Eva Hellmén

Eva Hellmén


I applied for the veterinary education because I wanted to become a pathologist. Which is because I participated in a lecture series about cancer of a professor in pathology in my youth. I became extremely fascinated by the subject and thought of a future where I could combine my great animal interest with cancer research. Already as a student, I came to be particularly interested in the dog's mammary tumours. The tumours are frequent and a challenge to diagnose. Why is there sometimes both cartilage and bone tissue in tumours formed in a tissue where there is only epithelium and connective tissue present?


Academic education

Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Veterinary certification, 1982.

Doctoral degree

Certificate of PhD, 1989, in Veterinary medicine, Pathology. Title of doctoral thesis: “Mammary tumours in the female dog. A study of tumour histogenesis and DNA ploidy in relation to histology, prognosis and tumour progression.” Supervisor: Professor Agnar Nilsson, SLU.

Postdoctoral position

1990-1998, at varying percentage, Uppsala University, Department of Pathology, Division of Tumour biology.

Senior lecturer expertise

Professor in Cell- and Tumour biology, SLU, 2012.

Senior lecturer in Cell- and Tumour biology, SLU, 2000.

Associate Professor in Pathology, SLU, 1999.

Current post

Professor in Cell- and Tumour biology at SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry.

Previous employment and length of employment

1998 - 2000 Positions at the Department of Anatomy and Histology, SLU; as Laboratory Veterinarian and University Assistant Master.

1983 - 1998 Positions at the Department of Pathology SLU; as Assistant, PhD student, Laboratory Veterinarian and Research Assistant.

1983 - 1990 Appointment as District Veterinarian one weekend/month.

1983              Position at Pharmacia AB, Uppsala, 6 months.

1979 - 1982 (Summer vacations) Positions at the Laboratory for Pathology-Anatomy, National Veterinary Institute (SVA), 1979 as autopsy technician and 1980-1982 as Laboratory Veterinarian.

1978              (Summer vacation) Position at the Department of Anatomy and Histology on a grant from the Royal Forest- and Agricultural academy.

Awards and special commissions

Benzelius award for promising research, Kungliga Vetenskapssociteten, November 1991.

Shared award for the best doctoral thesis presented at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine during 1987 - 1989, Sällskapet för Veterinärmedicinsk Forskning, May 1990.

Persons who have completed their doctoral degree for which the applicant has been the main supervisor

Helena Wensman, who defended her doctoral thesis entitled: “Differences in plasticity and expression of developmental genes in canine mammary carcinomas and sarcomas”, 2009-04-29 (SLU No. 2009:15).

Tutor experience

Main supervisor for 28 undergraduate students at SLU, Uppsala University, KVL in Denmark, as well as for students from Europe and USA on individual degree projects (7,5 hp - 30 hp), (written reports and orally presented). Main Supervisor for 49 undergraduate students in literature projects (7,5 - 15 hp), (written reports and orally presented, individual or group level) and for 7 undergraduate students in Biomedical science (Applied laboratory methodology), (7,5 hp).

Assignment as opponent, member of grades committees, expert advisor

Member of the examination board at the defence of 11 Doctoral theses (Karolinska Institute (KI), SLU, Uppsala University (UU) and Umeå University), 1993-2012.

Member of the examination board at the defence of two Master of Science degrees (SLU), 2000-2001; two half-time controls (KI), 2003-2004 and three half-time controls (UU), 2009-2012.

Swedish delegate and member of the board in the EU, COST CM1106 action ”Chemical Approaches to Targeting Drug Resistance in Cancer Stem Cells (StemChem)”, 2012-2016.

Swedish delegate and member of the board in the EU, COST B20 action ”Mammary gland development, function and cancer”, 2003-2006.

Expert advisor in the ”Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare (SCAW)”, 2010-

Editorial/advisory board for international journals

Member of the Editorial board of the journal “ International Journal of Veterinary Health Science & Research (IJVHSR)”, 2013-

Member of the Editorial board of the journal "Veterinary and Comparative Oncology", -2012.

Referee for international journals

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, BMC Cancer, BMC Genomics, BMC Veterinary Research, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Cancer Letters, Cell proliferation, Folia Histchemica et Cytobiologica, International Journal of Cancer, Journal of the American, Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Molecular Oncology, Laboratory animals, PLoS ONE, Reproduction in domestic animals, Research in Veterinary Science, The Veterinary Journal, Veterinary Comparative Oncology, Veterinary Pathology, Veterinary Quarterly

Active participation in international conferences

In the last 8 years active participation in 16 international conferences.

Member of academies

CRU - Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala

ECVP - European College of Veterinary Pathology

ESVONC - European Society of Veterinary Oncology 1992-2013, (President 2004-2008)

SciLifeLab - Science for Life Laboratories, Uppsala branch

Invited lecturer at postgraduate courses 15 times, 1992-2011.

Invited popular scientific presentations (oral or written) 10 times, 1988-2002.

Other scientific merits


Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists (ECVP), 1996 - 2017 (re-registration is required every 5th year)

Pedagogic courses and development work

Teaching in Higher Education, basic course, SLU (2015).

Entrepreneurial learning course, SLU (2014)

Pedagogic course for prospective Associate Professors, SLU (1994).

General basic course on pedagogy, SLU (1984).

Project report, funded by SLU on ”Research-related education at SLU.” Erling Ögren, Eva Hellmén, Göran Hartman, Li-Hua Zhu and Maria Andersson, SLU (2011).

Didactic report, funded by a three months grant from the Unit of Pedagogy, entitled ”A didactic study of the development of the pathology subject in veterinary education”, SLU (1996).

Scientific publications

Please see below under the heading "Publikationslista" (Publication list).


Teaching in basic education

During the appointment at the Department of Pathology during 1983-1998, teaching in pathology for veterinary students during form 2, 3, 4 and 5 (10-100%). During the appointment at the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry 1999-2017, teaching in general histology, cell biology and tumour biology for veterinary students in form 1 (3,5 hp), (50%).

Teacher in the Socrates/Erasmus programme at the Institute of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine at the University of veterinary medicine in Vienna, Austria, April 2-8, 2001.


The mammary glands are unique in the way that they are not mature at birth but not until puberty or even not until after a full term pregnancy. This means that genes that in other organs in the body only are embryonic expressed can be studied after birth in the mammary gland. The knowledge about the so-called stem cells in the breast is limited and the processes that transform these cells into tumour cells are not fully understood. Our research is focused on the different types of cancer that appear in the breast, although carcinomas that originate from the epithelial cells dominate, sarcomas and mixed tumours also appear and the origin of the latter types are unknown. The aim of our research is to understand how the different types of breast cancer are formed and the end is to prevent their genesis.

We are studying the molecular mechanisms for tumorigenesis in own established canine mammary tumour cell lines of different phenotypes, complex adenoma, carcinoma, spindle cell tumour, osteosarcoma and carcinosarcoma as well as in primary tumours. The focus is on why and how the different phenotypes are formed

Tools and techniques

In house we do post-mortem examinations including histopathology; cell culture techniques; immunocytochemistry on cells and immunohistochemistry on frozen- and paraffin sections; Western blot analyses. In collaboration we do flow cytometric cell sorting, gene expression and tissue arrays.

Contact information

Eva Hellmén, DVM, Professor, Dipl. ECVP.
Phone: +46 18 672128


Forskare vid Institutionen för anatomi, fysiologi och biokemi (AFB); Avdelningen för anatomi och fysiologi
Telefon: 018-672128
Inst för anatomi och fysiologi, Box 7011
Besöksadress: VHC Huvudentré, Ulls väg 26, hus 5, plan 4, Uppsala