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    Sölvegatan 19, BMC B11

    223 84 Lund


  • Postal addressShow on map

    Sölvegatan 19, BMC B11

    223 84 Lund


Unit profile


Emma Hammarlund is Research Group Leader for this research group

What it takes to form multicellularity remains poorly understood – whether it’s in the shape of animals or tumors. We discuss whether the key components behind the rise of multicellularity are developmental, environmental, or ecological. To explore these key components, and their interaction, will advance our view on our origins. While the rise of animals is commonly studied with clues from Earth history (geology) and their development (biology), tumor biology can add unique real-time insight to the dynamics at a successful rise of ‘ugly’ multicellularity. And vice versa, insights from organismal evolution over geological time can provide a frame of reference to how we interrogate tumor evolution.


In a transdisciplinary effort, we utilize both geobiology and tumor biology to explore the evolutionary roots to animal health and disease. One focus is the role that biological innovations like the cellular hypoxic response machineries have played for the rise of complex multicellularity. Another focus is the shared programs that unicellular organisms and single cancer cells utilize for metabolism, motility, and mediation of toxicity.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Developmental Biology

Free keywords

  • Developmental evolutionary biology
  • geobiology
  • differentiation
  • stemness
  • HIF
  • animal evolution

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Collaborations the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or