Johansen Group

Steinar D. Johansen, full professor, PhD
PhD studs Yunjia Tang, Åse Emblem, Satish Nandipati, Bård Karlsen, Ragna Breines, Tor Erik Jørgensen; Silje Fismen; Res. ass. Morten Andreassen, Ass prof. Dag Coucheron.
RNA & Transcriptomics research group, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø. email:

Profile of the group:

Steinar D. Johansen is at the University of Tromsø (molecular medicine) and a part time professor in a permanent position at University of Nordland (marine genomics). SDJ has educated post-docs (7) and PhD students (11 completed; 6 in progress). Research includes structure, function and biology of large ncRNAs (ribozymes), as well as animal genomics and transcriptomics (e.g. miRNA profiling and discovery). The group holds a SOLiD4 deep sequencing facility. Performs RNASeq based on SOLiD, Illumina, and pyrosequencing technologies.
Projects: i) Basic research project on large complex catalytic RNAs. Natural ribozymes are mined from the nuclei of various amoeba species, as well as modified variants generated in the laboratory; ii) Human breast cancer cell lines, benign human brain tumors, and an autoimmune decease. Investigates oncomir clusters like the 17-92 cluster at genome, pri-miRNA and mature miRNA levels. Technologies: e.g. 454, Ilumina, and SOLiD deep sequencing, + NanoString and real-time qPCR; iii) Structural and functional features of mitogenomes, complete nuclear genomes and whole transcriptomes.


  • Birgisdottir ÁB, Nielsen H, Beckert B, Masquida B, Johansen SD (2011). Intermolecular interaction between a branching ribozyme and associated homing endonuclease mRNA. Biological Chemistry, in press.
  • Johansen SD, Karlsen BO, Furmanek T, Andreassen M, Jørgensen TE, Bizuayehu TT, Breines R, Emblem Å, Kettunen P, Luukko K, Edvardsen RB, Nordeide JT, Coucheron DH, Moum T (2011). RNA deep sequencing of the Atlantic cod transcriptome. CBP Genomics and Proteomics 6: 18-22.
  • Nielsen H, Westhof E, Johansen S (2005). A homing endonuclease mRNA is capped by a 2,5 lariat catalyzed by a group I-like ribozyme. Science 309: 1584-1586.