The K.G. Jebsen Colorectal Cancer Research Centre was officially opened on the 28th of August by the chair of the Jebsen Foundation’s board of directors, Hans Peter Jebsen. Prof. Ragnhild A. Lothe will lead the Centre together with the interdisciplinary PI team consisting of Prof. Michael Bretthauer (gastroenterologist), Prof. Arild Nesbakken (surgeon), Prof. Kjell Tveit (oncologist) and ass. Prof. Rolf I. Skotheim (bioinformatician).
The event was held at Holmenkollen Park Hotel for all the members of the new Centre as well as invited guests (see programme). Present from the board of directors of the Foundation were also Birger Magnus and Borger Lenth, as well as the general manager of the Foundation, Kåre Rommetveit, who presented the Foundation’s strategy for supporting medical research.
This is the only Jebsen Centre in Oslo that has Oslo University Hospital as its main host institution. Prof. Sigbjørn Smeland, head of the hosting Division of Cancer, Surgery and Transplantation, said in his talk that the Centre was an excellent example of how to organise and succeed in translational research within a Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The rector of the University of Oslo, Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen, underlined the many challenges in building real integrated research among disciplines, but also the necessity of doing so to combat global health challenges such as colorectal cancer, a disease which kills seven hundred thousand individuals annually.
The Centre’s guest lecturer for the day, Prof. Hans Olav Adami from Harvard, presented his ideas on why Harvard is ranked as a world leading institution of research and which factors we need to address in Scandinavia. Among others, he pointed out the importance of using the strength that lies in the public health system.
The director of Research and Innovation of the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, John Torgils Vaage, congratulated on the opening of the Centrea and explained that excellent clinical research argued strongly for prioritization of increased research funding from the Health Authority.