Young UiB researchers awarded grants

Three University of Bergen researchers have each been given recruitment grants worth several million Norwegian kroner from the Bergen Research Foundation.

Researcher Stian Knappskog, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.
SEEKING A SOLUTION FOR CANCER: Cancer researcher Stian Knappskog is one of three young, excellent UiB researchers to receive a grant from the Bergen Research Foundation.
Kim Andreassen

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Cancer researchers Stian Knappskog and Nils Halberg and climate researcher Nele Meckler came up winners when the Bergen Research Foundation (BFS) announced the recipients for recruitment grants at the foundation’s ten-year anniversary in December 2014.

“This is essential for my future career. The grant from the Bergen Research Foundation means I will be able to proceed faster with my work. If I had not received this grant, I would have had to look elsewhere to secure funding,” says cancer researcher Stian Knappskog at the University of Bergen’s (UiB) Department of Clinical Science.

Knappskog receives a grant of eight million Norwegian kroner (approximately one million Euros). His research is on biological and genetic causal mechanisms of cancer development, and in particular the mechanisms that make malignant cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy. For the last three years, Knappskog has worked at the Mohn Cancer Research Laboratory at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, which is also supported by the BFS.


Professorship is the carrot

The recruitment grant from the BFS is intended to give young, excellent researchers an opportunity to conduct research uninterrupted for a four-year period. The idea being that at the end of this period, these researchers can move receive positions as professors.

“In our line of work, the norm is short-term contracts and temporary work for a maximum of three years at a time,” explains Knappskog. “The opportunity to move directly from a grant such as this to a regular position is simply fantastic.”

Knappskog is already at work establishing his own research team of six to seven people.


Cancer and climate

As well as Knappskog, Nils Halberg and Nele Meckler are recipients for a BFS recruitment grant this December.

Halberg arrives at UiB’s Department of Biomedicine from a job as a molecular biologist at the University of Copenhagen, and has also been associated with institutions such as the Rockefeller University in New York. Halberg looks at how obesity promotes the spread of cancer.

Geologist Meckler joins UiB’s Department of Earth Science from ETH Zurich. She specialises is reconstruction of past climate using sediments from the ocean and cave rock. Meckler was recently awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

The BFS celebrates ten years in 2014 and marked the anniversary on 4 December by announcing this year’s grant recipients. BFS and UiB recently signed a new collaboration to further promote research in Bergen.