a different aspect of Na+,K+-ATPase functioning – to look at how binding of ouabain to Na+,K+-ATPase activates a number of signaling cascades by looking at the phosphoproteome status of the cells. This allows us to see the whole picture of ouabain-mediated cascades and further characterize them. In study III we focused on the role of Na+,K+-ATPase in severe epileptic encephalopathy caused by a mutation in the ATP1A1 gene. We performed a molecular and cellular study to describe how mutations affects protein structure and function and found that this mutation converts the ion pump to a nonspecific leak channel. In study IV we performed a translational study of the most common mutation for rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism. We studied how this mutation affects the nervous system on the protein-, cellular-, and organism level and found that the complete absence of ultraslow afterhyperpolarization (usAHP) could explain gait disturbances found in patients. In the on-going study we showed that Na+,K+-ATPase can oligomerize and that this effect is triggered by ouabain binding to the Na+,K+-ATPase. In this study, we utilized a novel fluorescence labelling approach and used biophysical techniques with single molecule sensitivity to track Na+,K+-ATPase interactions.


    In summary, we applied biophysical and molecular methods to study different aspects of the function of Na+,K+-ATPase, and gained insights that could be helpful not only for answering fundamental questions about Na+,K+-ATPase but also to find a treatment for patients with diseases associated with mutations in this protein.

  • Putting Scientific Research and Performing Arts Together : A Quest forEquality Author: Pranab Dahal Link: Publication date: 2020-11-23 08:16


    Gender inequality and violence are prevalent globally affecting women withdiscriminatory practices and victimizations. The oppressions majorly arise due tosystemic inequalities and power hierarchies. Interventions targeting to endinequality and violence are increasing and this thesis compares the outcomes ofparticipatory Forum Theater.


    This thesis aimed to develop and test the efficacy of Forum Theater for promotinggender equality and reducing violence against women in the Morang district ofeastern Nepal.


    This thesis stands on the findings from epidemiological studies. Study I wasconducted with sex trafficking survivors using focus group discussion and theanalysis used a content analysis method. The baseline study (II) reached 2000samples in twenty randomly selected villages. Quantitative data collection used amethod of self-administered Color-Coded Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviews. A total of thirty Forum Theater, three times each over a year wereorganized in ten randomly selected intervention villages. Qualitative studies (III andIV) conducted between the interventions used six focus group discussions and thirtyindividual interviews. The evaluation study (V) reached 1210 samples in bothgroups. Quantitative analysis used descriptive and inferential statistical methods andqualitative analysis used constructivists grounded theory.


    Study I find social stigma and lack of opportunities as major challenges for thereintegration of sex trafficking survivors. Study II identifies the prevalence of gender 

    inequitable beliefs and violence influenced by norms, attitudes, and practices. StudyIII develops a theoretical model of power-play to exhibit nurturers of genderinequitable beliefs and resulting violence. Study IV finds Forum Theaterinterventions have increased the ability of audiences to negotiate for change. StudyV finds that intervention groups compared to the comparison groups havedeveloped more gender-equitable beliefs and stronger opinions on equality.


    The use of Forum Theater has motivated and increased the ability of participantsto develop opinions and negotiate for establishing equitable beliefs. Forum Theaterenables the inclusion of oppressed voices and provides a safer environment to endoppressions providing multiple solutions. This thesis informs academicians andpractitioners on the nuances of efforts required in establishing equality and reducingviolence. Further testing of Forum Theater is recommended

  • Inflammation and risk of chronic diseases with a focus on colorectal cancer and the impact of dietary patterns Author: Stina Bodén Link: Publication date: 2020-11-20 06:00