Seminar at the KG Jebsen Center for Diabetes Research

KGJ gruppen mars 2014. Sv-Hv.JPGTwice a year the KG Jebsen Center for Diabetes Research is arranging a one-day seminar for all participants of the center. Thursday September 25th, the focus was on international collaboration.

It has become a tradition to hold the seminar at Urdihuset. In pleasant surroundings members meet to discuss and share research experience, all with the same goal: to promote diabetes research.

Professor Anne Christine Johannessen, the Vice-Rector for international affairs at the University of Bergen, was invited to open the seminar. She gave a nice overview of agreements that UiB holds with institutions throughout the world. She presented strategies, possibilities, and founding opportunities to promote internationalization for both education and research.

Next, inspiring talks were given by Professor Pål. R. Njølstad , Postdoctor Simon Dankel, Professor Anders Molven and Associate Professor Jørn Sagen. They shared their experience from research stays in the States, including Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Harvard Medical School, University of Chicago, and Baylor College of Medicine. They all emphasized the importance of travelling abroad, to get inspiration and ideas, to start new collaborations, to get access to patient cohorts, and not least to meet new people. They also gave examples of how coincidences can lead to fruitful collaborations, followed by publications in high impact journals such as Nature, Cell and PNAS .

Professor Helge Ræder explained the importance of having a written agreement when biological materials are sent between partners. He referred to MTA (material transfer agreement), a contract that regulates the rights, obligations and restrictions of both the provider and the recipient with respect to intellectual property, liability, confidentiality, publication of research results, permitted use of the material and other associated legal issues. He also mentioned REK (regional committees for medical and health research ethics), which takes care of the patients’ rights when patient materials are shared between research groups.

As a follow up, Professor Rolf Terje Lie talked about his collaboration with the National Institute of Health (USA) and his experience with material transfer. Furthermore, he emphasized that Norway is holding unique population registries that make us very attractive as researchers partners.

Finally, everyone had the chance to ask questions to a panel of scientists with international experience. It was a great opportunity for those planning a research stay abroad to get information on everything from planning and financing to how to travel with family.

The meeting was very successful and one way to sum up the day is as follows: “Science is a social enterprise and networking is important to move forward” (quote Simon Dankel)

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