Olsen Group

Morphogenesis and Differentiation Program

Research Interests

Morphogenesis and differentiation of the gastrointestinal mucosa.
Special focus is on the bioinformatics interpretation of alterations in molecular profiles (transcriptome, metabolome) during mucosal inflammation. The basic research using mouse models for intestinal inflammation is translated into applied research in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Current Project Areas

Rectal insulin as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.
Using mouse models for colonic inflammation in combination with mouse genetics we have made the invention that colitis in mice can be treated using rectal instillation of insulin. We are currently doing basic research with the purpose of delineating the mechanism of action for rectal insulin. In addition we have initiated clinical collaborations with clinicians in Copenhagen and Zürich with the purpose to conduct proof of concept studies with ulcerative colitis patients

Three selected publications 

  • J.T. Bjerrum, O.H. Nielsen, L.B. Riis, V. Pittet, C. Mueller, G. Rogler, J. Olsen, Transcriptional analysis of left-sided colitis, pancolitis, and ulcerative colitis-associated dysplasia, Inflamm Bowel Dis, 20 (2014) 2340-2352.

  • M. Thorsteinsson, L.T. Kirkeby, R. Hansen, L.R. Lund, L.T. Sorensen, T.A. Gerds, P. Jess, J. Olsen, Gene expression profiles in stages II and III colon cancers: application of a 128-gene signature, International journal of colorectal disease, 27 (2012) 1579-1586.

  • M. Hansen, T.A. Gerds, O.H. Nielsen, J.B. Seidelin, J.T. Troelsen, J. Olsen, pcaGoPromoter - an R package for biological and regulatory interpretation of principal components in genome-wide gene expression data, PLoS One, 7 (2012) e32394.


Director, ”Course in Head, Neck, the Locomotor System and the Peripheral Nervous System” for third semester medical students.

Development of new teaching concepts:

  • “The Modern Anatomical Theater”
  • “Q + A livestreamed sessions with student and teacher interactions”
  • “Livestreamed Exam TV”
  • “The digital x-ray library”
  • “The digital anatomical museum”


Professor Gerhard Rogler, University of Zürich
Professor Yulan Wang, Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems
Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics