Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Prestigious recognitions to Lars A. Akslen and CCBIO

The regional health authority Helse Vest’s Research Award 2023 goes to Professor Lars Andreas Akslen and CCBIO for ground-breaking research on cancer biomarkers. Akslen has also been subject to another prestigious recognition this fall, as he was recently elected as member of the Academia Europaea.

Portrait of Lars A. Akslen next to the Helse Vest Research Award diploma.
CCBIO, Thor Brødreskift

Main content

"Akslen is a worthy winner of the Research Award," says Bjørn Egil Vikse, Director of Medical Strategy and Development in Helse Vest (see article here in Helse Vest news). "He has been pivotal for modern cancer research through many years, both in our region and nationally. He is behind the initiative of the research center CCBIO, which has established itself as an important engine for cancer research. In addition, Akslen has a vast network and is closely connected to research groups and research environments nationally as well as internationally," Vikse concludes. 

Investigating targeted treatment

Lars Andreas Akslen (65) is a professor of pathology at the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Bergen, and is the director of CCBIO, where he also leads the Tumor Biology Research Group. He also has a position as senior consultant at Haukeland University Hospital. In his research, Akslen is engaged in translational cancer research with a strong focus on exploration and validation of novel biomarkers for more biologically based classification and grading of malignant tumors, as a better guide for targeted treatment. This is important to identify which patient should have which treatment. Akslen has in particular been focusing on the tumor microenvironment in primary and metastatic cancers, and how tissue context can instruct aggressive tumor traits and predict cancer behavior and prognosis. 

CCBIO towards its next phase

CCBIO started up as a Center of Excellence in 2013, funded for a 10-year period by the Research Council of Norway. The center is working to discover, validate and translate cancer biomarkers to improve our understanding of tumor mechanisms, promote accurate diagnosis and stratification of cancer patients, and inform precise, cost-effective, and responsible treatment of cancer. From 2024, the center enters its continuation phase. CCBIO 2.0 will continue a range of activities that has been established during these years: the many scientific initiatives and collaborations within CCBIO and with international and national partners, their education programs through the CCBIO Research School for Cancer Studies (RSCS) and the CCBIO Masterclass Program, their communication and media efforts, and the many structural and softer activities to create and promote a scientific community that can support excellent research and career development for the center’s young candidates. This next phase of CCBIO is supported by UiB (central level) and many sources for external funding. 

"This award is a significant recognition of the research performed at CCBIO, but also for the way we have organized and developed CCBIO over the years," Lars A. Akslen explains. "The CCBIO-model has been to focus on innovative research but also to include excellent science education, communication, and the creation of an open, including and stimulating science culture. We are very happy with this award and feel motivated for future work in CCBIO." 

Academia Europaea member

This fall term has come with another recognition, as Lars A. Akslen was recently elected as member of the Academia Europaea. The Academia Europaea is a functioning European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences, composed of individual members. Membership is by invitation and only after peer group nomination, scrutiny and confirmation as to the scholarship and eminence of the individual in their field. 

Congratulations to the CCBIO Director with both these well-deserved recognitions!