Ulla Hansen



Ph.D., Harvard University

Postdoctoral, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

General field of research:

Transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells

Affiliations other than medicine:

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Dept. of Biology

Faculty, Program in Bioinformatics, CRC

Director, MCBB Graduate Program, CRC

Contact information:

LSEB 605, 24 Cummington Street, CRC
Phone: (617)-353 8730

Phone: (617)-353 8733
Fax: (617)-353 8484


Other research websites:


Research group information

Stephanie (Tauber) Schneider,  Bioinformatics Graduate Student, stauber@bu.edu


Transcriptional regulation; Cell growth signaling; Cell cycle; Quiescence; LSF; Estrogen receptor

Summary of research interest:

Regulating gene expression in mammalian cells controls biological processes such as cell growth and responses to hormones. Our interests span how regulation of transcription factors activates or represses expression of critical genes, and how signal transduction pathways target transcription machinery, in order ultimately to control cell growth in response to mitogenic factors. We also use bioinformatics to understand transcriptional regulatory networks involved in these biological processes.
The transcription factor LSF, one major focus, controls cell growth and cell cycle progression into DNA replication. A critical gene targeted by LSF is thymidylate synthase, an essential enzyme for cell growth that many cancer chemotherapeutic drugs specifically inhibit. LSF activity is regulated by phosphorylation at a number of sites, in response to multiple signaling pathways. Its activity is tightly regulated during cell growth stimulation and cell cycle progression.

Recent publications:

Hansen U, Owens L, Saxena UH.  2009. Transcription factors LSF and E2Fs: Tandem cyclists driving G0 to S? Cell Cycle, 8:2146-2151.

Saxena UH, Powell CMH, Fecko JK, Cacioppo R, Chou HS, Cooper GM, Hansen U. 2009. Phosphorylation by cyclin C/CDK2 following mitogenic stimulation of murine fibroblasts inhibits transcriptional activity of LSF during G1 progression. Molecular and Cellular Biology 29, 2335-2345.

Repetny KJ, Zhou X, Holodick NE, Rothstein TL, Hansen U. 2009. Binding of LBP-1a to specific immunoglobulin switch regions in vivo correlates with specific repression of class switch recombination. European Journal of Immunology, 39:1387-1394.

Yoo BK, Chen D, Gredler R, Vozhilla N, Su Z-z, Chen D, Shah K, Saxena U, Hansen U, Fisher PB, Sarkar D. 2009. Identification of important genes conferring resistance to 5-fluorouracil. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:12038-12043.

Zhu N, Hansen U. 2007. HMGN1 modulates estrogen-mediated transcriptional activation through interactions with specific DNA-binding transcription factors. Mol Cell Biol 27, 8859-8873.

O’Lone R, Knorr K, Jaffe IZ, Schaffer ME, Martini PGV, Karas RH, Bienkowska J, Mendelsohn ME, Hansen U. 2007. Estrogen receptors alpha and beta mediate distinct pathways of vascular gene expression, including genes involved in mitochondrial electron transport and generation of reactive oxygen species. Mol Endocrinol. 21, 1281-1296.

Frith MC, Fu Y, Yu L, Chen J-F, Hansen U, Weng Z.  2004. Detection of functional DNA motifs via statistical overrepresentation. Nucleic Acids Res. 32, 1372-1381.

O’Lone R, Frith MC, Karlsson EK, Hansen U. 2004. Genomic targets of nuclear estrogen receptors. Mol Endocrinol. 18:1859-1875.

Technologies available for sharing upon request:

Chromatin immunoprecipitation