Category Archives: K2 Nytt Uke 35

Go abroad, but come back

It is now possible to apply for funding for stays abroad, both for senior and younger researchers. The professors have the possibility to go on a sabbatical every 7th year, which is a fantastic opportunity to establish new collaborations, build networks and have time to plan projects and write applications. New collaborations are not only useful for the professor him- or herself, it provides opportunities for others in the research group to go abroad. Several of the groups at the department have utilized this in an exemplary way, for example the endocrine, diabetes and lung research groups.

Now, professors, postdocs and PhD students can apply for such funding both from UiB (deadline 1 October,  and Helse-Vest (deadline 15 September.  Postdoctoral fellows are especially encouraged to apply (Helse-Vest) and UiB provides an extra year of salary if you use it for a stay abroad. Support can also be applied for from the Research Council and other funding bodies *. The application deadline for a sabbatical leave is 1 April to the department each year.

Many do not consider an extended stay abroad due to practical challenges with regard to work and studies for their partner, schooling for children and housing. An alternative could be a shorter stay, perhaps to a country in Europe that requires less practical preparation. Such stays can also be valuable in order to establish the networks that can lift your research.

Read the announcement and apply. Request to visit an institution abroad is rarely turned down when you come with your own salary.

Good weekend!

Eystein Husebye

*Other funding bodies

Dissertation – Yasaman – September 15th

Yasaman Pakdaman

Trial lecture:     Wednsday September 15th at 10:15

Subject:        “Targeted molecular therapy in monogenic neurodegenerative diseases: Challenges and opportunities”

Link to digital dissertation

Dissertation:                  Wednsday September 15th at 12:15

Subject:       “Dysfunction of the protein quality control system in neurodegeneration: a study of the co-chaperone and ubiquitin ligase CHIP in vitro and in zebrafish”


  1. opponent: Professor Nico Dantuma, Karolinska Institute, Sverige
  2. opponent: Forsker Kaja Kristine Selmer, Oslo Universitets Sykehus
  3. medlem av komiteen: Professor Silje Skrede, Universitetet i Bergen

Disputasen blir ledet av professor Lars Herfindal.

Open for all.

Link to digital dissertation


King Olav V’s Prize for Cancer Research 2021 to Bjørn Tore Gjertsen

The Norwegian Cancer Society announced September 2nd that this year’s King Olav V’s Prize for Cancer Research will go to Professor Bjørn Tore Gjertsen. The award amounts to 1 million NOK, is considered as a great honor in the Norwegian research communities and goes to the very best in the entire spectrum of Norwegian cancer research.


Accounting department reduced staff

Kjetil Dyrkolbotn og Mia Holmaas have now transferred to new positions at UiB. The process of finding new, talented colleagues is underway.

Until new staff is in place, it may take a little longer before we respond to your inquiry.

If you plan to send applications this autumn, we ask that you contact your controller as soon as possible so that we can plan a good process.

K2 Junior Retreat – November 22nd – 23rd

Dear all PhDs and PostDocs at K2,

We are pleased to invite you to the next K2 Junior Retreat, which will be held at Scandic Hotel Voss on November 22-23 (lunch-to-lunch). We will take the train together from Bergen on the morning of November 22, and return in the afternoon on the 23rd.

The idea of the annual retreat is to have an educational, social and inspirational meeting place for you, the younger members of our department. There will be Flash Talks (short presentations of your projects), science group work and other scientific and practical input relevant to you as an early career scientist/employee.

We will soon share the program and open the registration. Until then, please save the dates. We strongly encourage you to not miss out – and all is paid for by K2!

Best wishes,

Foto: Sara Finne

The Organizing Committee (Simon Dankel, Elvira Viñegra, Ester Kringeland, André Sulen, Katrin Kleinsmann, Pernille Svalastoga)

Obituary: Gunnar Haukenes (1927 – 2021)

A nestor of Norwegian virology, Professor Emeritus Gunnar Haukenes, has passed away.

Gunnar Haukenes died on 21 August 2021 after a short illness in his 95th year. He was born in Arendal in 1927 and proved to be gifted both intellectually and musically with perfect pitch. In his youth, he had to choose between professional careers as a pianist and medical education. It was the medicine that won, and he completed his medical education at the University of Oslo in 1951.

Gunnar Haukenes defended his doctoral degree “Immunochemical studies on Polysaccharide A from Staphylococcus aureus” in 1962. This was among the first doctoral degrees at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bergen, and he followed up with several publications in this bacteriological course in the next few years. He also had a research stay abroad at the University of Rochester, New York, from 1963 to 1964.

Gunnar Haukenes’ professional identity is primarily related to the build-up of virological research and diagnostics in Bergen, first with studies of the immune response to influenza viruses, later with research on rubella virus, measles virus and HIV. In 1963, the microbiological and immunological research moved from Allégaten into the newly built MFH building, today Armauer Hansen’s house, on the medical campus in Bergen.

In 1966, a dedicated virus lab was stablished at the MFH building, with Gunnar Haukenes as the first leader, first as a lecturer at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and at the same time a consultant in virology at Haukeland Hospital. In the next few years, Haukenes built up both virological research and diagnostics in Bergen. His position as lecturer was in 1972 changed into a personal professorship.

The medical students remember Haukenes as a highly skilled and thorough lecturer in virology, and as a committed and friendly person who would answer any question in the breaks.

Gunnar Haukenes had a colossal knowledge in medical microbiology and was consulted by colleagues both locally and nationally, and he always impressed with his precise and wise answers. In the Norwegian and Scandinavian virology environments, he was an authority and was described as one of Scandinavia’s foremost virologists of the era.

Throughout his life, he was a gifted piano player. For the past seven years, after his wife died, Haukenes lived at Fantoft Care Centre, where he daily played piano for the other residents.


Gunnar Haukenes will be remembered as a sympathetic and dedicated scientist and lecturer with great integrity and profound knowledge that many benefited from.


For colleagues at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital,

Lars Haarr, Birgitta Åsjö, Karl-Henning Kalland, Elling Ulvestad


The 22nd Broegelmann Lecture, October 15, 14:00 CET

Role of Tim-3 in regulating anti-tumor immunity

Vijay Kuchroo is Samuel L. Wasserstrom Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Senior scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Co-Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Brigham Research Institutes, Boston. Vijay Kuchroo is a renowned immunologist, and he was the first to describe development of pathogenic Th17 cells known to have a central role in many autoimmune diseases. His lab was also the first to describe the TIM gen family, with Tim-3 as an inhibitory receptor expressed on T cells. His lecture can be followed via zoom