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Faculty Day 2020

Faculty Day 2020 - Award Winners

Here are the award winners of Faculty Day 2020!

Marte Bjørk, Henriette Aksnes og Nils Erik Gilhus
From the left: Marte Helene Bjørk, Henriette Aksnes og Nils Erik Gilhus.
Photo:
Silje Alvestad / Privat / Anne Sidsel Herdlevær

Because of the pandemic the award ceremony of the Faculty Day 2020 is moved to October 21. Until then - here are the award winners. Congratulations to all! 

The Faculty of Medicine awards (in Norwegian - read more on our Norwegian website. )

Årets ph.d.

  • Andrea Gras Navarro – Department of Biomedicine : “Towards Natural Killer cellular Immunotherapy for glioblastoma. KIR-HLA ligand interaction and proteasome inhibitors to potentiate efficacy"
  • Irene Flønes – Department of Clinical Medicine: "Mitochondrial mechanisms in neurodegeneration".

Årets undervisningspriser

  • Undervisningsgruppen for samfunnsfarmasi "Social Pharmacy" at the Department of Global Health and Primary Care
  • Nytt undervisningsopplegg i statistikk "Medical Statistics" at the Department of Global Health and Primary Care
  • Akuttmedisin, v. Professor Anne Berit Guttormsen "Emergency Medicine", universitetslektorene Håvard Erik Landsdalen og Marius Berge, Department of Clinical Science og Department of Clinical Medicine

Årets forsknings - og innovasjonsmiljø

Kamal Mustafa: «Tissue Engineering Research Group» is awarded "Best Research Group 2019" – Department of Clinical Dentistry

Årets formidlingspris

Cecilie Svanes – Department of Global Health and Primary Care

Årets publikasjon

Mazumder S, Taneja S, Dube B, Bhatia K, Ghosh R, Shekhar M, Sinha B, Bahl R, Martines J, Bhan MK, Sommerfelt H, Bhandari N. Effect of community-initiated kangaroo mother care on survival of infants with low birthweight: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2019; 394:1724-1736 – Department of Global Health and Primary Care

Søren Falch Awards:

Søren Falch Junior Award

Henriette Aksnes has been a driving force for new translational research at UiB. The last years, she has revealed the functionality of uncharacterized enzymes through the development of complex methods and model systems. These enzymes label different proteins with chemical tags and may thereby steer protein function. These processes are often out of balance in different pathological conditions and basic mechanistic knowledge is the key to understand and potentially treat the disease. Aksnes discovered the role of the enzyme NAA60 which in contrast to all other NAT-enzymes operate at the Golgi apparatus, the distribution central of the cell. This is now important to understand the disease mechanisms in patients harboring pathogenic variants of the gene encoding this enzyme. These patients display movement and psychiatric disorders.

Recently, Aksnes also defined an enzyme called NAA80 which modifies one of the most common proteins in human cells, actin. She found that NAA80 steers cytoskeletal dynamics and acts as a brake for cell motility. The last findings made by Aksnes and her students show that cancer cells lacking this enzyme display altered capacity to spread and adhere to their surroundings.  

Marte Helene Bjørk has received Falch’s Prize for Young Researchers for 2020. She received the prize for her excellent research in neurology, especially on epilepsy.

Bjørk is 39 years old. She is associated professor at the University of Bergen and senior consultant at Haukeland University Hospital. She was educated as cand. med. at NTNU in 2007 and obtained her PhD at the same institution in 2011. Bjørk is authorized as a specialist in neurology. She is the leader of Bergen Epilepsy Research Group.

Bjørk’s research aims to assess to which degree mother’s epilepsy and epilepsy treatment influence the risk for pregnancy complications and harm to the baby. She has determined the amount of such complications, and also identified risk factors. Her results have influenced recent guidelines and recommendations for treatment of epilepsy in young females. In her research, Bjørk has used national health registries and large, well-characterized cohorts. She is the leader of a Nordic consortium where health registry information from all five Nordic countries is combined. This makes it possible to examine rare complications and effects of rarely used epilepsy medications. The research methods developed by Bjørk will now be used also for other neurological disorders. Bjørk combines health registry information with biomarker results from genetic, vitamin and pharmacological studies. She is doing active research in the field of headache as well, concentrated on new treatments and neurophysiological studies.

Bjørk has published 33 scientific articles in leading international journals. She is the supervisor for several PhD-candidates. Bjørk has received national and international prizes for her research.

Søren Falch Senior Award

Nils Erik Gilhus – Department of Clinical Medicine

Nils Erik Gilhus has been able to combine basic, clinical and epidemiological research within the field of neurology. This has enabled him to shed light on several neurological disorders. Gilhus has in a unique way managed to combine active research and research leadership with administration, teaching and clinical medicine. He has been a key figure within the field of neurology both locally, nationally and internationally.