Hi! 2017 is soon history. Christmas is approaching – a holiday that for many is the highlight of the year – followed by some peaceful days, then New Year’s Eve, the New Year’s Concert and the traditional German-Austrian Ski Jumping Week before a new year is embarking.
As most people probably know, I am the new Head of Department of Clinical Science (K2) after Per Bakke. Since not everybody knows me: I was educated MD 1986 and PhD 1989 at UiB, is consultant physician in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases at the Department of Pediatics and Adoolescents, and has been Professor of Pediatrics from 2000. I have international experience from three research years at the University of Chicago, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively. I have built up the research group in diabetes genetics and lead the KG Jebsen Center for Diabetes Research.
Why K2? Yes, that is a big jump. The motivation for applying for the job as Head of Department was a wish for new challenges at a great institute with a lot of positive energy. Here are top research groups, EU projects, Jebsen Centers, a new study plan in medicine under implementation, and a budget in balance. What scares me is that it is indeed jumping after Wirkola (Norwegian ski jumper legend). Per Bakke and the team around him have really done a great job at K2. Then it is an extra motivation to see if it is possible to bring K2 even further in the field of research and teaching. The Swede ski jumper Boklöv challenged the jump sport with a new way to jump; it is always possible to do something good even better. I believe in inspiration, involvement, internationalization, and innovation. My mother usually says “cleaver people are needed everywhere” – everyone can do an important job for K2 even though the roles are different. One challenge is therefore to work together to make each other even better. Let 1 + 1 be 3 and not 2. But we should also applaud for those that jump the longest and most stylish. We need role models, we need top research, we need top educators, and we always need new ideas.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your warm welcome at the Institute’s day. I would also like to thank the administration for extra efforts during the time that has been, as well as Eystein Husebye, Jone Trovik and Roland Jonsson who have been willing to be instituted department leaders. I wish to thank each of you for working hard for K2 during 2017.
I am looking forward to getting to know K2 better and taking on this exciting task. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and everything good for 2018.