Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Harvard Medical School inspiration and awards

CCBIO Associate Researcher Agnete S.T. Engelsen has just completed a one-year certificate program, with distinction, at Harvard Medical School (HMS), the High-Impact Cancer Research (HICR): Cancer, Biology and Therapeutics Program. Engelsen was the first attendee from Norway in this diverse group of highly motivated new and seasoned researchers from 42 countries, all around the world.

Group photo.
Participants at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) certificate program High-Impact Cancer Research (HICR) gathered for the Gala Dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston.
Cesar Rodriguez

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Successful team effort

In recognition of Excellence on the Hallmarks of Cancer Team Project: Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation Revisited, Engelsen and her team of close collaborators were honored by the program directors, HMS Professors Ed Harlow, Peter Howley and George D. Demetri with diplomas presented to them at the Gala Dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston, October 25th 2019. The program directors emphasized that the team's vision and the novel and creative re-organization and presentation of the Hallmarks of Cancer made their contribution stand out. Engelsen's overall program grading was even warranted a 'Superior Pass' status.

"This recognition of a successful team effort makes the award very special to me," Agnete Engelsen says. "In light of the increasing demand for internalization in research and the recognition that excellence in science is really all about leveraging the strengths of the individual members of an interdiciplinary team, this recognition serves to support that successful interdiciplinary networks of researchers can accomplish far more as a team than as individuals," she continues. "I am proud that we have been able to bring out the best and benefit from the various cultural backgrounds and scientific professions of our international team through stimulating discussions, and eventually communicate complex ideas successfully to our peers."

Inspirational talk from a Nobel laureate

Immediately following the prize ceremony, Professor of Medicine at Harvard  Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, William G. Kaelin Jr gave the Dinner Remarks at the Gala Dinner for the graduating HICR students. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 was awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza "for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability." Professor Kaelin gave a personal and inspirational talk to the celebrating students, covering the journey from his first trials and tribulations in the laboratory, through his later seminal discoveries and up till the phone call from Stockholm an early morning a few weeks ago. The students were grateful that Professor Kaelin could join the dinner despite his extremely busy schedule following this call. As a token of their appreciation, Professor Demetri gave Kaelin a framed photo of the HICR class of 2018/19 with greetings from the participants from 42 countries. 

Bringing home ideas for the CCBIO environment

Engelsen is excited for the opportunity to attend the HICR postgraduate Medical Education Program at HMS and grateful for the opportunity to learn from the foremost experts in cancer research and education.

"The unique opportunity to learn from and interact with Harvard's leading faculty and world leading experts in various facets of basic and clinical cancer research has been a true inspiration for me," she says. "Apart from this, it has been rewarding to experience effective teaching methods and the blended learning model of the program, with three workshops in Boston, live presentations, interactive webinars, on-demand lectures, peer-to-peer projects, as well as individual studies and customized assignments and skills-development," she explains.

"I think implementing elements from this blended learning design into the educational efforts of CCBIO could also benefit the Research School for Cancer Studies in many ways and improve the societal impact and internationalization of the Research School," she concludes.

We congratulate Agnete Engelsen with her achievement and recognition!