Faculty of Medicine

Falch Lecturer 2023: Prof. Alberto Ascherio

Hundreds showed up to this year's Falch Lecture, titled: “The Epstein-Barr virus as the leading cause multiple sclerosis and the possible viral etiology of other neurodegenerative diseases”

Alberto Ascherio foreleser
Falch Lecturer of 2023: Alberto Ascherio
Ingrid Hagerup
Alberto Ascherio og publikum i forgrunnen
Hundreds had showed up to listen to Ascherio talk about his research.
Ingrid Hagerup
Alberto Ascherio med diplom og blomster
The Falch Lecturer of 2023 with his diploma.
Ingrid Hagerup
Albert Ascherio med de lokale samarbeidspartnerne
Ascherio with his UiB and NeuroSysMed collaborators (from the left) Prof. Trond Riise, Prof. Øyvind Torkildsen and Prof. Kjell-Morten Myhr.
Ingrid Hagerup

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Professor Ascherio has since the 1990-ties been one of the world-leading neuroepidemiologists and has made ground-breaking contributions to the understanding of the aetiology of neurological diseases. His main contribution relates to the environmental causal factors of multiple sclerosis (MS). He has shown the importance of vitamin D and smoking as risk factors in MS – but most of all the evidence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) as a causal factor for MS. He has previously published in JAMA that previous infection with the EBV is associated with a markedly increased risk of later developing MS. In January 2022, he was senior author on a Science article, where two previous PhD students at the Medical Faculty at University of Bergen, Kjetil Bjørnevik and Marianna Cortese were first authors. In this article they demonstrate a clear link between EBV infection and the development of MS.

Alberto Ascherio was born in 1953 and graduated as MD at the University of Milan (1978). He is a specialist in internal medicine and earned his doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1992. He worked then as Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, until he received a fulltime Professorship of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2008, and Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2009.

May 24 he was awarded the 2023 Falch Lecture. See photos of the event above.