Rui Laboratory

Translational & Biomedical Resource Center
4th Floor |

General Interests
Breast Cancer Research View Hallgeir Rui bio
Hallgeir Rui Laboratory

Personal Statement

I earned a medical degree and a doctorate in experimental pathology from the University of Oslo, Norway. I serve as associate director for shared resources at Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center. My research on hormone-signaling pathways in breast cancer is internationally recognized. I have authored or coauthored ~200 peer-reviewed publications that have been cited nearly 10,000 times. A central focus of my research is on molecular profiling of solid tumors, with published track record in malignancies of the breast, pancreas, prostate, colon, head and neck and melanomas. Key areas of interest are therapy-relevant protein expression, including pathway-activation status and tumor immunology-related markers, with development of better predictive markers and improved personalized cancer care as the overarching goal. Efforts are dedicated to improving methods and applications for quantitative, multiplex immunohistochemistry (IHC) for single-cell protein marker analyses – histocytometry – in solid tumors.

My laboratory invented novel ultrahigh density tissue arraying technology termed cutting-edge matrix assembly (CEMA) that overcomes limitations of core-based tissue arrays (US patent 8,349,584). Our laboratory, in collaboration with Dr. Kay-Uwe Wagner, developed novel prolactin-humanized NSG-Pro mouse strain for more accurate modeling and drug response testing of human breast cancer and other prolactin receptor-positive cancers, and my team has established a panel of new patient-derived breast cancer xenograft models in NSG-Pro mice.

I have extensive experience in facilitating multidisciplinary and collaborative program projects, including a concluded $6.7 million Promise Project Award funded by Susan G. Komen Foundation. Attesting to the productive use of immunofluorescence-based quantitative histocytometry and tissue arraying technologies for high-throughput application of innovative and nonstandard technologies for immunoprofiling of solid tumors, I led a multidisciplinary team that quantified levels of more than 100 therapy-relevant protein markers in nearly 3,000 breast cancer specimens, using tissue arrays and accompanying clinical data assembled and procured by a consortium of five institutions. As the leader of this consortium, I coordinated extensive efforts to combine tissue resources, data, equipment resources and broad areas of expertise.

View Dr. Rui's NCBI Publications

Current Members


Kristen E. Champion

Research Technologist II


Linna Ge

Research Technologist III


Amy Ryder Peck, PhD

Senior Research Scientist


Yunguang Sun, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor


Sameer Udhane, PhD

Clinical Curation Scientist, Exact Sciences

Research unlocks potential for new therapies in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Source: The Cancer Code Weekly News | MCW Cancer Center, October 5, 2021

MCW scientists have created a new mouse strain, called NSG-Pro, that produces levels of human prolactin similar to those in patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Published in Science Advances, the NSG-Pro mouse model offers the potential for more accurate testing of tumor drug responses and improved precision medicine with more optimal therapy selection for patients.

To date, a shortage of human breast tumor models has hampered efforts to identify treatments for patients whose tumors have become therapy resistant and recur years later. “We are particularly excited about the opportunity to study distant metastases and test the effectiveness of new therapies, because until now such experimental models have not been available,” says MCW’s Hallgeir Rui, MD.

Intriguingly, after surgically removing implanted breast cancer tumors in NSG-Pro mice, the team found that two different prolactin-blocking treatments inhibited the growth of cancer cells that had spread to the lungs. While further studies are needed, research offers new insights into tumor biology, metastatic progression, mechanisms of therapy resistance, and new therapeutic approaches.

Learn more about the study

Recent Publications