Norwegian US Initiative on Sjögren’s syndrome (NUSISS)

About the group

NUSISS was founded in 2009 and is an international collaboration on primary Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects salivary and lacrimal glands. The project focuses on clinical and etiological aspects of the disease.

Although Sjögren’s syndrome has long been thought to be caused by lymphocytic infiltration, our recent work has suggested that defective intercellular adhesion is one of the underlying causes of this disease.

Project members

Janicke Liaaen Jensen, project leader, professor, University of Oslo, Norway

Maria Kukuruzinska, cofounder, professor, Boston University

Melinda Larsen, Associate Professor, University at Albany, State University of New York

Kathrine Skarstein, Professor, University of Bergen

Hilde Galtung, professor, University of Oslo, Norway

Tone Berge Enger, PhD-student 2010-2014

Several researchers, clinicians and rheumatologists from Oslo University Hospital and Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo.

Understanding salivary gland function”, an expansion of NUSISS, was selected as one of three priority areas by the Faculty of Dentistry in 2015.

First group meeting in Iceland 2010; from left Hilde Galtung, Melinda Larsen, Janicke Liaaen Jensen, Maria Kukuruzinska, Tone Berge Enger and Kathrine Skarstein. Photo: private.


  • Enger TB, Palm Ø, Sandvik L, Garen T, Jensen JL: Oral distress in primary Sjögren’s syndrome: Implications for health-related quality of life. Eur J Oral Sci 2011, 119, 474–480.
  • Palm Ø, Garen T, Enger TB, Jensen JL, Lund M-B, Aaløkke TM, Gran JT. The presence of anti-La/SSB antibodies, lymphopenia and Raynaud’s phenomenon predicts lung involvement in primary Sjögren’s syndrome. Rheumatology 2013, 52,173-179.
  • Enger TB, Samad-Zadeh A, Bouchie M, Skarstein K, Galtung HK, Mera T, Walker J, Menko AS, Varelas X, Faustman DL, Jensen JL, Kukuruzinska M The Hippo signaling pathway is required for salivary gland development and its dysregulation is associated with Sjogren-like disease. Lab Invest 2013, 93, 1203-1218.
  • Enger TB, Aure MH, JensenJL, GaltungH. Calcium signaling and cell volume regulation are altered in Sjögren's Syndrome. Acta Odontol Scand 2014, 72,549-56. doi: 10.3109/00016357.2013.879995. Epub 2014 Jan 29.
  • Grigoriou M, Enger TB, Øveraasen HC, Palm Ø, Garen T og Jensen JL. Livskvalitet, munntørrhet og kliniske funn hos pasienter med Sjögrens syndrom. Nor Tannlegerforen Tidende, 2014, 124, 820-826.
  • Gervais EM, DeSantis KA, Pagendarm N, Nelson DA, Skarstein K, Jensen JL, Larsen M. Changes in the Submandibular Salivary Gland Epithelial Basal Cell Subpopulations During Progression of Sjögren’s Syndrome in the NOD/ShiLtJ Mouse Model. Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2015, 298, 1622-1634. doi: 10.1002/ar.23190. Epub 2015 Jul 16.


Published Jan. 6, 2017 1:26 PM - Last modified Apr. 27, 2020 11:43 AM