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Via universitetsbibliotekets databas över doktorsavhandlingar kan du söka publicerade doktorsavhandlingar vid Göteborgs högskola/universitet från 1902 och framåt. Databasen innehåller också information om kommande disputationer.

UB:s databas över doktorsavhandlingar

Kommande disputationer

Midkine in Advanced Prostate Cancer - Biological Impact and Biomarker Potential

[2017-12-15] Title: Midkine in Advanced Prostate Cancer - Biological Impact and Biomarker Potential Authors: Nordin, Anna Abstract: Prostate cancer (PC) is generally an androgen-driven disease, why androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the cornerstone for treatment of advanced and metastatic hormone-naïve PC (HNPC). ADT generally offers a good initial response, but normally fails with time, and the disease relapses into lethal castration-resistant PC (CRPC). Neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) is a transdifferentiation process that results in the accumulation of neuroendocrine (NE)-like tumor cells. NED is increased in CRPC and in response to ADT, and may represent a therapy-driven escape mechanism. Midkine (MDK) is a pleiotropic growth factor that is highly expressed during human embryogenesis, but is also induced in many pathological conditions, as in most human carcinomas, including PC. In recent years, MDK has received increased attention as a tumor biomarker in different human carcinomas. In addition to a lack of curative treatments for advanced PC, there is a lack of reliable prognostic and predictive biomarkers. There is a need to find new biomarkers and to better understand the mechanisms behind castration-induced transformation into CRPC, including NED and acquired resistance. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the role and impact of MDK in PC, with a focus on the CR stage and castration induced transformations, including NED. In this work we found MDK to be highly expressed both in advanced HNPC and in progressed CRPC and that MDK is associated with NED in CRPC. MDK was found to be influenced by castration and is presumed to be functionally associated with the androgen receptor. MDK was associated with a profound biological role in androgen-sensitive PC cells in vitro and was found to promote PC cell survival during the initial phase of steroid deprivation. Lastly, MDK was demonstrated to represent a powerful prognostic biomarker in both advanced HNPC and at relapse into CRPC. NED, in response to steroid deprivation, was observed as a transient phase of adaptation before transition into castration resistance, and was furthermore inducible also in the CR-state in response to AR-targeting. In conclusion, this thesis identifies MDK as an important tumor biomarker in PC, with the potential to improve clinical decisions in treatment of patients with both advanced HNPC and CRPC. Furthermore, the functional importance of MDK in tumor evolution was partly elucidated.

On viral infections in lung transplant recipients

[2017-12-15] Title: On viral infections in lung transplant recipients Authors: Jesper, Magnusson Abstract: Viral infections are the most common type of infection in humans. Lung transplantation (LTx) recipients are exceptionally susceptible to infections in general, and the short- and long- term effects tend to be more detrimental. It is important to better determine the effects and outcomes of viral infections to improve survival and long-term quality of life after LTx. The following hypotheses were tested: that early viral respiratory tract infection (VRTI) has long term effect on outcome after lung transplantation (Papers I and III); that hepatitis E (HEV) antibodies are common in Swedish lung transplant recipients (Paper II); and that torque teno Virus (TTV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may be potential biomarkers for monitoring of the net state of immunosuppression after LTx. Methods: Bronchiolar lavage (BAL) samples from a retrospective cohort (Paper I) and from a prospective cohort, together with nasopharyngeal (NPH) samples. (PaperIII) were analyzed with a multiplex PCR for respiratory viruses. Prospectively collected blood samples were analyzed for HEV antibodies using two ELISA methods (Paper III) and for TTV and EBV using PCR (paper IV). Results: VRTI during the first year was associated with a shortened time to chronic rejection but not to death in both the retrospective cohort and the prospective cohort (Paper I and III). Thirteen per cent of the patients had anti -HEV antibodies during follow-up. No association between TTV DNA nor EBV DNA and immunosuppression-related events could be found. Conclusions: VRTI during the first year is an independent risk factor for chronic rejection. HEV antibodies are equally common in the LTx population and the general Swedish population. EBV DNA and TTV DNA has limited usefulness as biomarkers for monitoring of immunosuppression after lung transplantation. Keywords: Lung transplantation, respiratory infection, Respriatory virus, Hepatitis E, Torque Teno Virus, EBV.

Training to become a master mariner in a simulator-based environment: The instructors’ contributions to professional learning.

[2017-12-14] Title: Training to become a master mariner in a simulator-based environment: The instructors’ contributions to professional learning. Authors: Sellberg, Charlott Abstract: In higher education programs that aim to prepare students for professional performance in safety-critical work activities, the introduction of simulators is seen as a fundamentally restructuring of the ways in which professional skills are developed and assessed. This, in turn, creates new challenges and possibilities for both teaching and learning a profession. This thesis examines maritime instructors’ work in supporting students’ collaborative training to become professional seafarers in simulator-based learning environments. The empirical material is based on ethnographic fieldwork and video data of simulator-based training sessions in a navigation course. The thesis consists of four studies. Study I is a literature review and synthesis of previous research on the use of simulators in master mariner training. Study II focuses on the overall organisation of simulator-based training (i.e. briefing–scenario–debriefing) and the instructor’s work throughout the three training phases. Study III examines the organisation of instructions during the scenario phase, while exploring the practice of training to apply “the rules of the road at sea” in the simulator. Study IV connects to an on-going debate on the realism and knowledge transfer of simulator-based training with respect to the work practices on board seagoing vessels for which the students are training. While previous research on the use of simulators in maritime training argues that the current training system favours training towards simulator-based tests rather than to help students become competent professionals, the findings of this thesis point in a different direction. The results of the empirical studies reveal an instructional practice and training model founded on the need to account for the general principles of good seamanship and the anti-collision regulations in maritime operations. The meaning of good seamanship and the rules of the sea are difficult to teach in abstraction, since their application involves an infinite number of contingencies that must be considered in every specific case. Based on this premise, the thesis stresses the importance of both in-scenario instruction and post-simulation debriefing in order for the instructor to demonstrate how general rules for action apply to practical situations in ways that develop students’ professional competences. Moreover, based on the findings, I argue that the relevance of simulator-based training to work contexts is a dialogical phenomenon of relating between practices. Such interactional accomplishments draw on both the students’ access to work contexts and the instructor’s ability to systematically address the similarities, differences and irregularities between practices during training in the simulator.

Using social norms in energy conservation interventions

[2017-12-07] Title: Using social norms in energy conservation interventions Authors: Bergquist, Magnus Abstract: When designing interventions to promote pro-environmental behaviors, practitioners may choose between techniques based on, for example, education, incentives, or social norms. These intervention techniques may, however, target different kinds of motivation, and therefore differ in their psychological and behavioral implications. The aim of this thesis is to assess norm-based intervention techniques targeting energy conservation. Study I compared a contest-based with a norm-based intervention technique. In two online experiments participants performed pro-environmental tasks (writing energy-saving tips and fictive recycling) while provided with either normative or competitive feedback. Results showed that participants assigned to the contest-based intervention technique engaged more intensively in both tasks. Participants in the norm-based intervention technique showed a tendency for stronger intention for future energy conservation and stronger activation of personal norms for non-targeted pro-environmental behaviors. Study II applied the findings from Study I in two field experiments. Participants were randomly assigned to a norm-based or a contest-based intervention targeting electricity conservation. In the contest, both experiments confirmed an intensive but short-lived effect of electricity conservation. Experiment 1 confirmed increase electricity saving attitudes and more long-term electricity conservation in the norm-based interventions. Results of Experiment 2 did not replicate these findings, but supported a positive spillover effect between electricity and water conservation only in the norm-based intervention. Study III tested a conceptual development of the descriptive norm. Analogous to the separation between injunctive proscriptive and prescriptive norms, we suggest that the descriptive norm can be separated into signaling others’ engagement (a descriptive “donorm”) or disengagement (a descriptive “don’t-norm”). In line with our hypothesis that don’tnorms are more influential, results from three experiments consistently showed that don’tnorms outperformed do-norms (15%, 10% and 19%). However, only the third experiment supported the difference with statistical significance. Study IV examined compliance to prescriptive and proscriptive norms, targeting energy conservation. In a 2 (words: prescription vs. proscription) × 2 (picture: prescription vs. proscription) between-subject design, participants were exposed to prompts promoting energy-saving. Results supported the hypothesis, showing that more participants (88.1%) conformed to prompts including both prescriptive and proscriptive content than to prompts including either prescriptions or proscriptions (78.6%). A follow-up experiment indicated that these results were driven by attention and reactance. Finally, when asked which prompt participants would use to influence other people to act pro-environmentally, the majority of participants (80.1%) chose the prompt that was least effective in our field experiment.

Judging question answerability

[2017-12-07] Title: Judging question answerability Authors: Karlsson, Bodil S. A. Abstract: Judging answerability

Governing the Grey Zone: Why Hybrid Regimes in Europe’s Eastern Neighborhood Pursue Partial Governance Reforms

[2017-12-04] Title: Governing the Grey Zone: Why Hybrid Regimes in Europe’s Eastern Neighborhood Pursue Partial Governance Reforms Authors: Bolkvadze, Ketevan Abstract: Every year the European Union, as well as numerous other international organizations, states, and transnational networks wield ample resources to promote democratic governance in the developing countries. However, the impact of these reform promotion efforts varies widely. Many scholars have blamed structural conditions, or the inadequate rewards offered by the donors, as the reasons behind the partial impact of external actors. However, such approach portrays recipient governments as passive objects of the external influence, and overlooks the fact that domestic actors can, themselves, actively subvert or facilitate the reforms. In this dissertation, Ketevan Bolkvadze addresses this gap, by departing from the literature on hybrid regimes, and by placing incumbents and their incentives structures at the forefront of the analysis. The three different studies in this thesis zero in on the hybrid regimes in Moldova and Georgia, and examine how political fragmentation and incumbent’s timehorizons shaped their response to the EU-promoted reforms. The findings from this dissertation show that the external actors are often caught between a rock and a hard place. When they provide assistance for reforms in dominant-party hybrid regimes, incumbents might use this to bolster their popular support, while, in parallel, side-lining their opponents. Thus, donor assistance might help them perpetuate their political tenure. By contrast, while in fragmented hybrid regimes authoritarian tendencies are not an immediate risk, incumbent politicians often use the existing malfunctioning state institutions – and even donor assistance - for reaping personal monetary benefits. In the first case, donor assistance ends up being used for partisan purposes; in the second case, it risks being used for private ends. Both are troubling outcomes.

Tree rings and climate in Scandinavia and Southern Patagonia

[2017-11-30] Title: Tree rings and climate in Scandinavia and Southern Patagonia Authors: Fuentes, Mauricio Abstract: The present knowledge of temperature variability during the past millennium has been greatly improved due to an increasing availability of reconstructions made based on paleoclimate proxies, such as tree-rings. These improvements however, do not suffice to provide a coherent representation of the past climate at local to regional scale at higher latitudes. The reasons, are mainly due to the poor spatial density of the networks and the little understanding of how microsite variability affects the signal stored in the varied tree-ring proxies. Fennoscandia and Patagonia are strategic locations for studies on past climates, and were chosen to extend and improve the existing dendrochronology networks. This work also aimed to provide high quality improved chronologies with skills to reconstruct primarily temperature, with attention to the effects of microsite conditions and large scale atmospheric and oceanic patterns. Using Pinus sylvestris L., two temperature reconstructions were made: a local from the west central Scandinavian mountains extending 970 years using the blue light intensity absorption from tree-rings, and a regional built on ten chronologies extending through the Scandinavian mountains using density and blue intensity information from the tree rings. Additionally, a gridded reconstruction was made on the latter. In Patagonia six Nothofagus betuloides and one Pilgerodendron uviferum chronologies were developed and analyzed. These contained limited and non-statinary information on temperature and precipitation, probably on account of microsite conditions. Chronologies at both study sites were proven to contain information of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic patterns. In Fennoscandia, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Summer North Atlantic Oscillation in addition to volcanic forcing modulate significantly local to regional climate and therefore tree-growth. In Southern Patagonia in turn, tropical and subtropical sea surface temperatures seem to affect tree-growth. While relationships between tree-growth with the Southern Annular Mode were found on years of extreme growth, they were marginal and non-stationary when tested with index at interannual scale. Patterns of spatial correlations with sea level pressure further suggest these links. Moreover, the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, specifically the areas of the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas are indicated to have an unprecedented importance to the growth dynamics of the southernmost forest in the world. The new chronologies developed in the study areas possess potential to be used on studies of climate evolution at higher latitudes taking into account that microsite conditions affect the climate signal recorded in the tree-growth.

Resource Base Change and Development during the Internationalization Process: The Case of a Swedish Fashion Firm

[2017-11-30] Title: Resource Base Change and Development during the Internationalization Process: The Case of a Swedish Fashion Firm Authors: Ekdahl, Marissa Abstract: This thesis examines the processes that define the change and development of a firm’s resources and capabilities during the internationalization process. Prior research shows that a firm’s resources and capabilities have an important impact on the internationalization process, either hindering or enabling it. Despite this, the processes that explain the development and change of firms’ resource bases have been neglected in the extant research. There is still a lack of understanding of how firms’ resource bases change and why such changes develop in a particular way during the internationalization process. To study resource base changes and developments during internationalization, a longitudinal single case study was conducted. The empirical basis of the study is a firm in the Swedish fashion industry starting as they begin their growth and expansion process, wherein this particular firm is confronted with the need to deal, develop and change their resources and capabilities in response to internationalization. The findings reveal that the development and change to firms’ resource bases is a complex and multilayered process. This is because firms need to develop both managerial and organizational capabilities to enable the development of dynamic capabilities, which draw from the firms’ managerial and organizational capabilities. Furthermore, the changes are embedded in firms’ commitment to resource base change and development; development of knowledge via experience, search, grafting, and congenital learning; and the development of internationalization knowledge. The study contributes to the internationalization process literature by incorporating the internal aspects related to change and development as firms internationalize. Also, this study explores dynamic capabilities by showing how firms build those capabilities as well as when dynamic capabilities are realized. The thesis shows that dynamic capability is the ability to synchronize the four processes, which are build, integrate, reconfigure, and leverage resources and capabilities. Synchronization involves the ability to be involved in all four processes while also being alert to the changes in firms’ business networks.

Rotavirus and polymicrobial enteric infections and their short-term course in East African children

[2017-11-30] Title: Rotavirus and polymicrobial enteric infections and their short-term course in East African children Authors: Andersson, Maria Abstract: Diarrhoeal diseases in children under five years are the second leading cause of deaths in children worldwide, and especially in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in southern Asia where about 450,000 children die every year as a result of diarrhoea. The main cause of diarrhoeal diseases is acute gastroenteritis that is due to infection with viruses, bacteria or protozoa, most often acquired by ingestion of contaminated water or food, or through contact between persons. Studies of acute gastroenteritis in children in low-income countries have identified rotavirus, norovirus, Cryptosporidium, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Shigella as the most frequent aetiologies to diarrhoea. Rotavirus has been the cause of more than half of all deaths caused by diarrhoea in children, but its impact is declining due to increased use of the rotavirus vaccines Rotarix and RotaTeq. Enteric infections are frequent in small children in low-income countries, both in those with diarrhoea and in healthy controls, and often two or more pathogens are present at the same time. How co-infecting pathogens are associated, and if multiple infections aggravate symptoms, is not well known. We investigated polymicrobial infections among 1318 children in Rwanda and Zanzibar and found negative associations between the agents that alone are capable of causing diarrhoea. Positive associations between agents only in the patient group were unusual and rarely aggravated the symptoms. Positive associations in both patients and controls were found between two pairs of targets, and these results were useful for estimating the proportion of Escherichia coli that carried both or only either of some important virulence factors (ST or LT; eae or bfpA). Clearance and acquisition of enteric pathogens were studied in 127 children in Zanzibar with diarrhoea. Faeces samples were collected on admission and at a follow-up 14 days later. The majority of the pathogens detected at baseline had been eradicated or decreased in amount on follow-up, but in parallel new infections occurred at a high rate. The clearance rates were independent of the children's nutritional status. The findings suggest that the high rates of enteric infections in children in low-income settings depend on living conditions with high exposure rather than failure to eradicate pathogens because of malnutrition and poor immune responses. Rotavirus vaccines were introduced in Rwanda in May 2012. Analysis of samples from children with diarrhoea during the pre- and post-vaccine period showed a significantly lower rate of rotavirus in vaccinated children less than one year of age compared with unvaccinated children in the same age group, as presented in Paper IV. In children aged 1–5 years the rate of rotavirus was independent on vaccination status. Severe dehydration was more rare in vaccinated children, independently of age. To allow simple distinction between rotavirus genotypes in large numbers of samples, we developed a multiple real-time PCR method. This assay was used for genotyping of rotavirus in samples from Sweden (n = 775) and Rwanda (n = 549). In Sweden, where vaccination has not yet been implemented, the predominant rotavirus genotype in patients with diarrhoea changed significantly over time during 2010–2014, and these shifts differed also between age groups. Likewise, in Rwanda there were significant genotype shifts during 2009–2015, i.e. both before and after the introduction of vaccination. These results indicate that changes in genotype frequencies observed after the start of vaccination most likely were part of natural fluctuations rather than reflecting that the vaccine induced poorer protection against certain genotypes. In summary, this work provides new knowledge on the importance of enteric co-infections and shows that children in poor settings are heavily exposed to enteric pathogens that they effectively clear. By the introduction of a new and simple rotavirus genotyping method we show how rotavirus genotypes change extensively over time in both Sweden and Rwanda, irrespective of vaccination. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the introduction of rotavirus vaccination in Rwanda in 2012 has reduced the number of rotavirus infection in children below, but not above, the age of 12 months. Finally, vaccination has reduced the proportion of rotavirus infections that cause severe dehydration, but resulted in a relative increase of other viruses detected in children with diarrhoea.

Cross-Sector Strategists. Dedicated Bureaucrats in Local Government Administration

[2017-11-29] Title: Cross-Sector Strategists. Dedicated Bureaucrats in Local Government Administration Authors: Svensson, Petra Abstract: It is argued that political-administrative organizations are becoming increasingly complex with more horizontal governance required. In Swedish municipal administration, there is a group of administrators assigned the task of monitoring and promoting strategic topics that should be integrated horizontally within the organization. Examples of strategic topics are sustainability, safety/security, diversity, children/youth, public health, human rights, and gender equality. In the thesis, these administrators are called cross-sector strategists. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how cross-sector strategists become a part of the political-administrative organization when representing, enacting, and reflecting on values in the undertaking of their formal posts. They are situated between the tradition of vertical governance, with formal procedures and hierarchy as its foundation, and the tradition of horizontal governance, with informal networks and deliberation as its foundation. Previous research has shown that this is likely to give rise to value conflicts, and the question is if cross-sector strategists experience value conflicts, and if so, how they cope with them. The cross-sector strategists are studied in this thesis from the perspective of situated agency – focusing on both the contextual expectations of the cross-sector strategists and on their internal reflections to solve value conflicts – in order to explore their process of becoming a part of the local government administration. A mixed-methods design is applied, containing analysis of job advertisements for cross-sector strategists, public managers, and social workers; in-depth interviews with cross-sector strategists; and a survey of professional networks for cross-sector strategists. The results show that cross-sector strategists are subjects to ambivalent and often-contradictory contextual expectations. Cross-sector strategists use the ambivalence of their work for their strategic purposes, and such ambivalence allows them to reframe their topics, their methods, their arguments, and their identity according to current situation in order to increase the impact of their assigned topics and diminish the inner conflict of wanting to be both a responsive bureaucrat and an active lobbyist. Combining these two dedications requires them to be highly reflexive and flexible actors. The outcome of cross-sector strategists’ coping with value conflicts can be interpreted in two ways: 1) as if the cross-sector strategists are a formal tool to safeguard crucial democratic and ethical values due to the cross-sector strategists’ method of sneaking the strategic policy areas into the organization. Or 2) as a to democracy risky administrative behavior in the long-term due to the disguising of value conflicts and diminished possibilities to process these value conflicts.

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