Category Archives: This week’s editorial

K2 Retreat Refreshed

K2 recently hosted its annual retreat on Tuesday, April 30th. In a departure from tradition, this year’s gathering took place at UiB’s newly renovated premises on Nygårdsgaten 5, rather than the usual Solstrand location, prompted by the institute’s current financial situation.

The retreat proved to be highly informative, offering valuable insights for all participants. After a warm welcome from outgoing head of department Pål Njølstad, we delved into the “healthy economy” project, presented by Dean Per Bakke. While K2’s financial health currently faces challenges, there’s optimism for improvement in the near future. On the bright side, K2 continues to excel in research, benefiting from a robust influx of external funding. Importantly, no staff members will face termination. However, the deficit and hiring freeze pose challenges, particularly affecting administrative roles. As of June, the administration team will operate with only 1.5 positions, necessitating teamwork and creativity. Boundaries between subject areas are fluid, and PhD students’ responsibilities extend beyond teaching to include administrative tasks. Stepping out of comfort zones will be essential.

In the pursuit of creativity, artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as a powerful tool. Robert Hetlelid, from the IT department, provided an insightful overview of UiB-chat and Copilot—tools exclusively available to UiB employees. These tools surpass Chat-GPT in functionality, prompting me to cancel my Chat-GPT subscription in favor of Copilot. For Helse Bergen PC users, remember to log in to Edge using your UiB account.

Perhaps consider leveraging Copilot for crafting better applications? Research advisor Susanna Pakkasmaa highlighted various application possibilities during the retreat. While K2 performs well, there’s room for improvement, especially in securing EU funding. Success stories further motivated us: Research student Jonas Hodneland Sundfjord shared insights from longitudinal GWAS analyses on the Mother-Child cohort, while Professor Simona Chera outlined the KG Jebsen Center for Myeloid Blood Cancer’s mission. Chemicals play a crucial role in research, and proper disposal is essential. Consult with Bente-Lise P. Lillebø, senior adviser at the Occupational Health Service, to navigate chemical handling—an area where UiB has a good agreement with BIR.

The retreat concluded with an update from Professor Simon Dankel on Vestlandslegen, followed by anniversary celebrations. Notably, Pål Njølstad received an AI-generated artwork crafted by researcher Marc Vaudel as a token of appreciation.

For those who missed out, fear not—next year promises a fresh retreat. Perhaps our collective success will allow us to reconvene at Solstrand?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Eystein Husebye
Acting Head of Department

Reflections on an Exciting Journey at K2

As my time as the Head of K2 comes to an end, I feel both nostalgia and gratitude. These past six years have been a whirlwind of challenges, triumphs, and camaraderie – a journey that has left deep marks on our department.

A Pattern of Outstanding Achievements

Our department is like a vibrant pattern woven from various disciplines. From medical education to pharmacy and nutrition, we have nurtured the minds of countless students, shaped their futures, and instilled in them a high standard of quality. Our professors and associate professors – 52 steadfast individuals in permanent positions and 79 dedicated souls in part-time roles – form the threads of this network, enabling us to provide our students with education that will carry them safely into their professional lives.

The unsung heroes

But let us not forget the less visible heroes – the 171 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers who tirelessly work in the laboratories, unravel mysteries, and push the boundaries of knowledge. Their passion drives our research, and their curiosity propels us forward. To them, I extend my deepest gratitude.

Groundbreaking Discoveries

Our journey has been marked by milestones. We have stood on local podiums, received well-deserved awards, and national and international recognition has affirmed our collective efforts. We have contributed to groundbreaking discoveries why our research graces the pages of prestigious international journals, including the Nature family.

The magic of translation

Our research is more than data points – it is a bridge between the laboratory and the hospital bed. Always keeping the patient in mind, we work toward solutions that matter. And it is this delicate balance between science and practice, between molecules and medicine, that ultimately turns hypotheses into hope – into improved diagnostics and treatment for our patients.

Facing the storms

Yes, there have been storms. The COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges have tested our resilience. But like seasoned sailors, we have adjusted our sails and navigated through turbulent waters. And amidst it all, the spirit of K2 remains unwavering – a beacon of collaboration.

Gratitude prevails

Today, as I stand at the threshold of a new chapter, my heart is filled primarily with gratitude. To the technicians fine-tuning our instruments, the young researchers dreaming big, and the professors sparking curiosity. And let us not forget the unsung heroes – the administrative warriors who keep our ship afloat. Their precise work may go unnoticed, but it is always deeply appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Farewell

As I pen my final editorial comment, I raise a virtual glass to each one of you. Our institute is not just about science; it is about people – the beating hearts that breathe life into the walls of K2’s many rooms. My hope is that K2 continues to flourish, bringing joy to new generations.

A thousand thanks, dear colleagues, for making this journey unforgettable. We will meet again, albeit with me in a different role.

Pål

The Crown Prince Rides Again

The eternal crown prince or deputy is a figure who often finds themselves in the shadow of the leader and thrives there, yet still plays a hopefully important role in the organization. If we believe the descriptions online, the crown princes’ perpetual presence in this position can be both a blessing and a curse. What it has been for me, others will judge, but now I will from May 1st lead you safely through spring and summer until a new institute leader is in place, hopefully by September 1st.

In the meantime, there is much exciting happening. First up is the K2 seminar on April 30th. There we will thank Pål for the great effort he has made for K2 over 6 years. Never have K2 researchers brought in more BOA funds than in the last years under Pål’s leadership. In addition, there will be presentations about artificial intelligence, gene studies, and what the new KG Jebsen Center lead by Gjertsen and Chera will be dealing with. There will be talks about the work environment and chemical handling, Vestlandslegen and our jubilants will be marked. As always, there will be good food and time to mingle with colleagues. In May and June, there will be a Faculty lunch and Institute Council, exams including OSCE, so stay tuned.

As always, there are application opportunities. The Trond Mohn Center for Women’s Research is announcing grants, there is a call for sketches for a new round of Norwegian Center of Excellence plus much more, detailed in K2 news.

Eystein

Innovative Health Initiative-Funding source with emphasis on implementing innovative solutions

“Innovative Health Initiative” (IHI) is a funding source which may not be well known in the Deartment yet, possibly because the first call for proposals was launched in 2022. IHI is partially funded by the EU and partially by industry associations within the natural sciences (pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, medical technology). The calls from IHI differ from those we primarily associate with the EU. There is a focus on innovation, but with an emphasis on implementation rather than innovation at low TRL levels. One of the main goals is to facilitate the transition from industry-derived innovations to application in healthcare services to achieve the transformation required in the healthcare services in the future. This is reflected in the calls, which have so far been relatively specific. For instance, one of last year’s calls focused on “Patient-centered blood sample collection to enable decentralized clinical trials and improve access to healthcare,” focusing on the use of already established methods for such blood sampling. It is a requirement, not just a strength, that partners from industry and/or public administration be involved in the projects, and it is often industry partners who initiate the consortium.

At the moment, IHI calls 6 and 7 are active, with deadlines approaching soon. Therefore, next year’s calls may be more relevant. Establishing a good consortium will be a comprehensive process. Joining as a partner in projects initiated by others can be a good approach. On IHI’s website, there is a tool for registering as a potential partner and building networks. Potential partners from Norway are considered interesting, but one should consider specific Norwegian issues, such as healthcare financing, in relation to relevant projects. Another tip is to become a member of relevant COST networks. Here, there are often potential partners interested in working towards EU-related applications. An overview of active COST actions can be found on the COST website: : https://www.cost.eu/

One final point is that IHI welcomes input regarding future calls, allowing stakeholders to influence future directions.

Happy Easter!

Whether you spent your days in the mountains, abroad, or at home in Bergen, I hope you had time for family and friends and managed to recharge your batteries.

Now we’re heading into a term leading up to summer, which tends to be busy with OSCE exams and application deadlines. I encourage you once again to apply for FRIPRO NFR, as there are currently very few applications, increasing your chances of success. Additionally, consider EU and ERC, which actually have higher success rates than NFR 🌟.

Here are some important meetings involving all or some of you that deserve your support:

  1. Wednesday, April 17, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM: Faculty Day (for everyone): Awards ceremony and exciting lectures. Let’s celebrate this fantastic day together!
  2. Tuesday, April 30, 8:30 AM–2:00 PM: K2 Seminar (for everyone): Focus on practical AI use and safety.
  3. Wednesday, May 8, 11:30 AM–12:30 PM: Joint lunch at Eitri (for everyone).
  4. Wednesday, May 15: Faculty Lunch (for academic staff): Dean Per Bakke, CFO Kristine Tangen, and Faculty Director Synnøve Myhre will discuss the impact on our faculty when “all” state funds go toward defense.
  5. Wednesday, June 12, 11:30 AM–12:30 PM: Joint lunch at Eitri (for everyone).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pål

 

Dear all!

The institute’s day will be held on April 30 in “Storsalen”, Nygårdsgaten 5, and I hope as many as possible have the opportunity to participate. This is a great way to get to know each other. The program with focus on AI can be found here, and registration is already open here 😊 Deadline to sign up is 12 April.

Even in these financially difficult times we will allocate small research funds. The intention is that the funds should be given to research groups that have not received large grants so that they can start new projects. It can be applied to cover expenses for travel, seminars, courses, materials, technical-administrative assistance and other operating costs.

Requirements for application and criteria for allocation:

– The funds go to researchers who do not have large operating funds already.
– The size of the individual grants is between 15 000-75 000 NOK.
– The funds must be used by 2023 and cannot be transferred to 2024.
– Recipients must be active researchers in a permanent scientific position at K2, Prof. II or 1.am. II.
Recipients must have applied for external funds in recent years.

All permanent scientific employees (including scientific employees in 10-50% position) at K2 can apply. It is done via this linkDeadline is 8.4.2024.

I also remind everybody that the Faculty day will be held Wednesday April 17 from 9:00-12:00 in the auditorium of the AHH and I hope to see many of you there..

Have a nice weekend!

Lauritz Meltzer´s Research Awards to Ellen Christine Rørvik and Nina Langeland at K2

Lauritz Meltzer, a prominent businessman, generously left his wealth to establish the Meltzer Research Fund at the UiB. The fund’s primary objective is to advance scientific endeavors within UiB and provide support to exceptionally talented students. Each year, on Lauritz Meltzer´s birthday (March 8th), three recipients are honored with an award that includes NOK 200,000 from the fund.

The Value and Impact of Research Prizes and Awards in Medicine

What are the value and importance of research prizes and awards? I think these accolades serve as beacons, illuminating the path toward scientific excellence and inspiring the next generation of researchers. Let us delve into the significance of the 2024 honors, celebrating the remarkable achievements of our esteemed colleagues.

Recognizing Excellence: Ellen Røyrvik, PhD

Dr. Ellen Christine Røyrvik, recipient of the Award for Young Researchers, embodies the spirit of curiosity and innovation. Her work in genetics and population history has been nothing short of groundbreaking. Dr. Røyrvik’s interdisciplinary background—spanning genetics, molecular biology, archaeology, and linguistics—has allowed her to explore fundamental questions about Norwegian and European population history. But her impact extends beyond historical inquiries. By shedding new light on the biology of clinically important diseases, she bridges the gap between scientific discovery and patient care. Her prolific publication record showcases both breadth and depth, underscoring her dedication to advancing medical knowledge.

Pioneering Infection Research: Professor Nina Langeland, MD, PhD

Professor Nina Langeland stands as a beacon of excellence in infection research. Her pioneering efforts, particularly during the corona pandemic, have saved lives and shaped our understanding of infectious diseases. What sets her apart is not just her scientific acumen but also her unwavering commitment to patients. With over 25 years of experience as a senior physician at Haukeland University Hospital, Professor Langeland’s research is deeply rooted in the realities of patient care. She listens to their stories, observes their struggles, and translates these insights into meaningful scientific investigations.

Translational Research: Bridging Disciplines

Professor Langeland’s approach exemplifies the essence of translational research. By seamlessly integrating clinical experience with advanced laboratory methods, she unravels the complexities of diseases. Her work transcends disciplinary boundaries, collaborating with experts across institutions. Through this interdisciplinary synergy, she not only solves clinical puzzles but also contributes to the broader scientific community.

A Call to Celebrate

Research prizes and awards are more than mere accolades; they symbolize dedication, perseverance, and collaboration. As we honor Dr. Røyrvik and Professor Langeland, we celebrate the spirit of inquiry—the driving force that propels medicine forward. Let us continue to champion our many very good researchers, encourage curiosity, and foster an environment where excellence thrives.

Congratulations to our distinguished awardees, and may their passion continue to illuminate the path toward better health and a brighter future.

Congratulations to the KG Jebsen Center for Myeloid Leukemia

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with immense pride and excitement that I announce the establishment of the KG Jebsen Center for Myeloid Leukemia within K2. This momentous occasion marks a significant leap forward in our relentless pursuit of scientific excellence and innovative medical solutions.

Let us reflect on the profound impact that research centers like the KG Jebsen Center have on our academic community and beyond. These centers serve as crucibles of knowledge, where brilliant minds converge, collaborate, and ignite transformative ideas. They are the beating hearts of discovery, pushing the boundaries of human understanding and paving the way for groundbreaking therapies.

What centers does K2 host today?

  • The Broegelmann Research Laboratories (Broegelmann Foundation)
  • The Influensa Center (Directorate for Health and Care)
  • The Center for Pharmacy (UiB, with Department of Chemistry, Mat Nat)
  • The KG Jebsen Center for Genomic Cancer Therapy (Stiftelsen KG Jebsen)
  • The KG Jebsen Senter for Myeloid Leucemia (Stiftelsen KG Jebsen)
  • The Mohn Center for Diabetes Precision Medicine (Trond Mohn Research Foundation)
  • The Nutrition Research Laboratory (Trond Mohn Research Foundation)
  • The Mohn Cancer Research Laboratory (Trond Mohn Research Foundation)
  • The Center for Antibiotics Resistance (Trond Mohn Research Foundation)
  • The Center for Regenerative Medicine (Trond Mohn Research Foundation)
  • The Center for Heart Disease Research in Women (Heart Foundation)

Why are research centers so invaluable?

  1. Interdisciplinary synergy: Our new center exemplifies the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration. By bringing together experts from diverse fields—hematology, genetics, immunology, and clinical medicine—we create a fertile ground for cross-pollination of ideas. It is at these intersections that breakthroughs occur, where a biologist’s insight meets a clinician’s practical wisdom, and where innovation thrives.
  2. Sustained focus: The KG Jebsen Center’s dedicated focus on myeloid leukemia ensures that we delve deep into the intricacies of this complex disease. With a laser-like precision, our researchers will unravel its molecular underpinnings, identify novel therapeutic targets, and improve patient outcomes. This sustained commitment is our promise to those affected by leukemia—a promise of hope and progress.
  3. Seedbed for future funding: While many centers operate within finite timeframes, their impact reverberates far beyond their initial funding cycles. The seeds they sow germinate into grant proposals, collaborative projects, and industry partnerships. The KG Jebsen Center, like its predecessors, will catalyze external funding, securing our position as a hub of scientific excellence.

Let us extend our warmest congratulations to Professor Bjørn Tore Gjertsen at the helm of the KG Jebsen Center. His unwavering dedication to leukemia research and patient care inspires us all. Under his guidance, I am confident that the center will flourish, yielding discoveries that change lives.

Wishing everyone a nice winter vacation and retuning to K2 with recharged batteries and improved range !

Pål & aiPål

Zoom in on Health, Environment, and Safety: A Prelude to HMS Day – the digital way

As the University of Bergen’s Medical Faculty prepares to host its annual Health, Environment, and Safety (HMS) Day, anticipation mounts for an enlightening and impactful event. Scheduled to take place next Wednesday 21 February at noon, this day aims to prioritize well-being, sustainability, and safety within our academic community and beyond.

A cornerstone of the program is the presentation by HMS Coordinator Ørjan Leren on the Action Plan for HMS and the Faculty’s priorities for 2024. He will outline a strategy to reduce barriers for higher education. Further enriching the discourse, Senior Consultants Nora Abdalla Mohammed and Michelle Odette Iversen Badiane from the Study Department will shed light on the “Diverse UiB – No One Left Behind” project.

The FPD Include Erasmus+ project, presented by Associate Professor Reidun Lisbet Skeide Kjome from the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, promises to offer insights into fostering diversity and inclusivity within academic settings.

University Chief Safety Representative June Vibecke Knudtsen Indrevik will underscore the importance of a safe work environment for all, emphasizing collective responsibility and vigilance.

As the day draws to a close, the presentation of the 2023 Work Environment Prize by HMS Coordinator Ørjan Leren will be a fitting culmination, celebrating exemplary contributions to creating a safe and healthy workplace.

I hope you are inspired and urge you to participate, even if it a digital event.

Eystein Husebye
Vice Head of K2

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting URL: https://uib.zoom.us/j/65464806396?pwd=R2N1VHhXNHRXanhRa3JzS1c3dkV0Zz09
Meeting ID: 654 6480 6396
Password: yQ80h4zh

Stepping down as Department Head: An exciting journey ends and a new chapter begins

Dear colleagues,

It is with a mix of emotions that I pen this editorial. After six years at the helm of the Department of Clinical Science, I have decided to step down from my position as Department Head. This decision has not been taken lightly, but rather with careful consideration of the demands and responsibilities that come with leading such a dynamic and impactful department.

Our department, a hub of research and teaching excellence, has grown significantly during my tenure. With 382 dedicated employees, including 70 full-time professors and associated professors, 80 part-time professors and associated professors, over 180 researchers, podt docs and PhD students as well as 50 technicians and administrative staff , we have made significant strides in advancing clinical and translational medical research. This means that in 2023, we had publications in top-tier journals and set a record for external funding121 million NOK. You teach a variety of clinical specialties in addition to pharmacy and nutrition in an exemplary manner. And you have excelled in the competition to establish several new and robust research centers.

However, as the demands of leadership have intensified, I find myself at a crossroads. Balancing the responsibilities of both Department Head and Director of the Mohn Center of Diabetes Precision Medicine has been challenging. The pursuit of excellence requires focus, and I believe it is time to pass the torch to a new leader who can continue to push our department forward.

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together. Our collaborative spirit, dedication to patient care, and groundbreaking research have left an indelible mark. As I step down, I am confident that the department will continue to thrive under new leadership.

I will be stepping down on April 30, 2024, and in the coming period, I will gradually transfer my responsibilities to Eystein Husebye, who will serve as the Acting Department Head. Rest assured, I remain committed to our shared mission, and I look forward to contributing to the department in new ways. My decision is not a farewell but rather a shift in roles—one that allows me to focus on the exciting work happening at the Mohn Center.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your unwavering support and dedication. Together, we have made a difference in the lives of patients and the future of medicine. Let us continue to collaborate, innovate, and inspire.

Thank you for being part of this remarkable journey.

As we embark on a new chapter at the Department of Clinical Science, I am thrilled to announce two additions to our leadership team:

Professor Svein Skeie, MD, PhD: An accomplished endocrinologist and Head of Research at Stavanger University Hospital, Svein Skeie will assume the role of Leader of Stavanger Relations. His deep understanding of leadership, clinical practice, and research will serve as a valuable link between our institutions. The collaboration with Stavanger University Hospital promises to strengthen our ties and foster innovative initiatives.

Professor Silje Skrede, MD, PhD: With a background in pharmacology and administrative work in teaching, Skrede joins us as Leader of Innovation which will strengthen our focus on this important field. Skrede will temporary act as Leader of Teaching while Mette Vesterhus is away.

Enjoy the week-end!

Pål

RCN self-evaluation has been submitted

On Wednesday, K2’s self-evaluation was sent to the Research Council of Norway. It turned out to be a document of 268 pages. As with previous evaluations, this has taken a significant focus for the institute administration and those of you who contributed to the self-evaluation. In addition to the institute’s overall self-evaluation, the following research groups participated with their own self-evaluation:

  • Bergen Respiratory Research Group by Tomas Mikal Lind Eagan
  • Broegelmann by Helena Erlandsson Harris
  • Endocrine Medicine by Eystein S. Husebye
  • Research Group for Infection and Microbiology by Rebecca Jane Cox
  • Drug Group by Lars Herfindal
  • Mohn Center for Diabetes Precision Medicine by Pål R. Njølstad
  • Oncology by Stian Knappskog
  • Paediatric Follow-up Group by Camilla Tøndel
  • Precision Oncology by Ola Myklebost

In addition, the following impact cases participated:

  • Catching the rhythms by Eystein S. Husebye
  • Changing clinical practice in childhood diabetes by precision medicine by Pål R. Njølstad
  • Heart disease in women by Eva Gerdts
  • Pandemic preparedness: the COVID-19 case by Rebecca Cox

The process ahead is a three-step evaluation. First, research groups are evaluated in expert panels categorized by field/discipline across sectors. Then, administrative units are evaluated in evaluation committees that are sector-specific. The third step is the national level, which includes all medical research in Norway. A selection of experts from the evaluation is used here.

The administrative units are the main object of the evaluation. Evaluation results for the research groups will be included in the evaluation report for the administrative unit to which they belong.

Many thanks to everyone who participated – especially Susanne and Silke – for great effort over a long period. Now we can enjoy the weekend with a clear conscience and hope for a good result!

Pål

Dear everyone!

It’s again time to find younger, promising candidates for Trond Mohn Starting grants: The Trond Mohn Research Foundation (TMS) has announced a new round of TMS Starting grants with a final deadline of 8 March (more info here). Since there is a limit to the number of nominated candidates each department can promote, we ask interested applicants to send an outline of maximum 3 pages describing the candidate, the project, and the research community, and the candidate’s CV (TMS wants a CV of up to three pages that includes the most important and relevant publications).

The internal deadline is February 12. The project outline and CV must be sent to silke.appel@uib.no.

It is worth noting that this scholarship provides an opportunity to bring in external candidates, something both the foundation and the Faculty of Medicine strongly encourage.

And it is still possible to promote individuals for the faculty awards 😊

Proposal for Publication/PhD/Group/Dissemination/Innovation

Suggestions for Education Awards

Have a nice week-end!

!

Happy New Year also from me 😊

We are now in the final stages of RCN’s EVALMEDHEALTH report, thank you very much to all of you who have contributed so far! There is still some work to be done before the deadline 31.1., and not least, I encourage everyone once again to update their website.

But enough hustle about this, over to something far more fun that was already mentioned before Christmas: The Faculty of Medicine has announced several awards for 2023. If you/your research group/academic group know someone who has excelled in 2023, either on the research front (publication, research environment, PhD work, dissemination), as an innovation environment or when it comes to teaching, then now is the chance to nominate colleagues/environments (or yourself!). The categories are

  • Publication of the Year (NOK 100 000)
  • Research environment of the year (NOK 150 000)
  • PhD work of the year (NOK 100 000)
  • Dissemination award (NOK 100 000)
  • Innovation award (NOK 100 000)
  • Education Award (up to three awards for outstanding initiatives in education, a main prize of NOK 150,000 and up to two more prizes of NOK 50,000 each!)

We from K2 can put forward one candidate in each category, so do not hesitate to submit proposals (with thorough reasoning) by Monday 5 February 2024. More detailed information can be found here.

Proposal for Publication/PhD/Group/Dissemination/Innovation

Suggestions for Education Awards

And it is not too late to send nominations for the Meltzer Prizes – the deadline is today (19.1.24) 😊 All professors have the right to nominate, so check if you know of an outstanding research communicator, clever younger researcher or someone who has excelled over time with outstanding scientific activity (link to more information). The nomination should be sent to Kristin.Hansen@uib.no

Have a great weekend!

Happy New Year!

As we begin the new year, it’s time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. For many of us, this means returning to work after a well-deserved break. As a large university medical department with many specialties in medicine as well as in pharmacy and nutrition with staff teaching and performing research, we have a unique opportunity to set the tone for the year ahead.

It is important to acknowledge the challenges that we have all faced over the past few years, including the pandemic and its impact on our work and personal lives as well as large cuts in public funding, which has resulted in a negative surplus in the economy. However, it is also important to focus on the positives and look for ways to move forward. This can include setting new goals, developing new strategies, or simply finding new ways to connect with colleagues. It is important to remember that challenges are a natural part of any organization’s growth and development. By working together and focusing on our strengths, we can find new and innovative ways to overcome these obstacles. This can include exploring new funding sources, developing new partnerships, or simply finding ways to streamline our operations.

Thus, coming back to work in the new year is an opportunity to start fresh and make a positive impact. By focusing on the positives, investing in your environment, and maintaining open lines of communication, you can help set the stage for a successful year ahead.

 

Let us embrace the spirit of unity and gratitude during the Christmas season

Dear all employees at K2,

As we approach Christmas, I am filled with gratitude for the incredibly wonderful community thriving at K2. With nearly 400 dedicated individuals, including professors, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, technical, and administrative staff, our department stands as a standard-bearer for outstanding achievements in medicine, pharmacy, and nutrition.

Let us reflect a bit on the journey we have had this year, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and improvement of our health through research and education. Our collective efforts in research have not only strengthened the academic prestige of our department but have also had a lasting impact on the well-being of individuals and the positive development of society. Moreover, the significant efforts you have contributed to teaching are crucial for our students to “learn for life” and indispensable for our department.

As we now take a well-deserved break to celebrate the upcoming Christmas and holiday season, I encourage each of you to reflect on the importance of unity and gratitude. It is a time to express gratitude for the opportunity to work in a community with goals that benefit other people, either as therapists or patients. Whether you are an experienced professor, a promising researcher, a passionate postdoctoral fellow, a dedicated doctoral candidate, a skilled technician, or a hardworking administrative person, all your contributions are crucial.

Let us also extend our gratitude to the families and loved ones who support us in our academic endeavours. Their understanding and encouragement play a crucial role in our collective achievements, and it is fitting to express our gratitude for their unconditional support.

As we enter a new year, let us carry with us the values of collaboration, innovation, and humanity that define our department. This is especially important now when funding for academia is threatened, posing challenges for crucial research and education. K2 is one of the best departments at UiB, and I believe we will navigate well through a period of tighter times. I hope the holiday season brings moments of joy, relaxation, and inspiration so that we can all prepare for a new year of ground-breaking research and pedagogical excellence.

On behalf of K2, I wish you a peaceful Christmas filled with warmth, time for reflection, and moments with your loved ones.

 

Pål

Editorial

Dear everyone!

Time flies, and there are not too many days left until Christmas! In addition to all the exams that are taking place now, it also means that there is not that long left until the deadline of the RCN evaluation. Just a quick reminder that although your research group might not be evaluated separately, K2 will be evaluated in its entirety, so that the web pages of all research groups should be updated. And as I wrote already a few weeks ago, EVERYONE should update their personal pages, and remember to include a photo.

And I would like to remind you that the deadline for submitting nominations for the faculty’s working environment award is December 8. Do you have a colleague who makes an extra effort for the working environment? Not only in terms of HSE, but also well-being, inclusion and the “we” feeling? Don’t hesitate to suggest them for the prize! The form can be found here.

Have a great weekend!

Editorial

Help build medical research in Western Norway

On Tuesday this week, a joint research day was organized between the Faculty of Medicine and Stavanger University Hospital. Many projects were presented illustrating what we can achieve together.The papers presented by a representative from each campus emphasized the utility of registries and the strength of large patient cohorts. Including both Bergen and Stavanger in a study means that the number of participants can be doubled, which can be the difference between a mediocre study and excellent study as it is easier to obtain statistically significant findings. Camilla Krakstad also highlighted the opportunities that lie in a research stay abroad and how good registers and biobanks make us attractive collaborators. The K2 management is now actively working to improve collaborations between Stavanger and Bergen and encourage colleagues to build research groups together. Many of the groups in Bergen are larger than in Stavanger and it can therefore be a good idea to include colleagues in the groups where it is natural to collaborate. How this is solved in practical terms is up to each group, but joint research meetings digitally and physically are a good place to start. To invite each other to university tasks such as committee work is a way to facilitate interactions. Building joint projects should strengthen competitiveness when applying for research grants. There are also good synergies to be gained on the teaching side, where we should collaborate more, coordinate teaching plans, share teaching materials and exams. If subjects and exams come at the same time, we can use the same assignments. In other words, there are many possibilities to collaborate here. The next time we organize such a meeting, it would also be good if those who do not have ongoing collaborative projects between our campuses to participate, it could pay off.

Have a good weekend when time comes,

Eystein Husebye

Vice Head of Department

Editorial

Area in the Laboratory Building

The Faculty of Medicine has a substantial amount of space available at Campus Haukeland. Some of these areas are dedicated university spaces, such as the Building for Basic Biological sciences (BBB), while others are leased by Helse Bergen. These areas are, of course, central to teaching and research.

In recent years, the leasing costs have significantly increased. It is, therefore, necessary to assess whether the use of these spaces is optimal. K2 has access to a lot of research space in the Laboratory Building. Many of these spaces are more or less free, as part of the old Haukeland agreement, while some of the areas come with a price that is substantial. Since research activity related to “wet lab” is less today than before due to a shift in research activities towards more “dry lab” and the use of core facilities, we are now investigating the possibility of managing with somewhat less laboratory space. Any savings in leasing costs will benefit K2 and be positive for K2’s tight budget. This could provide us with more flexibility to reduce the number of positions that currently need to be frozen. A committee led by Silke Appel is examining this possibility.

We will return to the matter in an open process with comprehensive information and an opportunity for input and discussion if it turns out that this becomes relevant.

Have a great weekend!

Editorial

Dear all,

Towards the end of the autumn break, I would like to encourage everyone to update their UiB profile pages. As most people will hopefully have been informed about, we are in the process of RCN’s evaluation for medicine and health, EVALMEDHELSE. In connection with this, it is important that our web pages are up to date. And by that I mean not only the pages of K2 and all our research groups (which in most cases need some updating), but also the personal page that all UiB employees have. This is something everyone can and should update (which, by the way, also applies to myself, I’m working on it)! In addition to contact information, where you can add a link to MazeMap so that visitors can more easily find you, you can inform about your expertise, ongoing research projects, teaching, dissemination, you can upload a CV and provide a link to social media. And not least: I encourage everyone to upload a photo!

Here you will find everything you need to make it happen (although unfortunately it does not give you more time to do so):

            https://manual.uib.no/en/brand-guide/personal-page/

            https://it.uib.no/en/MazeMap

Have a great weekend!

Editorial

Research day at MED – an inspiration for collaboration

The research day at MED brought together around 100 inquisitive K2 employees this week. The main theme was collaboration and new alliances, both within the institute and externally conveyed by lectures, poster presentations and informal discussions.

Two working groups presented ways to improve cooperation. The most exciting was a “matchmaker function” called Science Match, which will facilitate collaboration both at K2 and the faculty. As an app or website, Science Match is intended to help K2 employees and students to find expertise, instruments, equipment and chemicals at campus. You need not travel to California (even if that is more fun) for an expertise that can be found on the floor below. In the subsequent discussion, it was brought up that some universities apply PhD and Master’s student rotations between research groups. I think this is an exciting concept that will increase the students’ competence and stimulate collaboration – perhaps it can be implemented in the 4-year PhD program at MED? The challenge is hereby sent to the deanery.

But research and collaboration require funds. Eystein Jansen, perhaps the most merrited researcher at UiB and vice-president of the European Research Council (ERC), talked about ERC grants, both for young people (Starting Grant), those on the way (Consolidator) and seniors (Advanced). Synergy Grants can be sought for ground-breaking research where 2-4 partners join forces to create something completely new. Somewhat unique to the ERC grants is that there is only one criterion, scientific excellence! Norway does not come out very well in this competition, neither in relation to our Nordic neighbours, and especially not compared to countries such as Israel, Switzerland and The Netherlands, which are at the top of the world in terms of innovation and technology. Those who want to apply can get good support from the Research Department and positioning funds can be applied for. There is also the opportunity to register as a panel member and thus learn more about the application process and what is required.

Later in the day, we received a presentation from Ole Johan Borge, Director for Health Research and Innovation at The Research Council of Norway. He told us that we cannot expect the Research Council to receive more funds in the future and the competition is fierce, but there are opportunities and there are K2’ers who succeed. Øystein Fluge (K2) and Johan Tronstad (Biomedicine) recently received funding under the Women’s Health Program for research on ME – congratulations!

Women’s health is indeed one of the thematic umbrellas at MED with several strong groups, and where it can be expected that earmarked funds will come in the future. I believe most of K2’s groups can do have a women’s or gender perspective on their research, so work strategically.

Another thematic umbrella is bioinformatics, which is becoming an increasingly important part of research at the faculty. Here we need to build a stronger environment at the faculty and improve the service to the groups so that bioinformatic analyses do not become a major delay in projects – if it takes years to get a dataset analysed we lose in the competition.

Last but not least, the poster competition was a refreshing and interactive exercise, with many excellent presentations. In tough competition, Marianne Hannisdal and colleagues from K2 and Biomedicine won with a poster on the use of MRI and artificial intelligence to predict the growth of gliomas – congratulations!

The research day was a success and will certainly stimulate more collaboration across groups, departments and faculties – we look forward to the continuation.

Eystein Husebye
Vice Head of Department

Editorial

Vestlandslegen funded – and novel practical training tested at Voss

A week ago, the good news finally came: The government parties have agreed to finance 20 new study places in Medicine at UiB, and the funding for the first stage of Vestlandslegen is landed. The first students started in Stavanger in August and will complete their studies at SUS, having had their first three years of teaching in Bergen. Long-term, good work from the faculty has thus borne fruit. K2’s Simon Dankel has now taken over from Steinar Hunskår as coordinator for Vestlandslegen. As discussed at the recent UGLE meeting, it will be important going forward that we continue the good work in the teaching groups to integrate the teaching environments.

For the first time, medical students from Bergen get practice in gynecology and obstetrics at Voss Hospital. The first student has already started, and this autumn a total of 4 students will each get a week. In the long term, the aim is that at least one student every week during the 6-week internship period will have the opportunity to have their training in Voss during one of their three-week internships. Congratulations to the teaching group in GYN/OBS for getting this in place!

The Education Award 2023 from Helse Vest will be awarded at the Education Conference in Helse Vest which will be held in Bergen 30 Nov.-1 Dec. If you think K2 should nominate you or another candidate, send the proposal to mette.vesterhus@uib.no by Monday 2 October. Read more here: Utdanningskonferansen 2023 – Helse Vest RHF (helse-vest.no)

Mette

Editorial

Dear everyone!

As mentioned before the summer, the Research Council’s evaluation of medicine and health sciences is  underway. K2 has registered 9 research groups. In addition to the research groups, the department as an administrative unit will also be evaluated as a whole.

The evaluation is a multi-step process:

  1. Specify the Terms of Reference)
  2. Data collection
  3. Assessment and evaluation of data

For this we need the help of the research groups that have been registered. Contact persons in the relevant research groups will be invited to a number of workshops during the autumn.

As the entire K2 will also be evaluated, it is important that our online presence is updated. Encouragement to all research groups: look through your texts  on K2’s web pages (which also need an upgrade, we are working on it!), edit and update and send a new version to your assigned web editor (or Irene Hjelmaas and Christina Flornes who can help with the technicalities).

We also have a number of academic staff who are not members of any research group. That’s not good, everyone must belong to (at least) a research group (and by the way also a teaching group for those concerned). Not sure where you belong? Get in touch with one of us!

Happy weekend in the sun!

Susanna og Silke

Editorial

Vestlandslegen is born

Last Tuesday the opening of Vestlandslegen was officially marked at Stavanger University Hospital (SUS). Vestlandslegen is now the name of The Medeical School at UiB, where some of the students receive their main clinical training in Stavanger.

Vestlandslegen’s father Professor Steinar Hunskår gave us an interesting introduction to the motivation for and the history behind Vestlandslegen. The idea is that the entire country must be used in medical education in order to increase the capacity and create connection to the region where the education takes place. The work Hunskår and his colleagues have done will not only have significance for the Western Norway, the Vestlandslegen is also a template for similar decentralized education at the other universities in Norway, emphasized by Martin Fredheim who congratulated on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

The first group consists of 7 students, but the number will quickly be increased to 20. Further expansion of the program in Stavanger and later in Haugesund and Førde will depend on funding from the Ministry of Education. It is therefore important that the Vestlandslegen is successful and there is every reason to believe that it will be. Dean Per Bakke and Hospital director Helle Schøyen at SUS emphasized the good cooperation during the pregnancy of Vestlandslegen.

Hunskår also took the opportunity to say thank you and passed the baton to Professor Simon Dankel as project manager for the Vestlandslegen. We are convinced this will ensure the newborn Vestlandslegen good nutrition so that it can grow well.

Vestlandslegen is also important in a larger perspective. The program will help spread and increase medical expertise at SUS and the rest of Western Norway, which was emphasized by Helse Vest’s director Bjørn-Egil Vikse. Vestlandslegen will contribute to bringing the region of Western Norway together even more. Can we imagine that the Universities of Stavanger and Bergen could merge, possibly also with the University College of Western Norway? Western Norway must become stronger so that we can win in competition with UiO and NTNU and not compete with each other for limited funds.

With this, we wish Vestlandslegen success, the best medical education in Norway.

Eystein Husebye
Deputy director K2

Editorial

HAVE A NICE SUMMER!

As of this writing, we are submitting a draft budget for 2023. This year, too, there is an ambitious budget given the framework and which takes into account the challenges we see in the coming year when it comes to finances. The main focus in the last six months has been the economy due to the Ministry of Education’s proposals for cuts in the basic allocation to all universities related to pensions, efficiency, travel, and more. Reference is made to Dean Per Bakke’s e-mail today. The Faculty of Medicine has drawn up a budget for 2022 with a deficit of NOK 30 million, while K2 has a deficit of NOK 12 million. This makes our operations difficult. But as Per Bakke says, if we stand together in this, we will be able to get through this period. My goal is that we will even emerge stronger from it. It is often in adversity that one becomes innovative and completely new ideas are created. So here’s a challenge for all of you: Help us figure out how we can manage with a little less space, a little less people and a little less funds via K2, and how we can create more income that are visible in K2’s budgets. This can help us to remove the current requirements from the Faculty, that we are not allowed to advertise new positions for the time being and with some exceptions. It’s a bad situation we have to get out of as fast as possible!

After a cold and wet June, today we have finally got to taste the heat. We are now preparing for the summer holidays. For most, spring has been a busy time with applications, OSCE and all the endings at the end of the semester. So it will be good to get a few weeks off to do completely different things. It is important to charge the batteries so that we can start the autumn with new energy and a desire to work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their great efforts this semester.

Have a really good summer vacation!

Pål

Editorial

Dear everyone!

This week was the deadline for submitting research groups to the Norwegian Research Council’s evaluation of medicine and health sciences. With good help from Susanna, 10 research groups/centers from K2 were registered: Endocrine Medicine (leader: Eystein Husebye), Research Group for Infection and Microbiology (leader: Rebecca Cox), Oncology (leader: Stian Knappskog), Pharmaceutical Group (leader: Lars Herfindal), Mohn Center for diabetes precision medicine (head: Pål Njølstad), Broegelmann Research Laboratory (head: Helena Erlandsson Harris), Paediatric Follow-up Group (leader: Camilla Tøndel), Bergen Respiratory Research  Group (head: Tomas Eagan), Centre for Pharmacy (head: Reidun Kjome) and Precision Oncology (head: Karl-Henning Kalland). By June 2023, we will receive feedback from the RCN, and in September 2023, a self-evaluation form and impact cases form will be sent out with a deadline of January 2024. Thank you so much to those who take on this job!

Have a really good and sunny weekend!

Editorial

Dear everyone!

There were many from both UiB and Haukeland hospitals who competed for the 4 final places in order to apply to K.G. Jebsen centers for medical research. As many as 3 out of 4 researchers who were invited to send a full application are from K2: Eva Gerdts, Bjørn Tore Gjertsen and Stian Knappskog. Congratulations! We are very proud and wish good luck!

  
Foto: ukjent                           Foto: Øystein Fykse/Haukeland universitetssykehus      Foto: Melanie Burford

May 17th is approaching with great steps, and all UiB employees are invited to participate in the main procession (departure from Museplassen at 9:30, or meeting at 10:15 at Koengen, kolonne 4). We will keep an eye on the weather forecast, but so far it looks promising 😊 With the Ascension of Christ the day after May17th, there are probably many who take a long weekend. There will therefore be no K2nytt next Friday.

Have a nice weekend!

Editorial

Temporary report on RCN’s upcoming evaluation

In recent decades, RCN has carried out two evaluations of Norwegian research. Now a third round is underway. In November, two of the evaluations started: life sciences and natural sciences. In 2023, the remaining subjects are due, organized in two rounds: One evaluation for medicine and health, EVALMEDHELSE, in which the Faculty of Medicine is involved, and one for mathematics, IT and technology.

The main aim of the evaluation is to evaluate the quality and framework conditions for life science research in Norway.

Two levels are planned for evaluation: Administrative units and research groups. The administrative units for the Faculty of Medicine will be the institutes, i.e. K2 for us. When it comes to research groups, it is a big advantage for K2 that we all have defined research groups. The RCN has decided that the minimum requirements for a research group must be that there must be at least five researchers, of which at least three are permanent and as main position (at least 50%)  and they must have existed for at least three years. Here, of course, there is room for individual definitions. NFR states that it is not necessary to register everyone who is employed at an institute. It is also possible to merge groups that fit together. The division can thus be strategic, and one will naturally report on those who are good.

NFR will set up several expert panels that will report to a smaller number of evaluation committees. These in turn report to a national report committee.

The evaluation criteria include that the research must be relevant to society, be relevant for institutional purposes, work for diversity and equality and have a solid research output.

There will be more information about the evaluation at the Faculty Lunch on Wednesday 10 May.

The Department’s management will, in collaboration with the environment, define the research groups to be evaluated. A self-evaluation must be made for K2 and for each research group. Here it is important that the groups themselves come up with proposals for which research groups should be defined.

RCN will hold a webinar on 15 May 14-15. Follow here for more information.

The first deadline for schematic feedback to the faculty is 5 June. The evaluation itself will have a deadline of mid-September.

Cheers!

Editorial

Servant leadership

Servant leadership is a management philosophy formulated by Robert K. Greenleaf in the 70s. The main idea is that the manager should serve the employees and the organisation, and differs from traditional leadership where the manager’s role is to promote the organisation’s interests.

A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of employees first and helps people develop and perform at their best. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. Greenleaf put it this way: A servant leader must ask himself the question: “Are my employees growing as people? As they serve, do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely to become servants themselves?”

Do we have a serving leadership at UiB and for that matter the hospital we are an integral part of? As a scientific employee, many others and I experience that tasks that others previously did for us, now have to be done by us. We spend more and more time on documentation, filling in forms, organizing teaching and other administrative tasks. It feels like there are various administrative groups around us who are more concerned with leading us instead of serving us. This means that we have less time to do the university’s core tasks, namely research, teaching and communication.

We need a debate about this. I did not have Fredrik Solvang available, so as an introduction I asked ChapGPT if we had serving leadership at UiB. It answered, among other things: “There is a growing interest in servant leadership in higher education institutions around the world. Many universities have introduced servant leadership principles into their management structures and have seen positive results.

UiB has also taken initiatives to promote servant leadership. For example, they have organized seminars and workshops on the subject and have also included this as one of their core values. Furthermore, in its vision for 2022, UiB emphasizes that it wants to promote responsible management, including servant leadership.

We now need to discuss how this vision can be implemented in practical terms?

With warm wishes for a good the coming weekend

Eystein Husebye
Deputy leader K2

Editorial

Vacation 2023

I hope everyone had a nice Easter holiday with friends and family. The weather and snow conditions were some of the best I can remember for the season.

Not everyone takes a holiday at Easter but finds quiet days to be an opportunity to get professional work done or there is a deadline that makes working at Easter necessary. I would like to single out Eystein Husebye and Helge Ræder who sent a comprehensive EU application yesterday and therefore had the impetus for the application during Easter. They received invaluable administrative help from, among others, Corina Guder, Susanna Pakkasmaa, Andreas Westermoen and Håkon Solheim, even on several of the “red days”. I would like to thank everyone in the team for their efforts, and we are crossing our fingers for a good process with a positive outcome!

Finally, I would like to remind you of the vacation accounts for 2023. By 1 May, everyone must register in the Self-Service Portal (https://www.uib.no/en/self-service-portal) which days they plan to take vacation. It is possible to change days afterwards. The most important thing is that the number of days planned is entered. This is not only important for K2 to know when K2’s employees are present or absent, but it has an impact on the budget. Vacation that is not registered or taken will be marked as liabilities in our accounts for 2023 and worsen the financial balance. So, register your planned vacation as soon as possible and by 1 May!

Have a great weekend!

Editorial

Welcome to Teaching Day!

At K2, we take pride in providing excellent education. In order to maintain excellence in education, we need to continuously develop ourselves as teachers. A this year’s Teaching Day, we can learn from the best as the teaching group for geriatrics tell us about their award-winning educational development. We will also discuss how we can improve collaboration regarding teaching even further, as well as some recent and ongoing changes (Vestlandslegen, changes in MED5-MED6).

We wish to see as many as possible of you at the Teaching Day on Wednesday May 3rd at AHH (half-day from lunch). Meet up for lunch with good colleagues, inspirational talks and discussion about teaching and learning.

We will also announce the K2 Teaching Award – please send 7our nomination to mette.vesterhus@uib.no by Monday April 24th!

Velkommen til K1 og K2s Felles undervisningsdag onsdag 3. mai!

Sted: Auditoriet i AHH

 

PROGRAM

12.00 Lunsj 15 min

12.15 Velkommen

12.15 Nyskapende undervisning v/Marit Stordal Bakken

12.45 Ferdighetssenteret: hva tilbyr vi og hvor går utviklingen? v/Bernt Aarli

13.00 Vestlandslegen v/Audun Vik-Mo

13.15 Pause 15 min

13.30 Erfaringer med samarbeid i undervisingsgruppe for gynekologi v/Ragnar Sande

13.45 Utvikling av faggruppe på tvers i ortopedi v/Trude Gundersen

14.05 Diskusjon: Hvordan kan vi samarbeide bedre om undervisning?

14.15 Pause 15 min

14.30 Endringer i MED5-MED6 v/Harald Wiker, Jon Hardie, Magnus Berle

15.15 Prisutdeling undervisningsprisene

15.30 Slutt